Saturday, August 8, 2009

I have Zucchini in the freezer... Now What?!

Ever had Huevos Rancheros? Know how the gummy tortilla always kills the love?
For this - and for so many other reasons, it is time to embark on the Zucchini-Potato Pancake.

Much like the traditional potato pancake it has the crispy edges, the soft inside, but the zucchini works it's magic and makes it something entirely new. Suddenly zucchini under everything is a great, GREAT idea. And the subtle sweetness of the zucchini means you can monkey with the spices and make it sweet or savory. Breakfast through Dinner! (I concede... dessert might be pushing it. Wait for the Mexican Chocolate Zucchini bread.)

In fact this is the Very First original zucchini recipe that made my husband dive in head first.

So get out the salad spinner, the food processor and a cast iron skillet (or other heavy bottomed 8" - 12" pan that is NOT non-stick. Browning is IMPORTANT here).

Ingredients: (for the very BASIC version)
1C Grated Zucchini (thawed and spun/drained if coming from the freezer)
1 C Grated Potato (Waxy or Medium... NOT FLOURY. This means little yellow or red Thin Skinned potatoes. Russets will make something different) Drain this by giving it a spin too.
1/2 Grated Yellow Onion - you guessed it... spin it too!
about 1/4 cup flour or other granulated starch (potato flour, arrowroot starch etc. for my NO GLUTEN friends)
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg beaten
1 Tbs oil for your skillet
***See bottom of Post for variations***

How To:
Get everything grated and spun. Mix together all the vegetable matter. Mix together the flour (or other starch) and the salt. Sprinkle on the veg. mixture. Toss it around gently with your hands, making sure the flour(etc.) gets everywhere.
Heat up the skillet - about 3 min - over med-high heat. Then add the oil and heat 1 more min - until oil gets hot enough to sizzle a shred of something.
While the pan is heating, break the egg in a small bowl, lightly beat it - just to get it all stirred up - pour over the zucchini & etc. Stir in gently, but quickly with a fork or your hands.
As soon as the pan is ready, make pancakes the size you want - from silver-dollar-sized to the whole pan. Just make sure they are no more than 1/4" thick.
Keep an eye on it (you can even peek underneath). When the bottom begins to get golden brown - FLIP! When they are golden brown in crispy on the bottom too... they are done!

Eat some as soon as they are cool with black pepper.
Eat the rest however you want. I would suggest with Garlic & Mint Yogurt Cheese, or Basil Vinaigrette, or w/ Green Tomatillo Salsa, or under Huevos Rancheros, or as a side to Fajitas....
OK, stopping now.

This recipe can be doubled, tripled and so on... just so long as you do the flour and egg adding in batches. Also, when you run low on oil, add some more to the pan so you keep getting that nice browning. Then when you have made as many as you can stand...
These can be cooled and frozen, stored in a nice airtight container, then toasted in your toaster. You look like a genius.

Next Time... time out for Yogurt Cheese (AT LAST!)

Add sweet onion instead of yellow onion, nutmeg and cardamom (about 1/4 tsp each) for a breakfast version.

Grate some jalapeno in with the onion, and top with lime juice for pairing with Mexican dishes.

Grate in some cornichons - or even good ol' dill pickles and top with tuna salad.

Sprinkle some smoked paprika, cumin and tumeric into the flour mixture and serve w/ Spanish or North African dishes.

And on & on & on!

No comments: