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Archive for July, 2012

Zucchini season

Any day now, the rabbits are going to stop biting my zucchini flowers off and we’re going to have an overabundance of the vegetable. I have 3 plants that are going crazy and two that almost seem to be like one of those twins that loses all of its nutrients to the stronger twin. What are those called? Anyway, I think I’m going to have to get rid of those two because they’re not doing enough to waste water on in this Midwestern drought.

Once they do take off and I get more than one zucchini, which is all I’ve had so far, I have this recipe in mind. I haven’t actually tried it but in case you get zucchini sooner than I do, especially in more southern states, I thought I’d pass it along.

Zucchini Fritters

2 tbsp flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups grated zucchini
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
vegetable oil
sour cream

Ina  medium bowl, combine the flour, eggs, salt, and pepper. Add the zucchini, shallots, and parsley and mix well. Heat 1/8 of a cup of vegetable oil in a large skillet. Drop the mixture, by tablespoons, into the hot oil. Cook until each side is golden brown and drain on paper towels. Makes about 30 fritters. Serve hot with sour cream.

Credit: Life’s Little Zucchini Cookbook: 101 Zucchini Recipes by Joan Bestwick

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Categories: Food, gardening

My dad’s raw fried potatoes

Sometimes, when I really find myself missing my dad, I make these potatoes. He passed away in 1999 and about 2 years before that, told me he was taking his recipes for canned beef and raw fried potatoes to his grave. I think at the time, he was kidding, but he ended up telling the truth. I’ve kind of figured out the beef but it’s still a process and since beef isn’t cheap, I don’t try often because messing it up means wasting expensive food. The potatoes, though? After years and years, I finally figured it out.

I made these tonight, although I wasn’t feeling particularly lonely for my dad. I just wanted something different than my usual potatoes. It really hit the spot.

4 medium potatoes, peeled and grated (it’s so, so much easier if you have a machine like a Salad Shooter for this but before he got one, he used a grater. Also, I do not mean slices. I mean shredded.)
1/2 small onion, diced very small
salt and pepper
vegetable oil

Now, I know you aren’t going to know the difference but I am telling you that in order to truly taste my dad’s potatoes, you need a cast iron skillet. This was the missing piece in the recipe that I couldn’t figure out until I happened to use one once. The pan makes a difference. If you don’t have one, I don’t guess it’ll matter because you didn’t even know my dad, but there truly is a difference. If you can use one, do.

Anyway, drizzle a couple of tablespoons of oil in the skillet and heat over medium heat. As you’re working with the pan and heating it, cutting the onions, and so on, the potatoes will discolor to brown a bit. That’s okay. It won’t hurt anything. Since my dad used to use a grater before he got a salad shooter, you can imagine that the potatoes were often brown by the time he cooked them.

When the pan is heated, add the potatoes and onion. Spread evenly in the pan so it makes something like a giant hashbrown, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, and cover. Now, leave it alone. You want the bottom to brown a bit. Once the bottom browns, which will take about 7-8 minutes, flip it over. It won’t be a perfect hashbrown but most of it should hold together. Cover and cook another 7-8 minutes. At that point, it should be done but taste test it first before you turn off the flame.

Once the potatoes are tender, that’s it. I eat mine with ketchup and in order to make authentic Harvey raw fried potatoes, it’s kind of important that you spread a layer of ketchup over them, but I don’t think he’ll mind if you don’t.

It’s simple comfort food for me and it really fills the tummy.

Enjoy, or as my dad would say, “I’ll drink to that!”

Categories: Food

Baked cinnamon tortilla chips and fruit salsa

6 soft flour tortillas
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
butter or margarine
2 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
8 strawberries, hulled and diced
splash of lemon juice
Remainder of cinnamon and sugar from tortillas plus another 2 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Butter one side of tortilla and sprinkle sugar mixture over the butter, shaking excess back into bowl. Slice into 8 triangles. Arrange on ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Bake 10 minutes until crisp. (You are going to need several cookie sheets or to do this in shifts.)

Meanwhile, combine fruit, lemon juice, and sugar mixture in small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until fruit begins to make juice and soften.

Serve together. Makes a great breakfast or dessert.

Categories: Food