Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I can't believe I have to eat the whole thing

If you read my last blog, you pretty much had to figure that there would be another zucchini recipe this week.  I harvested over 10 pounds of the stuff from my little shared garden last week, and that massive sumo wrestler of a zucchini is still enthroned on the counter like some kind of vegetative version of Jabba-the-Hutt.    He mocks me--practically screaming out every day "Hey, you wanna piece of me.?"  Yeah right--like I haven't had a piece of him every day for the past week.  So far this week we've had zucchini fritatta, sauteed zucchini, and zucchini bread.  I've shared zucchini with friends and neighbors.  No one tells you that when you eat local seasonal produce (and what's more local than a garden just down the street?) that you'll be eating the same freaking thing every day in a row.  Compound this by the fact that the only green thing that my children will eat are Jolly Ranchers, and you can a pretty good idea of the dimension of the problem.  Instead of the ubiquitous refrain of "what do you want for dinner tonight?" in my house, it's "how do you want me to fix the zucchini tonight"?  Ugh.   It's no easy feat getting all of it into recipes, and then getting it all down your throat. 

Tonight, however, I prevailed.  My zucchini piece de resistance--zucchini fries.  These are good.   Really good.  Not good enough for the kids to eat them, but whatever.  More for me.

Zucchini Fries
Another shamelessly plagiarized recipe.  This one from Health.com.

1.  Cut off a hunk of zucchini from the monster, and cut it into long skinny strips.  We're making something called "zucchini fries" so let McDonald's be your guide here.

2.  Mix together 1/4 cup of milk and 1 egg white.  Feel free to use 1/4 cup of egg beaters; it worked fine.

3.  In another bowl mix together 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs and 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese.  A note here on the Parmesan cheese.  I religiously keep two kinds on hand at all times:  the cheap stuff that comes in a green can and the hunk of outrageously expensive imported Parmesan-Reggiano.  The cheap stuff is great to throw on some popcorn or toss into a meat loaf, and the expensive stuff has the perfect flavor to season a risotto or grate onto pasta.  The shredded stuff that comes in the clear plastic container?  All the expense of the imported hunk with about as much flavor as the stuff that comes in the green can.  Don't buy it.  Except for this recipe.  For some reason the little shreds of cheese crisp up beautifully in the oven and give these "fries" their crisp without all the evils of real frying.  The fake stuff won't work, and the real stuff is a pain to properly shred.  

4. Coat the zucchini strips into the egg mixture, and then toss them in the bread crumb mixture.  Lay them out on a well-sprayed cookie sheet.

5.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 20-30 minutes until golden brown and crisp.  Look at the remaining 3 pounds of zucchini and wonder what you're going to do with it tomorrow.

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