I realize that for purposes of aesthetics you should stack items like cookies and fritters. The problem is this is a food blog. I just happen to like my camera and playing with it. Food, on the other hand, I take seriously. No one serves zucchini fritters in a stack and you surely don’t eat them that way.
This is a beautiful and delicious dish. Of course, it’s fried and almost everything tastes better fried. When I was younger I ate lots of fried food, i.e. fried chicken, fried turkey, fried pies, french fries, fried shrimp, gator tail, chicken fried steak, etc. The hot oil sears things so well resulting in flavorful, moist food with a crunch factor like none other. Nowadays, my doctor tells me not to eat fried food. The media tells me the horrors about transfats from fried foods. Everywhere you turn someone is warning you not to eat fried food. Unfortunately, they are correct and fried foods really aren’t healthy despite their unbelievably wonderful flavor and texture. Nonetheless, I still get the hankerin for fried foods. Now I try to do it in a more healthful fashion, for instance, these zucchini fritters.
For the Fritters
- 1 pound zucchini (2 medium size)
- 1-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 scallions, julienned
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 package softened cream cheese (low fat if you’re watching those things like me)
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 small minced or crushed clove of garlic
- salt to taste
To make the fritters: Trim ends off zucchini and grate. In a large bowl, toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and set aside for 10 minutes to macerate. Wrap the zucchini in a clean dishtowel or sheet of cheese cloth and wring out the excess water. This will save the fritters from becoming soggy.
Return zucchini shreds to bowl. Add 1/2 tsp salt. Stir in scallions, egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a tiny dish, mix the flour and baking powder, then stir the dry mix into the zucchini batter.
To cook the fritters: In a large heavy, preferably cast iron, skillet heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. To see if the pan is hot enough, drop a small amount of water on the surface, if it sizzles immediately, it’s ready. Another test is to place a cube of bread in the oil. When it sizzles, it’s ready. You can also put an uncooked popcorn kernel in the oil. When it pops, you know the oil is between 350 – 365 F. Last, you can place the end of a wooden spoon in the oil. When the bubbles surround it, it’s ready. The more bubbles, the hotter the oil. Just remember to only use wooden spoon, plastic can melt. I prefer the popcorn test because it gives you an actual range of temperature.
When you get the skillet and oil hot, measure out 1/4 cup servings of the fritter batter and drop them onto the skillet 3 – 4 at a time. Gently flatten the mounds with the back of your spatula. Be careful not to overcrowd the skillet. The more crowded the skillet, the more the temperature will drop, the harder it will become to get the desired doneness and the more difficult it will be to turn the fritters. Cook the fritters over medium high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes depending upon your heat. If needed, increase the heat. When the fritters have turned golden brown on the bottom, flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until nicely browned, another 2 – 3 minutes.
Remove the fritters from the skillet and place on a rack to drain briefly. Draining on paper towels will lead to soggy fried foods. After a few minutes, transfer the fritters to baking sheet and put them in a warm oven until needed.
For the dipping sauce: In the meantime, mix together the lemon zest, crushed garlic, softened cream cheese and white wine. Season with salt to taste. Baby Lady says this needs to be kicked up a notch, so if that is your thing, add a little cayenne pepper. I like it without any additional heat.
To serve: place 2 tablespoons of the dipping sauce in the middle of the plate. Take 3 fritters and arrange around the dipping sauce. Serve and Enjoy!