Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Zucchini Fritters

Mid July and the zucchinis have started their annual campaign to take over the world. I still had a couple left from the week 10 share and then the week 11 arrives with bonus extra zucchini! And I thought I could avoid the zucchini stampede by not planting any in my garden...silly Ben. Anyway, it is what it is and to keep up with the influx I need recipes that use up a lot of zucchini at once, so my thoughts on the topic quickly turned to fritters. 

Once you shred the zucchini and remove the excess water (more on that below), a pound of them will yield only 7-8 small fritters, so if you are cooking for a group you can easily use up a couple pounds of zucchini. They also freeze well, up to 3 months if well wrapped, so double or triple the recipe and you'll be set with a quick snack or side dish for weeks. Just pop them in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until they are heated through and crisp.

The recipe I used below is from smitten kitchen.

Share contents used
Zucchini (I had yellow ones, they taste the same as the green)

1 pound zucchini, shredded
1 tsp kosher salt
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying (I used olive oil)

Heat your oven to 200 degrees and place a sheet pan inside. Wash the zucchini and trim off the ends. Using the shredding disk in your food processor or the coarse side of a box grater, shred the zucchini. 

Place the shreds in a colander and mix with the kosher salt, then set the colander over a bowl for 10-15 minutes to allow the salt to draw out some of the excess water. Transfer the zucchini to a clean tea towel then roll up the towel, trapping the zucchini inside. Over your sink, wring the towel as hard as you can to squeeze out more water. You'll be amazed how much will come out (zucchini is mostly made up of water) and this is essential to good fritters because if you skip this step the final result will be very mushy and not as flavorful. 

Remove the zucchini from the towel and place in a clean bowl with the scallions then season to taste with salt (go easy as there will be salt remaining from the water removal) and pepper. Mix in the egg, then combine the flour and baking powder, add to the zucchini and mix well. Heat the oil over medium heat in large, heavy skillet until it starts to shimmer. Place 3 or 4 dollops of the zucchini mixture in the pan and flatten them slightly to form rough disks around 3 inches in diameter.

Cook for 3-4 minutes until nicely browned then flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Move to a sheet pan in the warm oven while you cook the rest of the fritters. Serve hot with your choice of dipping sauce.  I mixed some sour cream with salt, pepper and a bit of lemon juice for a cool, tangy accompaniment. Use your imagination as the fritters will go well with spicy or sweet sauces also. 

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