Thursday, September 20, 2012

Zucchini with Onion & Brown Sugar

IMG_5467eThis month for the Improv Cooking Challenge our hostess Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker asked the participating bloggers to make any recipe of their choosing using the two given ingredients of zucchini & brown sugar.  My first thought of course was a zucchini cake as I have a lovely and delicious recipe but as I’ve been trying to avoid carbs and Maisie with her allergies can’t have it and well, Eammon just doesn’t need it… I decided to go in a different direction.  I found a recipe on Sarah’s blog, My Culinary Sanctuary for Zucchini Squash and Onions with Brown Sugar and it sounded and looked delicious so I figured I’d give it a try. 

IMG_5463eThe recipe was simple enough.  I just chopped up an onion and a nice big zucchini fresh from the garden and then it was an easy sauté to an absolutely wonderful end.  I honestly didn’t know if this recipe would be a hit or not but I was blown away with how delicious such a simple recipe could be.  The onions were sweet, the flavor of the zucchini shone through and the touch of butter gave the sauce a velvety mouth feel.  The brown sugar didn’t make the recipe sweet but just seemed to enhance the natural sweetness of the ingredients.  I highly recommend that you give this recipe a try, you won’t be disappointed.

My previous Improv Cooking Challenge entries:

August 2012  Tomatoes & Peppers:  French Fries Hash Browns 
July 2012  Corn & Butter:  Fritos Crusted Pollock 
June 2012  Cherries & Almonds:  Dried Cherry Almond Tart 
May 2012  Strawberries & Cream:  Strawberry Soup 
April 2012  Peanut butter & Jelly:  Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars 
March 2012  Potato & Cheese:  Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole 
February 2012  Ginger & Carrots:  Shrimp & Avocado Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing 
January 2012 Lemon & Sour Cream:  Ponderosa Lemon & Sour Cream Tart 
December 2011 Eggnog & Cranberries:  Eggnog Popovers with Cranberry Butter 
November 2011 Pumpkin & Cream Cheese:  Praline Pumpkin Cheesecake 
October 2011 Caramel & Apples:  Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies

IMG_5466eZucchini with Onion & Brown Sugar (very slightly adapted from here)

Slice the onion and zucchini.  In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the onions and let them cook until they start to caramelize.  Add the zucchini, salt, pepper & Whey Low Gold or brown sugar.  Mix everything well, cover and let cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  After 20 minutes remove the lid and if there is a large amount of liquid, cook uncovered for a few minutes allowing the liquid to reduce, (I did not have much liquid so I skipped that step.)


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Crispy Zucchini Chips

IMG_5411eI have been promising a friend, ever since I had her try my Crispy Zucchini Chips, that I would post the recipe so here it is, finally!  I’ve been seeing all sorts of veggie chips all over the internet and when I pulled a giant zucchini from our garden I decided to give it a go.  I tried a few different methods, baking in the oven, using the crisper pan in the convection/microwave but what I found worked best was just using the straight microwave. 

IMG_5388eThe process was super simple, I used my mandolin to thinly and evenly slice the zucchini.

IMG_5395eOn a microwave safe plate, sprayed with cooking spray, I laid the zucchini slices so that they were not overlapping.  I lightly spayed a bit more cooking spray on top of the zucchini and a super light dusting of sea salt then into the microwave.

IMG_5397eIn my microwave it took 6 minutes, 20 seconds and I had perfectly crisp and golden chips.  I’ll tell you that these chips are totally addictive and the fact that I got as many on the plate to photograph as I did is amazing as I thought that I was eating them as quickly as they were coming out of the microwave.  I’ve made a few batches thus far and the ones that I don’t devour immediately I store on the counter sealed in a Lock & Lock.  As I said, these chips were a huge success with everyone and what an easy and great way to eat your veggies.  I hope that you’ll make these Crispy Zucchini Chips and that you and your family enjoy them as much as we do.

IMG_5409eCrispy Zucchini Chips

Using a mandolin, thinly and evenly slice the zucchini.  Spray a microwave safe plate with cooking spray and lay a single layer of zucchini on the plate without overlapping the slices.  Lightly mist the top of the zucchini with additional cooking spray and very lightly dust with sea salt (use a lot less salt than you think you’ll need as the flavor will concentrate as the zucchini cooks)  Microwave for approximately 6 minutes, until the zucchini is crisp and golden.  Remove to another plate to cool.  Once cool store in a sealed container at room temperature.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Fried Green Tomatoes

