Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Zucchini Fries

 We are almost at the end of zucchini season here and I am happy to report that a dear friend came through and I have had as much zucchini as I have wanted.  It's been wonderful.

The only problem is that there are others in this house that really, really don't like it.  But I do have one of my daughters who requests that it gets put in everything because she likes it that much.  Can't please everyone!

Because of the haters, I am always trying new ways to have zucchini (maybe one day they might fall in love).  

The thing about zucchini is that is can't be mushy or cooked too long.  It gets quite revolting if it's too soft so this was a perfect way to eat it.  The crust gives it some crunchiness and baking it in the oven makes the zucchini done but still slightly soft and firm.  Just the thing for me.  Plus when you get to dip it, life gets a lot better for all of us.  Dipping made my kids eat two of them--that's pretty good for zucchini haters.

Baked Zucchini Fries

(click here for printable version)

About 1 lb. zucchini
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the bottled variety, not fresh)
2 eggs

1.  Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

2.  Combine bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in a shallow pie plate. Set aside.  Whisk 2 eggs together in another shallow pie plate and set aside.

3.  Cut the ends off the zucchini and then cut the zucchini in half, so you have two short, stubby pieces. Set one piece on its end and cut it in half lengthwise. Cut that half in half, making 2 planks. Repeat with the remaining halves (so you’ll get 16 planks per zucchini).

4. Stack 2 planks on top of each other and cut into strips. Thicker strips will yield “meatier” fries with more zucchini flavor while thin strips will be crispy and taste virtually nothing like zucchini. When all the fries are cut, blot the pieces with a paper towel.

5.  Working with a small handful at a time, dip the zucchini sticks in the egg, shake them to remove any excess, and then roll them in about 2-3 tablespoons of bread crumbs at a time, adding more as needed (you don’t want to work with all the bread crumbs at once because they’ll soak up moisture from the egg and won’t stick to the zucchini). Place the coated strips on the prepared baking sheet and repeat until all the zucchini strips have been coated.

6.  Bake for 10-12 minutes then remove from oven, flip the fries, and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the zucchini is not soggy and the coating is crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately with pizza sauce.  Enjoy!

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