Sunday, July 1, 2012

Zucchini Fritters

It's summer squash time!  A few days ago, one of my lovely coworkers gifted me with two huge zucchinis.  I had been telling him that if he ever had any extra vegetables that he and his wife couldn't cook, I could happily take them off of his hands.  And then I got zucchinis!! Win! Now, I've cooked with zucchini before, but never ones this large.  So I decided it may be a good idea to turn them into fritters.

Fritters are a simple concept.  Vegetables chopped or grated finely, combined with egg, panko and spices and made into pancakes.  Pan fried in good oil, they're relatively healthy.

So after doing some research, I decided to try my hand at zucchini fritters.  Now zucchinis are a funny vegetable.  They are pretty easy to cook with, but they are full of water.

In order to make them into fritters, you really need to let the vegetable drain after being grated, or just attempt to squeeze the water out of them.  This is essentially what I did.  Push on the grated bits long enough to squeeze out the excess water.  If you don't, you risk the chance that they'll be too soggy to really crisp up.  I mean, it's not the end of the world, but it's worth having them be crispy...crispy is, after all, delicious.  It's really the only labor intensive part of the fritter process.

Also, when I was first looking up recipes, I couldn't figure out for the life of me if you needed to grate the whole zucchini skin and all.  Well, even though I didn't get an answer online, I decided to grate the entire thing.  Except for the ends, of course.  I'd recommend doing that as well.

The result of my fritters experiment was A+.  Brett loved them and told me so about ten times during the course of the meal.  I think that this would also be an excellent way to get vegetable haters to eat veggies.  Kids, or kid-like adults alike, will eat these up.  I also had them for leftovers the next day and they stayed pretty darn good.

I paired mine with some simple pan grilled chicken, fresh avocado and lime wedges.  Made for a healthy and easy meal.  The chicken was just coated in chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and a bit of cayenne pepper.  Nothin too fance.


Ingredients
1 large zucchini (about 2-3 lbs)
2 eggs
1 C panko
1/2 C shredded mozzarella
1/2 C chopped cilantro
1 T chili powder
1/2 T salt
1/2 T ground pepper
3 T grapeseed or olive oil

Here are my zucchinis! I used the larger of the two for the fritters.

Grate the entire zucchini.  Put in a fine mesh colander.

Push all the water that you can out with your hands.

In a large bowl crack the two eggs

Add the zucchini, panko, cheese, salt, pepper, and chili powder.  Combine well.

Heat up the oil preferably in a pan like a Le Creuset.  But really any pot or pan can be used.  Just heat it up well and near the smoking point.

While the oil is heating, form the zucchini mixtures into about 3-4" diameter pancakes.  

Add the fritters to the oil.  Heat each side for about three minutes on each side.

Don't overcrowd the pan.  Serve while hot and enjoy!

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