Zucchini Fritters

zucchini fritters

 

 

To end FRIENDS week on NJSD I have an excellent recipe from Cindy for zucchini fritters. You’ll have the kids eating their vegetables without a fuss with these babies!

Cindy and I go way back. So far back, that I think we were destined to be friends before we were even born. Before I was born, Mama carried two babies (two different pregnancies) to around seven months when she lost them. Around the same time, her mother was having difficulty getting pregnant. They were friends and were there to support each other during those sad days.

Cindy and I grew up in the same small North Georgia town. Our friendship is one of the most genuine and unpretentious friendships that I have. Maybe that comes from being friends so long. We learned to drive together, had long talks about boys (which brings to mind some hilarious times), we’ve been there for weddings and births and have supported each other in hard times too. She is an only child, but I spent so much time at her house growing up that I’m sure her parents often felt that they had another child. Our friendship is priceless, and I cherish it more than Cindy will ever know.

She gave me this scrumptious recipe a while back. It comes together so fast, and these fritters taste great. Here are a few tips for flying fritters:

1. Do not overcrowd the pan when frying the fritters. If you drop too many into the pan at one time, you’ll cool the oil, and the fritters will not cook through.

2. Fry fritters at 350°F, they’ll cook fast enough not to absorb the oil and get soggy, but slowly enough not to burn before they have cooked completely.

3. They are best eaten right away. The longer they sit, the heavier and less crispy they’ll get. Sprinkle with salt and parmesan immediately so they’ll melt into the hot fritters, and then serve as soon as possible.

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Zucchini Fritters
 
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Ingredients
  • 3 medium zucchini, grated
  • ½ c. onion, grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ c. plain cornmeal
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Grate zucchini into a medium size bowl. Toss with a pinch of salt and place in a mesh strainer. Place the strainer over the bowl and let stand for about 15 minutes. Remove strainer and reserve the water in bowl. Place zucchini in a mixing bowl and add the grated onion. Add egg, salt and pepper and mix. Sprinkle the flour and cornmeal over the zucchini and mix together. Let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, heat canola oil over medium-high heat to 350°F.
  3. Stir zucchini mixture, the consistency should be a little thicker than pancake batter. If it seems too thick you can add a little bit of the reserved water.
  4. Drop by heaping spoonfuls into the hot oil cooking 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown, then flip and cook the other side until golden. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Immediately sprinkle with salt and grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the top. Serve immediately.

 

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Layered Zucchini and Tomatoes

 

layered zucchini and tomatoes

I’m always looking for something new and interesting to cook.  It seems that even though I cook for my newspaper column and for the blog that I still get stuck in a rut of preparing the same foods over and over.  I do a lot of roasted veggies, and I love them, but sometimes I want something different.  I found this recipe for Layered Zucchini and Tomatoes in Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking by Natalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart.

I was looking through the book just hours before cooking dinner.  When I found this recipe the ingredient list was short and I just happened to have everything, except fresh oregano, which I replaced with fresh thyme.  I used panko for my breadcrumbs and diced tomatoes since I was using leftover tomatoes from taco night.  It was a delicious side dish that I will be making again!

 

Layered Zucchini and Tomatoes
 
Author:
Serves: 2 to 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 small zucchini, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into ¼-inch slices
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced horizontally into ¼-inch sliced and drained on paper towels
  • ½ tsp. salt (plus more for sprinkling zucchini in colander)
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ c. dry breadcrumbs
  • ½ tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ c. grated Swiss cheese
  • ½ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1½ tbsp. butter
Instructions
  1. Place sliced zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Set over a bowl or in the sink and let stand for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water, place zucchini in an even layer on paper towels. Pat dry with another paper towel.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a 9 x 9-inch baking dish.
  3. Layer half of the zucchini in the baking dish. Follow with half the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Mix together the breadcrumbs, oregano, and cheeses. Sprinkle half of the cheese mixture over zucchini and tomatoes. Repeat layering one more time, ending with the cheese mixture. Dot with butter, and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Notes
May be made several days ahead and reheated.
Leftovers freeze fine.

 

 

 

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Summer Squash and Ricotta Pie

We plant 2 yellow squash and 2 zucchini plants every year in our garden.  This typically gives us all of the squash we would ever want plus some to share.  This isn’t the case this year because of the rain.  In fact, our plants are yellow and they look like they may die.  Therefore, I’m treasuring the few squash that I am able to harvest this year.

Here’s a recipe that uses zucchini and yellow squash.  It’s fresh, delicious, and the presentation is beautiful!  Serve with a green salad and you have a meatless meal.

I used a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust for easy preparation.  Also, I buy the big wedges of aged Parmesan cheese at the store.  I then pulse in the food processor several times until I have small pea size pieces or smaller.  I store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator to have on hand for various recipes.

 

Summer Squash and Ricotta Pie
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 large yellow squash, cut crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ c. ricotta cheese
  • ½ c. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 lg. egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 lg. egg white
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine olive oil, zucchini squash and garlic in a large bowl, set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl combine ricotta, Parmesan, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, black pepper, and egg, stirring to combine.
  4. Unwrap dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 14-inch circle. Place dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread ricotta mixture over dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange zucchini and squash slices alternately, slightly overlapping, in a circular pattern over ricotta mixture. Sprinkle squash with kosher salt. Fold edges of dough toward center, pressing gently to seal.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tsp. water and egg white. Brush dough edges with egg white mixture.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 - 20 minutes before serving.
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Baked Zucchini with Parmesan

I am really hitting a brick wall when it comes to finding new and exciting veggies and side dishes that also have a low glycemic load.  Turn to the vegetable or side dish section of any cookbook you pick up, and the number of recipes that do not include potatoes, rice, or starch are few and far between.

Here is a recipe that I saw on Pinterest and decided to try.  The recipe was called Zucchini Crisps.  I’m changing that because the zucchini wasn’t really crispy.  Nevertheless, it was delicious.  Make sure you get the crispy cheese on the foil too.  This is a suggestion and something I will try the next time I make these…sprinkle the sliced zucchini with a little salt and put into a strainer, over a bowl, for about 30 minutes.  Rinse with water and blot dry with paper towels, then proceed with recipe.  This may possibly make the zucchini crispier.  Either way, it was yummy.  (Please forgive the photo…I had to take it with my phone, and rather quickly since everyone was starved.)

 

Baked Zucchini with Parmesan
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into 2-inch pieces, sliced thin lengthwise
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a baking pan with foil.
  3. Lay zucchini pieces on foil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese.
  4. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, until cheese has melted and is lightly browned. Cool on pan a few minutes before moving to a serving dish.
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