Monday, July 26, 2010

This Never Happens

One of the things in life that gives me great joy is cooking. I love to cook dinner because it is the perfect way for me to forget work for an hour or two while I create something (hopefully) delicious.

This means that before leaving work, I'll hop onto Epicurious or Food and Wine to figure out what I'm going to make and print up a recipe (in case I need to fetch any ingredients at the Whole Foods conveniently located on the way home from work.

I wouldn't say my fridge is generally well-stocked (especially not lately with all the work-travel I've been doing) so frequently what happens is that ingredients beget other ingredients. For example, last week, I made Ina Garten's Pan-Fried Onion Dip for WTF Friday (kind of like happy hour) at work.  That recipe calls for cream cheese, but only 4 ounces, so I had the rest of the bar of cream cheese leftover. Sunday lent itself to picking up a bagel, some smoked salmon, and dill for a little mini-brunch feast. Then today I had on hand the salmon, sour cream (also left over from the dip) dill, zucchini on its last legs from my farm box, and some eggs. I typed these things into Epi and poof! This recipe popped up. I had all the ingredients at home. Every last one! That never happens. Something of a Monday miracle if you ask me.

Zucchini Cakes with Smoked Trout Bon App├ętit
June 2010
by Tori Ritchie
Grated zucchini gives these fritters a fresh flavor and a tender texture. Excellent served with Champagne.

Yield: Makes about 24
1 pound zucchini, trimmed, coarsely grated in processor
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 large egg plus 1 large egg white, beaten to blend
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil (for frying)
1/3 cup (about) sour cream
2 ounces smoked trout or smoked salmon, broken into 1 x 1/2-inch pieces
Chopped fresh dill

Place zucchini in colander set over bowl; sprinkle with salt and toss to coat. Place small plate atop zucchini to weigh down. Let stand 30 minutes to drain.

Squeeze zucchini as dry as possible in kitchen towel. Transfer zucchini to medium bowl. Stir in flour, Parmesan, and shallot, then stir in beaten egg mixture and pepper.

Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush large nonstick skillet with enough oil to coat; heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, drop zucchini mixture into skillet by scant 1 tablespoonfuls, spacing apart. Using spatula, flatten cakes to 2-inch rounds. Cook until golden on bottom, brushing skillet with more oil as needed between batches, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer cakes to prepared baking sheet. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool completely, then cover and chill. Rewarm uncovered in 325°F oven until heated through, about 10 minutes.

Place warm zucchini cakes on platter. Top each with small dollop of sour cream and piece of smoked trout. Sprinkle with chopped dill and serve.

If you can read this blog, you can read a recipe, so I'm just going to focus on a few parts of this:

1. They are not kidding when they say to drain the zucchini. Mine gave off fully 3/4 cup of liquid. That's a lot of juice!

2. Here's the batter being fried up. I used way less oil than they recommend and it was totally fine in my nonstick pan.

And here's the finished product!

Yum. Somehow this recipe made 9 2" cakes rather than 24. Which is good because I ate them all for dinner. I may have not put in enough zucchini (think I probably had closer to half a pound than a full pound) but all in all a successful result. And if I can figure out how to make them a little smaller, I think these cakes could be really great hors d'oeuvres. Other than the draining the zukes, this was quick to pull together.

I'm also still working on how best to photograph the food...but not a bad first effort, right?

1 comment:

Lindy said...

The pictures are great! Maybe you'll inspire me to cook.