13 October 2012
I am late to be posting this, since zucchini season is pretty much over where I live, but here it is nonetheless. When I was retrieving my CSA share one week, another member mentioned he would make zucchini fritters for his family with the squash he just picked up. This sounded interesting to me, so I perused my cookbooks to no avail. The internet was more helpful, and I ended up adapting a recipe from Smitten Kitchen, which is itself an adaptation from Simply Recipes.
I made them three times. The first time, I had grated potatoes that had been hanging out in the kitchen for a few hours (spouse and a child made hash browns for an earlier meal) – i added them primarily to clean up. These were a big hit. The second time, I left out the potato, and that batch was more mushy – but I also made an error in the mixing order (zucchini to the egg before the flour? or something like that) which could have been the problem. The third time, I added potatoes in again, but they didn’t have as much time to sit around and the result was not as great as the first. Maybe the potato shreds really need to dry out? Or maybe it was a fluke? Two out of three children liked Batch 1 but one of them did not stay a long-term fan. Hopefully he’ll be willing to try again next summer, because I certainly plan to make them again!
(aka zucchini fritters meet hash browns)
Adapted from Zucchini Fritters at Smitten Kitchen
Yield: About 10 2 1/2 inch fritters
1 pound (about 2 medium) zucchini
1 teaspoon coarse or Kosher salt, plus extra to taste
~1 cup grated potatoes (as for hash browns)
2 scallions, split lengthwise and sliced thin
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
other seasonings you might like, to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying
Trim ends off zucchini and grate them with the shredding blade of a food processor (use the large holes of a box grater if you don’t have an FP). In a large bowl, toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and set aside for 10 minutes.
While you are waiting for zucchini to weep, mix together the flour, baking soda, and some freshly ground black pepper. In a separate bowl, mix the scallions with your lightly beaten egg.
Wring out the zucchini in one of the following ways: pressing it against the holes of a colander with a wooden spoon to extract the water, squeezing out small handfuls at a time, or wrapping it up in a clean dishtowel or piece of cheese cloth and wringing away. [I did all three, in order. More liquid came out at each step. At the end, you have a green ball, much more compact than the zucchini you started with!]
Taste the zuke shreds; and if you think it could benefit from more salt, add a little bit more (sk recommends 1/4 teaspoon).
Stir the green matter into the egg mixture, then add your potato shreds, and finally stir in the flour mixture.
In a large heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet and lightly flatten them with your spatula. Don’t crowd! Cook the fritters over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, from 3 to 4 minutes. If you find this happening too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain briefly on paper towels.
If you’re going to need to cook more than 2 batches, SK recommends that you ”transfer to baking sheet and then into the warm oven until needed. Repeat process, keeping the pan well-oiled, with remaining batter. I like to make sure that the fritters have at least 10 minutes in the oven to finish setting and getting extra crisp.” (I skipped this step, as I was able to make 6 fritters in my ~8″ cast iron skillet.) And if you want a lemony-garlic sour cream topping for your fritters, check out the Smitten Kitchen post – it was a nice addition the time I made it.