My sister-in-law, Sherry, is an amazing cook. She always sends David and I, who are seriously kitchen impaired, the most delicious and simple recipes. When we were out in Tahoe, Sherry was asked to make an appetizer for the family and in a matter of minutes, she had whipped up some Daylily Fritters (shown below). I was so impressed that I asked if she would make the Daylily Fritters all over again so I could document it (and eat another round). On top of that, Sherry was kind enough to write down some instructions so you can follow along at home. I plan to have Sherry do some additional cooking blogs in the future so I hope you enjoy her first post!
When our family gets together all of the adult couples take a night to cook and clean for everyone else, and this when we show off new recipes to one another. Because we’re feeding so many people, I like to make something clever but simple, which is how I ended up frying up a batch of daylily fritters earlier this week. My neighbor, who has the most beautiful kitchen garden you’ve ever seen, showed me this technique, and it’s stupid easy, but impressive in an “I-didn’t-know-you-could-eat-that” sort of way.
Just a note on daylilies, do your research before you start picking away. I’ve only done this with the yellow flowers pictured and the more common large orange variety, and there is some debate on whether or not you can eat all daylilies. Stay away from roadside daylilies or those growing in an area where you’re unsure of maintenance techniques. Daylilies are a weed in lots of places, probably sprayed with some terrible combination of Agent Orange and mustard gas, so in the interest of not poisoning yourself and your guests, stick with flowers that are grown in an area you know.
Now that you have well researched daylilies, remove the stamen, rinse out the bugs and lay out to dry.
Combine the goat cheese and chives (proportions are a personal preference, I put them together until the cheese looks pretty), and stuff each daylily with a bit.
For the batter, you need flour, salt & pepper and soda water. Combine until you can taste the seasonings and it’s the consistency of pancake batter. Heat about an inch or two of canola oil in a pan until it’s 350 degrees, and begin dipping by holding the daylily closed by it’s opening and gently inserting into the oil. Fry up a few at a time for about 30 seconds or so per side, and remove with a slotted spoon. This timing isn’t exact (as are none of these instructions), but you can see in the pictures that we waited until the flowers were a bit brown and crispy. If your oil is hotter it will take less time, cooler it will take more (not too much cooler, though, as then they’ll also get soggy).
Let the daylilies drain on some paper towels and arrange on a platter with some dipping sauce. We used balsamic vinegar with a touch of salt, pepper and sliced garlic, but I’ve also just put out straight balsamic before and it was just as delicious.
Daylily season is fleeting, so get picking!
Photo credits: David Abizaid.