Thursday, July 23, 2009

That time of year

Two words: Zucchini season

It is that time of year for massive amounts, and in my lack of noticing case, SIZES of zucchini. Yes friends it is summer in the Midwest, and that means it is time to find 101 ways of eating zucchini, and then when you have eaten zucchini for at least 2 meals a day, EVERYDAY, for a month, you stoop to other methods of using it and the list becomes 101 USES for zucchini. I will try my best to keep up this list and make it to 101 by the end of September. We are already off to a great start.

Every cookbook and rule out there says that zucchini is best for cooking when about 6 to 8 inches long and no more than 4 inches around. This worked out great when I pulled the first off the vine on Tuesday. I sliced it thin and lightly pan fried the slices in a skillet after a rub with garlic, we had them with crock pot chicken (thanks for introducing that to me Kara!) apple sauce, and french bread.

Today, I found a HUGE zucchini. It was literally the size around of one of those giant over sized whiffle ball bats, but only about half the length. This thing was ginormous. How I missed this thing, apparently for at least a week, is absolutely ridiculous. Anyway I had to hatch a plot to use it, but quick, and I did. I found a solution that used the zucchini, most of it anyway, AND used our food processor for the first time. I used the processors grater and grated the entire thing, it actually took quite a while and I had to empty it twice, and this is a FULL size processor. I then made zucchini bread, of course, two loaves. It only took a small amount out of the total and I doubled the recipe allotted amount. After I put them in the oven I began pondering how to use the rest of the grated goodness. I think a chocolate zucchini cake tomorrow... Anyway I used some for dinner tonight.

Zucchini Fritters. Need I say more. They were freaking fantastic, AND I used our fry daddy that has only been used maybe 3 times in 3 years. I am a zucchini and appliance using master! Anyway the fritters were freaking fantastic! SO here is the recipe, MY recipe. I looked at loads of recipes and thought I could do it much better, and I think I did.

Zucchini Fritters

3 C. grated zucchini

2 eggs ( I prefer duck eggs)

1/2 C. all purpose flour

1 Tbsp Kosher salt

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cracked black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder or garlic salt depending on you salt taste

1-2 C. crushed Ritz crackers, I used two hand fulls

1/2 C. grated Parmesan


If you have a big screen strainer this is perfect, I use a splatter guard over the sink. Put zucchini in strainer or in another drain-able device, and sprinkle Tbsp of Kosher salt over it. You want it to sweat out the water. I let mine set for about an hour, then pressed the water out with my hand and a potato ricer. You want it as dry as you can get it.

Heat oil. You want it at least an inch deep, and around 350 degrees.

Mix all the dry ingredients, and feel free to play with other spices and amounts. Then add cheese, egg, and zucchini. Mix well and use immediately. Drop tablespoon full size dollops into batter. If they are not entirely covered cook 4 minutes and flip and cook other side 4 minutes also. If they are totally submerged cook 6 minutes.

Raise basket and let drain or remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Let oil return to proper temperature before dropping in next batch. Made 16 fritters.

Serve hot with sour cream, unflavored plain yogurt, or salsa. We used sour cream and salsa, because we had them, and they were delicious!

I still have 4 cups of grates zucchini left, tomorrow I will make some more masterpieces, but today I am all zucchini'd out.

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