Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Zucchini Cake lab coat required

Zucchini, I just love that unique and just simple great food!  Zucchini is a fabulously tasting summer squash that is also full of some great vitamins and super healthily!  So, I decided to make zucchini cakes...I mean when I get to experiment with one of my favorite vegetables and turn it into something like a crab cake...can you really go wrong?  :)  I think not!

These zucchini cakes turned out light and fresh tasting and had a wonderfully crunchy outside and a creamy melt in your mouth inside.  Pure perfection in my opinion!

2 zucchinis (graded into shreds)
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 cup of bread crumbs (fresh works best, but store bought are fine)
1 egg
1/2 shallot, finely diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced (usually the equivalent of 1/2 a whole pepper)
1/4 cup of green bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 tsp of Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp of mayonnaise or plain yogurt
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup of panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp of vegetable oil for frying

Cut both ends off of zucchinis and grade into a strainer.  Place the strainer in a larger bowl and sprinkle the 1/2 tsp of Kosher salt over the shredded zucchini.  The salt helps to start the process of releasing moisture from the shredded zucchini and it will drip through the strainer into the outside bowl. After you have sprinkled the zucchini with the salt, let it stand for approximately 30 minutes.  While you are waiting on the salt to penetrate the zucchini, get the remaining ingredients out and dice the shallot and red bell pepper.  After 30 minutes, take a folder paper towel and lay over top of the zucchini and press down to further eliminate any excess moisture.  Continue to do this until the zucchini is fairly dry and you have about a tablespoon of liquid in the outside bowl.

Once the zucchini from the strainer and place into another bowl.  Continue preparation by adding all the other ingredients, except for the vegetable oil and panko bread crumbs.    Mix the ingredients well.  After mixing the ingredients, if the consistency is too wet, continue to add more breadcrumbs until the consistency is perfect for molding into patties.  When you have reached the right consistency (damp and thick), form into about 8 patties (usually a heaping Tbsp makes a good size patty).  

Sprinkle the panko bread crumbs into another plate.  Roll the patties in the panko bread crumbs until well coated.  This coating of panko will help create that crunchy outside on the patties. 

Place the patties onto some wax paper in a pan and place in the refrigerator to chill (approximately 30 minutes).  After your patties have been chilled and are firm, remove them from the fridge and heat the 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat.  Add the zucchini cakes to the pan and cook on both sides until browned (approximately 3-5 minutes each side).  Drain the cooked patties on a paper towel on a plate and serve immediately.  For a quick sauce, mix some chopped fresh herbs (such as chives and dill) and lemon juice and mayonnaise or just dip it in some simple ranch dressing.  Enjoy and remember to always make everything crazy good!! :)

"Always making it crazy good!" ~ Jodanna, the Crazy Good Cook