The answer to all food-related questions should be: fritter.
What should I eat? Fritter.
What should I serve at my dinner party? Fritter
What should I do with all this zucchini? Fritter.
They are easy, they can be made with almost anything, and they are fried. Hello.
My Aunt Mary Beth suggested I try zucchini fritters after she saw a recipe for them in Bon Appetite. The BA recipe wasn't available online last night, so I made the zucchini fritters from Smitten Kitchen. They were good. But now that Aunt Mary Beth's original inspiration is online, I want to try those as well. And I think I could develop my own that I like even better.
This zucchini project is digressing from a zucchini obsession to a zucchini fritter obsession. I might need an intervention.
Matt had a work thing until late last night, so I took about 2 hours to make these fritters. The recipe doesn't call for stopping to check Facebook, singing along with Les Miserables, texting Holly, or taking pictures of the pink sky, so it probably won't take you that long. Thank goodness I didn't half the recipe, because I ended up devouring them all.
I ate them with the sour cream topping, I ate them without the sour cream topping, I ate them with a fried egg, I ate them with a fried egg and the sour cream topping.
I had finished all but the last fritter, when I saw Matt's headlights coming down the driveway. Grabbing the last fritter for him, I went outside to help him unpack his car. Just as I was shutting the door behind me, I realized that there was a man walking up to the house and it wasn't Matt. His shoulders were squared, and the grim line of his mouth said that he was geared up for a confrontation. Kicking myself for being so stupid, I hoped that Henry's "Danger! Danger!" barking sounded more dangerous than I thought it did.
In a rush, the man introduced himself and explained he lived on the property that bordered us on the west.
"Do you have a medium-sized, red dog?" He tugged at the bill of his ball cap.
"Oh, no." I nodded my head in the direction of Henry's frantic howling. "We just have a small pug."
The neighbor went on to explain that there'd been a dog terrorizing his horses, and every time he chased it off, the dog ran straight to our house.
It was during this discourse that I realized I was wearing only one shoe. Why? Maybe it had fallen off when I tripped on the zucchini on my kitchen floor. Maybe I absently slipped it off while I was posting on Facebook about tripping on a zucchini. But for whatever reason, I was standing in front of my new neighbor, wearing only one shoe and holding a fritter.
Looking up, I saw he'd followed my gaze and seen my unequally shod feet.
"Hmmm." I tried to casually tucked my hand down by my hip as though I always carry a fritter like some women carry clutches or small monkeys. "I haven't seen any dog like that. But it's not ours."
He visibly relaxed. "Well, I tried to come by earlier this afternoon, but no one came to the door. I'm on my way home from cowboy church, and thought I'd stop by and see if you's home."
I introduced myself and observed that it looked like he had a big operation going on behind us.
"Well," he dragged out the word. "We have some horses and a miniature donkey."
Aha! I sensed common ground (he'd lost me momentarily at the cowboy church reference). "We need to talk to you, then," I said. "We've been wanting to get a miniature donkey."
He pulled at his ball cap again. "Well, I've had her a long time. I don't reckon that I'm wanting to give her up."
So now I was not only the crazy neighbor wearing one shoe and waving a fritter around, I was trying to take away his precious miniature donkey.
"I didn't mean your donkey." I hurried to reassure him. "I just thought you could give us some tips."
After this, our conversation progressed smoothly. His wife came out of the car and we talked about sheep, camping, chickens and horses. (Our area is very horsey). We exchanged phone numbers and parted with the words "Good to meet you!" and "Stop by any time" on our lips.
I went inside, found my other shoe, and celebrated by eating that last fritter.
adapted from Smitten Kitchen (go read hers and look at her beautiful pictures. Her detailed directions are great!)
1 lb of zucchini, grated
1 teaspoon of salt
2 scallions, split lengthwise and sliced thin
1 egg, lightly beaten
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking power
(I added 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper to the second half of the batch)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon lemon zest
1 small garlic clove, minced
Heat oven to 200 degrees. In a colander, toss grated zucchini with salt. Let rest 10 minutes. This will draw out the excess moisture. In a cheesecloth or towel (or paper towel because your cheesecloths are dirty) squeeze small sections of the zucchini until most of the liquid is squeezed out. It will be a lot. In a bowl, mix zucchini with the egg, scallions and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder together. Add to zucchini mixture and stir to combine. Over medium heat, fill the bottom of a cast iron skillet (or whatever skillet you use) with oil. Heat over medium heat. Add spoonfuls of the fritter batter, using a wooden spoon to flatten into little zucchini pancakes. Cook until brown and flip over to cook the other side (about 2-3 minutes per side for me). Drain briefly on a paper towel them move to the oven to keep warm. Deb suggests keeping them in there for 10 minutes to keep them crispy, and I can vouch for the success. No more soggy fritters for me!
Stay tuned for the continuing zucchini fritter adventures.