IMG_0598eDo you remember your first time?  Okay get your head out of the gutter, I’m talking about the first time you ate something that totally rocked your world?  Well for me it was the first time I tried a fried green tomato and I still remember the experience vividly.  I had recently made the move from New England to the south and was living down the road from Marietta Square where on the weekends the Marietta Square Farmer’s Market was held.  I loved to wander up there to pick up fresh veggies, baked goods and other treats.  On one of my very first visits there was a vendor selling tomatoes and in his stall he was cooking up samples of fried green tomatoes.  They smelled absolutely wonderful but when he told me what they were, I honestly turned my nose up at them…but the smell…well I just had to take a taste and WOW, they were absolutely magical.  How is it that Southerners have been eating and enjoying Fried Green Tomatoes forever but us Northerners seemed to know nothing about them?  Is the secret of Fried Green Tomatoes kept from us Northerners as a way to one-up us after the whole North vs. South conflict?  Well no matter the reason, since that fateful day this former Northerner has delighted in eating Fried Green Tomatoes, usually at my favorite little lunch spot in the form of their Fried Green Tomato Sandwich.  

IMG_5400e Now though, thanks to Amanda’s blog Dancing Veggies my Secret Recipe Club assignment this month, I have a super awesome recipe for fried green tomatoes.  I enjoyed reading through Amanda’s blog, trying to figure out songs based on the lyrics she uses as blog titles and of course reading her recipes.  Amanda’s recipes were mostly vegetarian and I found them inviting as they were simple to make and used everyday ingredients.  While I realized that I really stank at figuring out most of the songs, I found that I was really good at wanting to try many of her recipes including her Zucchini Parmesan Crisps, Slow Cooker Coconut Curry and Slow Cooker Eggplant Korma but as soon as I saw her fried green tomato recipe it was all over, I knew what I’d be making…Plus I had a garden which was overflowing with tomatoes, red & green…how perfect was that! 

IMG_0594eThe Fried Green Tomatoes I made were absolutely delightful and brought back wonderful memories of that first one I tried years ago at the Farmer’s Market.  The crunchy coating on the tomato was a bit gritty from the cornmeal and was a wonderful contrast to the tomato itself which was smooth and al dente and provided the perfect resistance to the bite though it had been cooked through.  The flavor of the tomato was delicate and just a tad tart which worked beautifully with the slight little kick and heat from the cayenne in the coating.  I’ll admit it, the first time I made these tomatoes I ate almost all of them myself and it wasn’t that no one else wanted or liked them but it was because I didn’t want to share.  In the end, over the course of the month since I first received my assignment, I made three batches of Fried Green Tomatoes so that others could enjoy them too.  Me, I adore Fried Green Tomatoes, I could eat Fried Green Tomatoes daily for the rest of my life and I also found that I love Fried Green Tomatoes however they are served, hot, room temperature and even cold from the fridge, anyway you slice the green tomato I’m addicted.  If there’s a support group for my Fried Green Tomato addiction I don’t want to know.  So happy that I moved to the South, not only did I get away from snow in the winter but I also found a new love, Fried Green Tomatoes …total YUM!! 

IMG_0599eFried Green Tomatoes (slightly adapted from here)
  • 6 large green tomatoes, sliced 1/2 in thick
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (I prepare from powered as I don’t keep fresh buttermilk in the house and this always works wonderfully)  
  • 3/4 cup corn meal 
  • 1/3 cup flour 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne powder  
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt   
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • peanut oil or oil of your choice

In a large cast iron skillet heat about 1/4-inch of oil over medium high heat. 

In a wide shallow bowl whisk together the eggs & buttermilk.  In a separate dish combine the corn meal, flour, cayenne, salt & pepper.  One at a time dip the tomato slices in the egg mixture then lay in the corn meal mixture and cover the tomato completely with the coating..

Once the oil is hot, add the coated tomatoes to the hot oil being sure not over crowd the pan. Cook the tomatoes until golden brown on both sides, trying to only turn one time once the bottom side is cooked and golden. Remove from the oil allowing all the excess oil to drain back into the pan and then place the tomato slices on a wire cooling rack which is covered with a paper towels.  Season with salt.  Serve hot, warm or cold, any way you eat them they are delicious!


My previous Secret Recipe Club Recipe Posts:

Chicken Satay Noodle Salad 
Double Chocolate Mousse Cake 
Candied Popcorn
Fruit, Nut & Poppy Seed Chicken Salad 
Broiled Sushi 
Health(ier) Peanut Brittle 
Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites 
Texas Chicken with Lime Butter 
Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens 
Thin Mint Irish Coffee 
Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies 
Welsh Cakes 
Nutella Crêpes 
Cilantro Lime Chicken 
Holy Guacamole 
Home Style Chicken Curry

Secret Recipe Club
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