Our zucchini plant has taken over the garden. It is enormous, and when it makes zucchini, it makes gigantic zucchini all over the place. It makes zucchini the size of kids’ baseball bats. What to do with all this crazy vegetable goodness that my picky man will eat with gusto?
This was my first time making such a thing, and I’ll admit right here that I’m kind of scared of frying things in general. I hate the little burning drops of oil that fly up into your face and on your arms. I’m not particularly good at flipping things without ruining them. And, I’m in constant panic that if I don’t burn the food, then I might either burn the kitchen down or cause the smoke alarm to start going off and not be able to get it to stop. (Jinger, why do you have a cooking and crafting blog when you are constantly scared of doing those things? I think that the answer lies in the question, my dear friends.)
For this first go-round, I looked up a fantastic recipe from right here on smitten kitchen, and decided to face my fears head-on. (Full disclosure: I’m also nervous around my food processor, and the fact that it never seems to work properly makes me swear many, many times and wonder if just using a box grater would be faster and less nerve-wracking.)
Here’s my shredded zucchini, all full up with salt and letting go of all its water.
And here’s the part that I was excited about doing — squeezing the water out of the zucchini. I’ve seen so many TV chefs do this, and now I am a part of their cadre.
It was actually just kind of cold and weird, and required a lot more muscle than I previously thought.
Sad, deflated zucchini. Mixed it all up with some onions, egg, flour, pepper, and baking powder, and then couldn’t avoid the boiling oil any longer.
And nothing got ruined!
It was a kitchen miracle. Plus, they were extremely well-recieved. I’m still not a frying genius or anything, but I definitely got some confidence there.
So much that I did it all again the next week, and got fancy all up on that zucchini.
I’ve held a delusion in my head for a while that I could create something just as delicious as those corn cake-fritter-type-things that you can get at Whole Foods. I’m not there yet, but I think that this adaptation on smitten kitchen‘s recipe is getting close.
Close enough that I feel quite clever over here.
Because (guess what!) I get freaked out sometimes about branching out and modifying recipes and doing my own thing in the kitchen. I’d much rather think of myself as a craftsman rather than an artist in the kitchen because kitchen failure is a particularly shaming type of failure, to me anyway. However, moments like these that end with deliciously creamy, sweet, crispy-edged, and hearty zucchini and corn fritters like these make me quite proud.
Want to eat them, too? I know you do!
2 lbs. zucchini (about 4 medium zucchini, or 2 ginormous mutant homegrown ones)
1 15.25 oz. can of corn, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. coarse salt, plus extra to taste
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
olive or cooking oil, for frying
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Keep baking sheet warmed and ready in oven.
Trim ends off of zucchini and grate either with a food processor (if you’re ready to have an obscenity fit, like me) or with your box grater (which went much more smoothly the second time). Toss the shredded zucchini, drained corn, and coarse salt in a large bowl, and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Wring out the zucchini and corn mixture either in a colander or with a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth. Get out as much water as you can, as this prevents soggy fritters. Soggy fritters are gross.
Put the mixture back into the bowl and add salt to taste. The original recipe suggested 1/4 tsp. more per pound of zucchini, but I found that we needed just a touch more. Stir in the onions, eggs, pepper, flour, and cornmeal until fully moistened and well-blended.
Heat 2 tbsp. of oil over medium-high heat until super-hot and shimmering (I love this term). Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet and flatten them gently with your spoon or spatula. Cook the fritters for 2-3 minutes, until the edges underneath are golden brown. Flip the fritters and cook them on the opposite side for about 2-3 minutes more. Remove them from the oil, drain them on paper towels, and then place them on the pre-warmed baking sheet in the oven while you keep cooking. Keep making fritters until you just can’t make them anymore. Make sure that they stay in the oven long enough to set up properly and stay crisp until you’re ready to eat.
We ate these with just ketchup, and it was fabulous. The original recipe has a sour cream- or yogurt-based topping that goes with it, and that sounds amazing as well.
These keep in the fridge for about a week (if you can even make them last that long) or can be frozen for months and reheated when you’re ready. Yum!
With corn or without, the result is the same. Empty plates and happy people.