Sunday, August 14, 2011

Battle of the Zucchini Fries

My sister is out of town for a couple weeks and has asked me to take care of her garden while she's away. Since she'll be gone for a while, she's also said that I can have any produce that ripens while she's gone. So far, while gone, her garden has produced two MOSTER sized zucchinis. No joke. These things are practically the size of my one year old:

I put out a cry on Facebook for good zucchini recipe suggestions as my main go-to recipes for zucchini aside from dunking raw pieces into ranch dip are Angel Hair Primavera and Antipasto Pizza....and I've got about 8 times as much zucchini as either of those recipes needs. When my cousin suggested frying it, I was reminded of some zucchini fry recipes I'd seen on pinterest and thought I'd try something like that. When I ran out of bread crumbs half way though making the baked fries, I thought I'd try frying some up as well and Battle of the Zucchini Fries was on!


The Prep
I cut one of the monster zucchini into thirds so each section was about 3.5 inches long. Then I cut into the fry type pieces (pretty much the way shown here). If you're using a normal sized store bought zucchini, just cut it in half and then cut into sticks. The thinner you cut them, the more fry-like they will be. Honestly, I don't love the texture of cooked zucchini, so I tried to make them no thicker than about 1/4 inch.

Once you're done cutting, throw them in a gallon sized ziplock with a couple tablespoons of flour and shake to coat.

Next, you'll want to prep your work area:

Crack a couple eggs into a bowl. Use a garlic press to press 1 large clove of garlic into the eggs. Whisk until well blended.

For the baked fries breading, dump 1 cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs into a bowl.

For the fried breading, mix 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup corn meal, 1 Tbsp oregano and 1/2 tsp ground red pepper

The work flow on your counter should look like this from left to right:
bag of floured sticks --> Bowl with egg --> Bowl of breading --> Baking sheet (or frying pan).

Baked Fries
So if you were tracking with me above so far you have done this:
  • Sliced zucchini into sticks

  • Tossed zucchini sticks in flour

  • Set up breading station (one bowl with garlic & egg / one bowl with bread crumbs)

If you're never breaded something before, you basically work left tor right and want to keep one hand clean and let one hand be your "dirty" hand.  Your clean hand uses a fork to pick things up to avoid getting goopy.  So breading your sticks looks about like this:
  1. Stab a zucchini stick with fork using left hand, deposit in bowl with egg. Flip stick over in bowl using fork. Pick up eggy stick with fork and deposit into breadcrumb bowl.

  2. Use your right hand to scoop bread crumbs on top of eggy zucchini stick. Pick up stick with right hand, shaking of excess crumbs, deposit on cookie sheet

  3. Repeat

Once all the sticks are breaded (or half of them if you are doing half baked and half fried like we did), make sure they are not touching each other on the baking sheet.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Flip fries over, spray with olive oil cooking spray and bake for another 10 minutes.

(confused by the rambling nature of my "recipe"? Read the whole thing written out here)

Fried Fries
The fried fries were a little more involved, but totally worth it.

Set up your breading area as above. Your fried breading mix is a combo of 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup corn meal, 1 Tbsp oregano and 1/2 tsp ground red pepper.

You'll also need to get your frying pan set up. I used a big 12" skillet and coconut oil.  Scoop out about 2 Tbsp of coconut oil into your pan and heat it on medium high until it is nice and melty and make a nice layer on the bottom. about like so:

Following the same breading technique as above, transferring the breaded sticks to the pan when done.  Cook the sticks for about 8 minutes on each side until nice and toasty looking. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel lined plate when done.

(Did my rambling confuse you?  Read the full recipe here)

Enjoy!
Serve these up warm with either ranch dip or pizza sauce (or both!) to dip them in.

Review:

When it came time to compare, I preferred the baked fries because they turned out crispier and had less of a squishy zucchini texture to them.  My husband, however, preferred the fried ones because he liked the seasoning of the breading better. Next time I make them, I will probably bake them but will jazz up the breadcrumbs a bit by adding more of my own spices and some red pepper.

Want to make your own Zucchini fries?  I uploading the recipes to Bake Space just for you:




I'm sharing this week with:
Made By You MondaysGet Your Craft on Tuesday

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