Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Crispy Zucchini Pancakes
I’d been meaning to make these for the longest time. The reviews of Barefoot Contessa’s recipe were highly favorable, plus I love anything fried and crispy. And besides, who couldn’t use a new way to prepare the ubiquitous zucchini?
I’m delighted to say that the hoopla was well-deserved. These. Are. Phenomenal.
But there’s no need to take my word for it. I put them to the test and made a double batch for a fruit and vegetable-themed cooking class that I did for clients last month. Not only were they a hit, even the pickiest eaters came back for 2nds and 3rds. I could barely keep up production!
Then a couple weeks ago, I was asked to teach a one-hour cooking class for a kids’ summer camp. In addition to homemade hummus and raspberry fruit dip, I thought little silver dollar sized green pancakes would be fun. While they sizzled on the griddle, the teacher read Pancakes, Pancakes! By Eric Carle, which talks about the lengths a little boy has to go to have pancakes for breakfast (milling the wheat, gathering eggs, milking the cow and boiling down maple sap). By the time the story was done, so were our little pancakes. The kids eagerly gobbled them up with comments like, “15 stars!” and, “These would be GREAT for St. Patrick’s Day!”
You really have no excuse for not eating your veggies.
If you think zucchini is boring, try this recipe. It can be served hot and crispy with sour cream and salmon or as a simple side dish to your entrée. You could even fold a little cheese into the batter. Adapted from a Barefoot Contessa at Home recipe.
2 medium zucchini (about 3/4 pound)
1/4 cup grated onion
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 to 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
A few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
Butter and vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the zucchini into a bowl. Add the grated onion and eggs; stir well. Stir in 6 tablespoons of the flour, the baking powder, salt and pepper. If your zucchini are on the watery side, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour.
Heat a large skillet (I like using cast iron) over medium heat and add a ½ tablespoon each of butter and oil (or you can use all oil). When the butter is hot but not smoking, lower the heat to medium-low and drop heaping spoons of batter into the pan. Cook the pancakes about 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place the pancakes on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you continue frying the rest, wiping out the pan with a dry paper towel and adding more butter and oil in between batches. The pancakes can stay warm for up to 30 minutes in the oven. Serve hot.