Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cheesy Zucchini Fritters

Of course, they're healthy. Why do you ask?

These are extremely flavorful, and they use quite a lot of zucchini, which is good news to all of you gardeners around this time of year. Quit leaving zucchini on people's doorsteps and in unlocked cars, already! You should make piles of these greasy fritters, instead.

I gleefully ate four or more of these for lunch and then felt sick for the next hour. They were that good. I'd like to try zucchini fritters that are like potato latkes, except made with zucchini and extra spices, but my first attempt was a bit more...indulgent. The cheeses turn the fritters into royalty, and spices can easily be adjusted to suit your tastes. I recommend serving a pile of fresh vegetables alongside these for lunch. I did not do this, but I bet if I'd tempered the fritters with something less decadent, I would've been fine with my gluttony.

(And once again, I showcase my stellar photography skillz with a cloth napkin and a zucchini blossom. Someday I'll be original, but that day is not yet here.)

2 medium-large zucchini, about ten cups grated
1 large onion, minced
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves or about 1 - 1 and 1/2 tsp. fresh chopped thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. black pepper
1 and 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely ground cornmeal
2 eggs
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Grate the zucchini with a medium hand grater (or whatever you want to use) into a large bowl until you have about ten cups worth and then squeeze out as much excess fluid as you can. Stir in the cheeses and eggs. In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients together and then stir into the zucchini mixture.

Heat a few tablespoons of canola oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat (until flour sizzles) and drop batter into pan in amounts small enough to make fritters about the circumference of an orange. Fry until the bottom side is golden brown, flip, and cook the remaining side until golden brown and cooked through.

The only downside to these cheesy fritters is that it might take a fritter or two to get the knack of flipping them without them falling to pieces. Once the mozzarella cheese melts, the stability of the fritter is shaky until it's cooked enough to gain a bit of firmness, and I found smaller fritters easier to flip than the big ones. I like the zucchini ratio to be equal to or greater than the pancake amount, but if you're really struggling, just add some more flour, cornmeal, and spices, to suit.

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