Friday, July 23, 2010

Not just for bread

Zucchini is my contribution to D-Feast Friday.  If you want to see all the other recipes submitted today please visit Karen at Bitter-Sweet Diabetes Blog and click on the D-Feast Friday button.  I’m assuming there are some succulent recipes but I don’t know yet.  I’ve been slaving over a hot stove all day!

OK, not really.  We planted zucchini this year zucchini-plant-001 and have enjoyed many different ways of eating it.  It sort of turned into this thing where I started taking pictures of everything we made with zucchini.  I was going to do a post about it at the end of the summer but then D-Feast Friday was born.  So here we are.  I know it’s a long post.  But seriously, stick around.  It’s worth it.  Her are six easy recipes.  They are soooo good. 

#1 Garden Salad

The first two zucchinis Heath picked were so little.  I didn’t think we would have enough to feed five people.  A stroke of genius made me decide to slice them up and put them in a “garden” salad.

salad

May I just say this salad was so delish!  And I am not a food photographer.  So if it looks gross, just take my word for it.  The raw zucchini slices were fantastic in the salad.  I had never done that before so I was concerned about flavor and texture but it turned out beautifully. 

A lot of those ingredients came from our garden.  The spinach, onions and zucchini.  There’s also some romaine hearts that I found out I didn’t need to stretch the greens.  There’s grated cheese and boiled eggs, some sliced pepperoni just for fun, some crumbled bacon, croutons and dressing.  No tomatoes though.  We grow tomatoes but only Gwen and I really like them.

#2 Comfort Zucchini

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This way of serving zucchini is my favorite.  It brings back such childhood memories.  I had to call my mom to ask her how to do it because I forgot.  She told me a bunch of things to do with zucchini and said that just about anything you do to zucchini makes it bad for you.  We agreed that we don’t care because this is fabulous comfort food. 

What I did was steam the zucchini slices.  Mom said to boil it but I didn’t want it to get too soggy.  Then I put in tons of butter margarine.  Butter may have been better but I didn’t have any.  I dumped in a huge handful of sharp cheddar cheese.  I’m going to assume that this would not taste as good with anything less than sharp cheddar cheese.  I also crumbled up a whole bunch of Saltine crackers and stirred it all together.  Don’t worry about measuring.  Just do what looks right.  That’s what my mom told me. 

Normally you serve it with sour cream dolloped on top but it was Gavin’s birthday and I forgot that part.  I also forgot that we promised him a watermelon but what are you going to do! 

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Kid tested.  Mother approved.  For fatty, carbalicious awesomeness!  Seriously, you have to try this recipe with zucchini because it is the best comfort food you will ever eat with once healthy vegetables. 

#3 Deep Fried Zucchini

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Holy party in my mouth that was good!  What you do is you slice thick coins.  Heath told me to slice them about an inch thick.  But, like math, I don’t measure in my head.  Some were thicker than others.  Don’t worry. 

Then you dip the coins in a mixture of flour, paprika, ground chili powder, salt, and garlic salt.  Don’t ask about measurements.  Heath just makes stuff up and it always turns out great.  I would say it was a pinch or two of this and that.  Just do what looks right!

Then dip the dusty coins in a bowl of beaten eggs.  That sounds weird.  You beat some eggs in a bowl so you can coat the coins and have the flour mixture stick. 

I know that sounds out of order to go into the flour mixture first but trust me it works better that way.  So dip the coins in the flour mixture, then the egg, then back in the flour and finally drop a few battered coins in the deep fryer.  For my fryer size I could do three large ones together or four small ones. 

Fry for 3-4 minutes and let drain on a cooling rack over a pan lined with paper towels.  They are far less greasy this way.  Oh, and wear surgical gloves (found in bulk at Costco) while dipping your coins before frying.  You will thank me.  When your fingers get too gloppy with flour and egg you can toss the glove by first removing it inside out.  Then put on a new one. 

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This picture is more for my family.  This is to prove that I made these fried zucchini coins.  See my fingers holding the special fryer spoon?  Every once in a while I make stuff!  I did not make the next recipe.

#4 Grilled Zucchini

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I may not be a food photographer but you have to admit that’s a great picture! 

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Here’s another one.  These slices of zucchini are prepped to be grilled with olive oil, salt and pepper.

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Smoking on the grill.  I have several of these types of pictures.  I’ll just stick with this one.

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Check out those perfect grill marks.  Good job, Heath.  To achieve this look, grill on each side for about 1 min per side per quarter turn.  The quarter turn is how you get the perfect grill marks. 

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These grilled zucchini slices were amazing.  See?  Heath’s face is all scrunched up because that slice was still pretty hot from the grill.  But oh so good.  They had a rich flavor with smoky charred goodness.  Yum. 

#5 Simple Zucchini

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If you are thinking that zucchini is too much trouble.  Don’t leave yet.  I have a deliciously simple recipe.  All I did here was cut the zucchini into thick cubes and steam them with salt and pepper.  How long do you steam?  Just until they are fork tender.  Check after a few minutes. 

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Stir them up with some butter margarine.  Whatever you have on hand.  Then enjoy the light, yet rich, amazing flavor in your mouth.  Each bite bursts in your mouth like fireworks on the 4th of July.  So simple and so good you will make yummy noises that sound like an elephant being run over by a mouse driving a Monster truck.  I did anyway.

#6 Scrambled Zucchini Eggs

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This was sort of a happy accident.  Heath was out of town on a business trip earlier this week.  Whenever he’s gone and I’m in charge of dinner (because I’m usually not) I always make breakfast for dinner one night.  I usually make eggs.  There was a small zucchini sitting on the counter that needed to be eaten so I decided to chop it up and throw it in the scrambled eggs.  I didn’t know if it would work. 

Boy howdy did it ever.  I served the eggs and when the kids asked what was in it I said vegetables.  That was good enough for them.  They ate those eggs so fast making yummy noises with every bite. 

I also made pancakes for them and some syrup got on Parker’s eggs.  He said, and I quote, “Mom those eggs are damn delicious in the syrup!”  Then we had a conversation about how that word is inappropriate and he should never say it again.  The point is, you have the alliterative approval of a 5 year old.  The eggs were . . . delicious and the kids ate every single piece of zucchini in their eggs.  They had mixed reactions to all the other zucchini dishes this summer. 

I hope you learned something new.  I hope you learned that zucchini is very easy and versatile.  It’s not just for bread.

2 thoughts:

Chantalle Bishop said...

That grilled zucchini looks SOOO GOOD! So far I am the only zucchini lover in our house, unless it's bread.
To answer the princess question- it is in Fantasyland, I think near the train station if I remember correctly. We had gotten off the train and were trying to find somewhere to sit and walked up a little hill and found the princess area. I have no idea what it's really called. It is this huge covered area and there is stadium seating and the princesses do a show where they dance and teach you how to wave like a princess, etc. It was cute. he whole thing is set up like a medeval castle. We could see most of it from the tables. In December you won't be worried about too much heat, but it was soooo much cooler under there which was awesome.

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

Wow - so many great ideas! Thanks for spreading the zucchini love! :)