And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for…..The Phatman goes vegetarian! That’s right, I just can’t in good conscience continue to consume any more sweet, furry, juicy, scrumptious, succulent, tasty, cute animals anymore. Just kidding. As we speak I am sucking on an animal bone right now, uh wait a minute. Anyway, I still love meat but every once in a while I do something crazy and whip up something that ain’t got no meat in it. Have no fear though, this would actually go great with all kinds of meat. Come to think of it I bet I can add some sexy cubed up pancetta to this recipe and make it even more kick ass. As I was saying, you ever think to yourself, gee I have all these phallic veggies staring at me from the fridge and I don’t know what to do with them? You ask yourselves weird questions. But since you asked, why not whip up a batch of these bad boys?
3 Medium zucchini
Sea salt and black pepper
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Large Onion-thinly sliced
3 Large eggs
7 oz Feta cheese-diced and smushed
A few sprigs of fresh mint-leaves chopped
2 Tbsps pine nuts
3-4 Tbsps most-purpose flour
Italian Parsley sprigs (or North American parsley sprigs with Italian roots)
More Olive oil
So let’s start with trimming the tips off the zucchini. You would think that something like that wouldn’t need to be said but I think we’ve all ended up with some kind of metaphorical zucchini tip in our mouths at some point, even in fancy restaurants. Once trimmed go ahead and grate all the zucchs coarsely, meaning with anger and jealousy-like a scorned lover- into a strainer over a mixing bowl. That part is key that it be into a strainer. Each zucchini holds about 40 litres of water, or 10 gallons for my American friends, and if you try to fritter them like that it ain’t gonna be pretty. Now that they are in the strainer add a few pinches of salt and mix them around with your hands to incorporate the salt. Haha, incorporate the salt…just don’t name the pepper the CEO. Jesus, that line was terrible. If only there was some magic way to edit that out. Now let the zucchini stand for at least 10 minutes then squeeze out the rest of the moisture with your hands. Get the zucchini into a medium sized mixing bowl, NOW damn it!
Now whip out a large skillet or what we in Canada call a pan and heat up the 2 tbsps of olive oil on a medium high heat. Sauté the sliced onions in there for about 5 minutes or so, adding some salt and pepper, until they get soft. Remove them from the heat and let them cool down a little for a few minutes before you mix them well with the grated zucchs. This recipe, which I found in Gordon Ramsay’s World Kitchen, did not call for the pine nuts to be toasted but I toasted mine at this point cause who doesn’t love nice, warm, toasty nuts? Add the eggs (shells carefully removed but not cracked or broken), the feta cheese, the mint and about 3 tbsps of flour. Grind in a ton of pepper to taste but at this point I wouldn’t add any salt since feta cheese is all salty and stuff already. If, when they’re ready, you find that they are lacking in salt just sprinkle some on when you serve them. Mix everything well by hand. I forgot to mention, don’t wear fancy clothes when you make this cause it’s a goopy, sticky, floury kind of dish that will get you dirty. I still found the mixture to be too wet at this point so I added about another 2 tbsps of flour to it. You really don’t want to see liquid floating around in the bowl.
This recipe makes about 24 sexy little fritters so unless you have a pan that covers all 4 of your burners you will need to cook these in batches. So heat up some oil, about another 2 tbsps, in a NONSTICK pan on a medium high heat. The nonstick part is important as is making sure you let your pan get nice and hot. My first 4 fritters flopped fabulously from frying in a not nonsticky enough pan and not enough heat. They just ended up a gloopy mess that I could not flip. So no flip meant big flop. Once I got the right pan and got it good and hot we were rolling. Fry these bad boys up in batches of 4, making sure you’ve got at least 2 inches of space betwixt each one. They should get golden brown after about 2 minutes or so. Flip them and get them to the same goldenness on the other side. If you find they’re getting too dark from using the same oil you can give the pan a good wipe with a few paper towels and add a bit more oil after two batches. As each batch is ready plop them onto a warm plate in the oven lined with paper towels. Wait, don’t line the oven with paper towels, line the plate with them. I don’t mean to make you feel dumb with comments like that. Just keep in mind we live in a world where a man once wrote a scathing letter to Preparation H telling them he wanted his money back because he brushed his teeth with their product every single day until the tube was empty but his hemorroids had only gotten worse. No, I am not making that up and that may actually be the second time I reference hemorroids in this blog. You’re welcome.
So, now you are staring at a beautiful pile of zucchini fritters! Too bad that last little anecdote likely ruined your appetite. No worries about that though because this is a dish that keeps great in fridge for a few days and can be popped back in the oven on a low heat to serve to guests as sexy finger food. Or like I discovered, they can be thrown into the toaster and devoured as a pretty original, tasty breakfast. These were really good with a little freshly squoze lemon on top and some parsley but I’m sure a zingy little mayo dip or hell, even a spicy ketchup concoction would work well. The saltiness of the feta goes nicely with the freshness of the mint and let’s be honest, fried onions make everything better.
I had this as a meal on its own with some salad since I didn’t really know how they’d turn out but they really work best as a unique finger food at a party. In the end, all that matters is what others think of you so make this and people will think you are super cool.