Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Do you love zucchini?

Here in RI, our zucchini is just blossoming. No little squash yet, but soon.
We eat zucchini a LOT when it is in season:

- sliced lengthwise and sauteed with basil chiffonade and gruyere or parmigiano
- sliced lengthwise and sauteed with fresh basil pesto
- sliced and layered with similarly sliced onion (vidalia) and tomato, topped with a bit of cheese, for vegetable tian
- grated in omelets and quiches (I promise to make the one from Once Upon A Tart!)
- sliced lengthwise and grilled for sandwiches or pizza toppings
- even baked in zucchini bread (if I can get my paws on them)

Typically, over the course of the summer, the zucchini gets ahead of our stomachs, however. I might be absolutely sick of it in a couple of weeks. And this recipe might help (especially when you're craving a bit of fried foods...I know, so bad. But sometimes oh so good). We ate a lot of fried zucchini flowers (and sometimes zucchini) when in Italy. This past weekend, we brought a little bit of Italy to the kitchen in Rhode Island when I made some tempura batter. It's easy to make, and a bit nerve-racking to cook (be careful of hot oil). But it's all worth it when you take a bite. Enjoy!

Zucchini Fritters - I modified a recipe from The Joy of Cooking...I want to try this one below, though, too, as it is similar to what we used in Italy.

Recipe 1:

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of black pepper
2 eggs (separate the whites from the yolks and put aside for whisking)
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup beer

Whisk together the flour, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl (you will coat the zucchini in here). Then whisk together the egg yolks and butter, adding the beer once combined. Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold together til combined. When you're ready to fry the veggies, whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the batter.

Recipe 2:

1 egg yolk
1 cup ice water
1 to 1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 pinch baking soda
A few zucchini (3?) cut the way you desire - coins, slices, sticks - I like sticks =) You can try blossoms, too, just pull off the pistils as they might be bitter.

With a fork, combine the yolk with the water in a small bowl. The consistency should be like that of heavy cream. Just before frying the zucchini, add in the flour and baking soda and stir to just combine. Be careful to not overstir!

For cooking: use only fresh vegetable oil. It should be about 2" deep. When the oil is hot enough, the batter, when dropped into the oil, will sink to the bottom then rise to the surface slowly. If the oil smokes, it is too hot.

Coat the zucchini with the batter, and then drop carefully in the oil. Let it cook for a minute, or til lightly golden. With tongs, remove the cooked piece and place on a paper towel covered plate to cool. I like topping the veggies with a bit of grated parmigiano and salt before serving!

No comments: