Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Zucchini Pancakes

I can remember the moist zucchini-walnut bread my mother used to make when I was growing up. That, coupled with her infamous carrot bread, were worthy treats in the house and always much appreciated. In my years away from home I craved the breads (mind you, not cakes) and often called, requesting a loaf to be air-mailed to me without haste. Lucky for me, my mother usually obliged.

These days she has misplaced the treasured zucchini bread recipe. Sure it came from the depths of Joy of Cooking, we have failed to find the true source of the recipe; unable to replicate its sweet and wholesome moistness.

I bought these zucchinis craving that loved bread. Knowing D has a (vocal) aversion to squash—though once confronted with it will often happily eat it—I was sure I would be dining on these fruits alone. (And yes, zucchinis are in fact, a fruit.)

Knowing the bread eluded me, I began preparing these zucchinis much the same way my mother would have: by grating them into a tall pile. I continued on the fly: Throwing in a few more ingredients and sticking these on a hot buttered skillet. These might just be the next best thing—even better, D played a vanishing act finishing his in no time flat-- allowing me to dine with company.

Though I still crave that bread, I can happily buy zucchinis for the remainder of its soon-to-be-over season. We enjoyed these cakes so much, I’m thinking of attempting them in the bucket garden next year (even better, we would then have fresh squash flowers for frying!)

Oh, and that menacing darkness that hovers closely behind the zucchini cakes in this picture? Some leftover Louisiana-style beans made with a leftover ham shoulder—the combination was delicious! These pancakes are great for breakfast with a poached egg or as a dinner with beans (as pictured here). They can be added to a sandwich (a sort of veggie burger), had with a sour cream based dipping sauce, or simply snacked on the go. They are also quick and easy to make.

Makes about 12 4-inch pancakes. Active time= about 30 minutes.
* 2 large zucchinis
* 2 eggs
* 2 teaspoons cumin
* 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
* ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
* 1 teaspoon chili pepper
* 2 dashes Tabasco sauce
* 1 teaspoon salt
* fresh ground pepper to taste
* 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

1) Grate zucchinis. Grab up a small handful of grated zucchini and wring out the excess water over the sink. Set drained zucchini in a medium bowl, set aside. Continue until all zucchini is drained then dab with a paper towel to get remaining moisture out.
2) Add eggs, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, Parmesan, chili pepper, Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper to the bowl.
3) Use hands to incorporate all ingredients evenly.
4) Place butter on a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once pan and butter are hot (butter will subside its bubbling and smell nutty), place small even handfuls of the zucchini mixture around the pan, use a spatula to gently press the pancakes flat. Allow to cook about 5 minutes each side, until golden brown. Serve warm, topped with fresh grated Parmesan.

Hop on over to Sweetnick's for ARF Tuesday!

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