Thursday, June 2, 2011

Zucchini Cakes

Now that our garden is growing like MAD...we are picking vegetables every few days.  We already had our run of green beans (at the peak, I picked 10 pounds in 2 days!), and the cherry tomatoes are in full swing.  We also have an abundance of zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, and cucumbers.  I love using our home-grown herbs for a marinated cucumber salad with fresh dill.  We had a lovely bush of fresh dill up until a week's now gone to seed.  But the basil, italian parsley, rosemary, tarragon, oregano, thyme, and mint are doing very well.  The cilantro has also gone to seed, but I havested what I could to make this cilantro-parsley pesto (which is so insanely good!).  It's already too hot outside, I must admit, but that's the price we pay for a long growing season here in southest Texas. 

All right, so what do you do with zucchini and yellow squash, and still get the chittlins to eat it?  Fry 'em up into these yummy zucchini cakes of course!  You can actually use all zucchini or a combination of zucchini and yellow squash.  Our Christina, who won't touch a single vegetable with a 10 foot pole (except for raw, baby carrots), LOVES these cakes with ranch dressing.  Plus, they are quick and easy to make with ingredients I bet you already have on hand.

Zucchini Cakes

One medium/large zucchini (use 2 if you have just zucchini on hand)
One medium/large yellow squash
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup plain, dry bread crumbs
Salt and black pepper to taste
Olive oil for frying

Cut off the ends of the zucchini/yellow squash.  Then cut them in makes 'em easier to work with. 

 Use a box grater and the side with the large holes to shred the zucchini and/or yellow squash.

If you have time, place all the shredded zucchini/yellow squash in a colander set over a large bowl.  Sprinkle over one teaspoon salt, and toss together.  Let sit for about an hour or so.  The salt will help pull water out of the veggies.  Short on time?  You can skip this all together, no problem. 

 Take a piece of cheesecloth, a clean kitchen towel, or in my case, a clean white handerchief from my hubby's sock drawer.  Place the shreds in the towel, and wring as much water from the zucchini/yellow squash as possible.  It's best to do this in batches (2-4 ought to do it). 

Place the mostly dry shreds in a large bowl.  Add the eggs, garlic, cheese, bread crumbs, salt, and black pepper to taste. 
Here's where you have to look at your mixture and check the consistency.  It should hold together, but still be fairly wet.  If you think it's too wet, add a bit more bread crumbs.  Too dry?  Add another egg.  I usually end up adding more bread crumbs. 

In a large skillet, heat about 1/4 inch of olive oil over medium heat.  Take about 1/4 cup of the zucchini mixture and shape with your hands into a ball.  Flatten slightly, and place in the hot pan.

 Fry for about 4-5 minutes per side, adjusting your heat if necessary.  You want a nice, golden brown, so be carefully not to get the outside too dark before the inside is cooked through. 

Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels, and repeat with the remaining zucchini mix.  You'll get anywhere from 6-8 cakes, depending on the size. 

Let cool for about 5 minutes so little tongues won't get burned. :-)  Serve with ranch dressing on the side.  A nice alternative is ranch or blue cheese dressing with a few dashes of hot sauce. :-)

These are tasty!  You can make 'em smaller, and they're perfect as appetizers.  (I've made them in advance, and held them in a warm oven until serving time).  Slightly bigger, and they're a great side dish for chicken, fish, or whatever floats your boat.  Even though I make these at least once a week, I can barely keep up with the production from the garden.  So if you have any more zucchini or yellow squash recipes you want to share, let me know!
Enjoy, and God Bless your table tonight!

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...
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