Monday, July 6, 2009

Recipe: Pan-Fried Zucchini

I settled on fried zucchini for dinner. I was a little hasty in my preparation, so some aren't evenly browned and a few of them got a little dark, but all in all, they tasted terrific! The bonus is, I only used two of the smaller zucchini, so I still have six good-sized zucchini for other zucchini dishes.

The recipe is simple:

Kris's Pan-Fried Zucchini

2 medium zucchini, end-trimmed and washed
2 large eggs
1/8 c. milk
Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
salt to taste
coarsely ground pepper to taste

First, wash and slice the zukes about 1/4" thick (too thick and they take too long to cook through; too thin and you won't have much substance to bite into and they'll get overcooked quickly). I use Veggie Wash.

Next, break the eggs into a small bowl and combine them with the milk. Beat well.

In a separate bowl, pour a generous amount of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (you may use regular breadcrumbs and then add Italian seasonings to your heart's content, or--and I recommend this move--use the Italian seasoned breadcrumbs and add your favorite seasonings to strengthen the flavor). Add enough salt and ground pepper to taste. If you prefer, you may salt and pepper each side of the zucchini slices while they are cooking in the pan.

Heat a frying pan with enough extra virgin olive oil (I prefer cold-pressed) to just cover the bottom of the pan. Once the pan is ready, dip each slice of zucchini into the egg/milk mixture and then coat in the breadcrumb mixture. Place in the pan. Fry gently over medium-low heat until one side is brown and crispy; then, flip with a spatula to fry the other side. Remove to a paper-towel-covered plate when both sides are lightly browned and crisp.

Be careful not to let the egg get too gloppy (that's the technical culinary term, I'm certain)--you'll get lumpy zucchini that browns unevenly--see the picture for evidence. You may have to occasionally clean out the eggy bread crumbs and replenish the bowl with fresh bread crumbs.

Serve with ranch dressing, a sour cream/cucumber dip, honey mustard, or whatever your favorite zucchini dipping sauce is. Experiment!

Make sure to add the leftover bread crumbs to your compost pile; any remaining egg should be discarded. Rinse out your egg shells and add that to your compost pile or, if you have hermit crabs like I do, throw them in the tank. It took my crabs approximately two minutes to find them and begin munching on them. (It's a great source of calcium for them.)

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