We were blessed with some great zucchini’s from a friend of ours this past week, but since it’s not something I normally purchase, it sort of sat in the fridge for a few days. Then I remembered those yummy fried zucchini appetizers that you can get at some restaurants and I figured, how hard can it be?? So I looked up a recipe on recipezaar.com and came up with this one from Uncle Bill, which had lots of great reviews.
I pretty much followed the recipe exactly as written, though I do think you need more saltine crumbs then called for. I also did the bowl method instead of the ziploc baggies, and used a pair of metal tongs to handle all of the zucchini pieces. I tried using my fingers, but after the first one I realized that was not going to work so well as the eggs and crumbs really stuck to my fingers a lot! Also, if you don’t want your zucchini to be too mushy, make sure the oil temperature is fairly hot, your strips should start frying/bubbling as soon as you put them in the oil. I find that cutting them about 3/4 of an inch wide and 3/8ths of an inch thick tastes best for us, as we like a lot of “crumb crust” along with our zucchini 😉
I used both olive oil yesterday and canola oil today, both work great! I’m not really into “deep” frying anything, but rather I poured just under a 1/2 inch of oil into a small pot, frying in small batches. I just hate to waste the oil, especially if it’s olive oil as that can get expensive! I made a horseradish mayo to go with these, but my husband likes them with pizza sauce the best.
Oh, and the cheese sticks were totally my daughters idea, as she loves mozzarella sticks! I was a little wary at first, thinking I would have big oozing mess all over, but I gave it a try. Here’s what I’ve learned.
- make sure the cheese is straight from the fridge, nice and cold. It doesn’t have to be mozzarella, I think any firm cheese would well.
- the oil needs to be just a little hotter then what you used for the fried zucchini, as you want these to cook fast. It actually doesn’t take longer then 30 seconds of so for the cheese to get hot, so a quick 30 seconds on each side is what you want to shoot for…maybe even less then that. If you leave them in too long they WILL start to ooze and if the oil is not hot enough they will actually fall apart a bit and stay flimsy.
- since I put in a shallow amount of oil to save a little money, I found that the best measurement to cut my cheese to was 3/4 on an inch wide by 1/4 of an inch thick.
- these disappear FAST, so make quite a few!
So next time you are craving fried cheese or veggies, give this recipe a try instead of going out to eat and save yourself a few bucks! The breading in the recipe would work well for almost anything really, I may try cauliflower and mushrooms next!