One of my favorite veggies (or fruits, perhaps – I’ll leave that argument for you) is the zucchini. Of course, it’s probably because I usually fry it. But I still really like those zukes. This simple recipe is not only easy to make, it’s messy fun and it doesn’t require much in the way of fancy preparation.
Start with the zucchini. Slice them into whatever size chunks you’d like to eat. I typically create thin cross-slices, but you could just as easily make chunks or slice it long-wise. For our family of four, about a zuke and a half does the trick. One is too little and two is often too much.
Next, grab the milk. I typically use whatever milk we have in the fridge, which often means skim. The boys drink whole milk too, so we have also used that (the below recipe was in fact made using whole milk), and we even may have some buttermilk from time to time, and that works too. Drop those pieces of zucchini into the milk.
Now the mess begins. Find a container of some sort. We’ve tried plates, we’ve used bowls, and even zipper bags work (just make sure you zip them well or it will get very messy!). Fill the container with a good amount of flour. It doesn’t have to be fancy – the regular all-purpose variety does just fine. Once you’ve got that container ready, take the milk-covered pieces of your zucchini and drop them in. Make sure to coat the pieces well – so stir, shake, shimmy or whatever else it takes to get a good solid coating.
Lest you think we’re done, the mess has only just begun. These zukes are only half ready for their hot oil bath. Speaking of which, you should probably get that oil going. We have used a Fry Daddy, but you could just as easily use oil in a pan or a deep pot or any other preferred method of frying.
So now you find another container and load it up with bread crumbs. We buy ours in a cylinder from Aldi. To add a little flavor, Italian Style will work well, but it doesn’t matter much. You can add plain and season them as you like. Panko is also nice because they add a good crunch. You could also make your own crumbs, or even just fry at this point.
Assuming you’re in this for the crunch like we are, take your (hopefully) well-covered pieces out of the flour container, dip them back in the milk, and then put them into the new container, so that you get good coverage by those bread crumbs. We’ve found that you probably don’t want to take the group approach here – the pieces of zucchini get stuck together and that can cause problems in between the pieces. It means that it will take longer but you will get a better end product.
You can start frying as they come out of the crumbs, or you can start laying out your zukes on a plate or towel to wait their turn as you finish. Regardless, when the oil is ready and you’re getting hungry, drop those coated babies in the oil. If you’re using a pan, you only need maybe a minute per side – the coating should be nice and brown. If in a Fry Daddy or similar device, they will float easily to the surface.
Place on paper towels to drain some of that excess oil, let cool, and eat away. Dips optional, but they do increase the enjoyment. And the calories, if that sort of thing worries you – but we are talking about fried food, even if it is veggies, so I suspect you aren’t too concerned. Enjoy!