Sunday, March 25, 2012

Crispy Zucchini Spears

I went to the Hamilton Food and Drink fest this weekend with some friends. We had four free tickets come our way and I had never been so figured what the heck.  Once inside the show you have to buy tokens that you can redeem for food and drink.   I read online that most items were between 2-7 tokens. 

Let's rewind a few hours to when our friends came over.  I figuring hitting to up this show on an empty stomach would be bad idea.  Firstly, because I would be on my way to drunkville in no time and second, I get grumpy when hungry.  The thought of being ravenous and waiting in huge line for a meatball or spring roll was not appealing.   I made a few apps at home including these Crispy Zucchini Spears.   So, the food and drink show ended at 10pm and after enjoying wine and snacks until 8:30 at home we figured we should head over.  We thought 12 tokens each would be good number to buy once inside the show (given I read that some items might be 7 tickets).  After visiting a few winery booths we quickly realized that most drinks were between 1 and 2 tokens.  We were enjoying ourselves sampling and snacking until we realized it was 9:45 and we had about 6 tokens left each.  Go time.  We made it our mission to use all those tokens in the last 15 minutes.  Seemed like a great idea in the moment..morning after not so much.  On a more mature note, the show was really neat and we think we will go back next year...but earlier.  The most interesting thing I tried was a Green Apple beer from Nicklebrook Brewery.  I imagine it would be a great beer to enjoy on a patio this summer.

Back to my recipe.  It is very simple to make and the product is a crispy (almost deep fried tasting) coating over a tender zucchini spear.  They are baked using only 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  As for the coating, I used Panko breading which I had to hunt for a little bit in the grocery store.  I ended up finding it near the sushi area.

Crispy Zucchini Spears

Adapted from King Aurthur Flour

1 tsp salt
2 zucchini
1 egg
1.5 cups Panko breading
2 tbsp olive oil

1 hour before baking...Cut zucchini into spears (have a look at the picture, hard to describe in words). Place in a colander and sprinkle the salt on. This will draw water out the the zucchini and ensure they bake up more crispy.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

After 1 hour has passed pat zucchini dry. Prepare two with the egg cracked and stirred, the other with the Panko breading.  I added some red pepper flakes to my Panko for a bit of a spicy kick.  Pour olive oil onto a cookie sheet to evenly coat it. Dip each zucchini spear in the egg to coat, then into the Panko to coat, then place on the cookie sheet. Repeat for all the zucchini spears.   A tip on the website where I found this recipe is to use one hand for dipping in egg, the other for dipping in panko.  That way, it won't all stick to your hand. 

Bake for 12 minutes the remove from oven and turn the zucchini and bake for 8 more minutes. You want all the Panko to have turned golden brown.

A dip with these would be great. Any ideas?

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