Archive for August, 2010

It’s not you, it’s me

Despite my protestations this is not a “food blog” it seems I only post when I have a new recipe.  That’s probably because it’s only when I’m cooking do I think “hey, this is something someone else might possibly be interested in, if they were really bored and/or felt like experimenting in the kitchen.”  I wish I could take good photographs and make this a food blog but, truly, I have not the dedication for such an endeavor.  Anyway, it’s summer, zucchini is in abundance and these little pancakes take advantage of that fact.  I happened upon some gorgeous fresh basil at the store and tried to incorporate it into dinner last night as much as possible.  These pancakes were a result.  I served them with some wild caught shrimp I had (briefly) marinated in some lime juice, soy, garlic, ginger, basil, minced jalapeno mirin, sesame oil and a dash of olive oil, sauteed in coconut oil and served with sriracha mayo on the side for dipping, and a cucumber-tomato salad dressed with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and sea salt.   Dessert was fresh cantaloupe and strawberries with basil sugar syrup.   God I love summer produce.

As per usual, I don’t measure (nor do I write things down as I’m experimenting) so everything is to taste/what you have on hand.  These pancakes would lead themselves to pretty much any seasoning you desired – shallots, cumin, garlic, whatever.  Inf act it’s possible I threw some minced garlic in the mixture but I truly can’t remember.  Same for the yogurt sauce.  Fresh dill would work, as would maybe a lemon-chopped caper/cornichon-parsley-shallot combo (think yogurt remoulade).  Play.   Make what tastes good to you.

Note: I shred the zucchini using a box grater and then use a ricer to press as much liquid out as possible.  The shredded zucchini is then spread out on a double layer of paper towels to fully drain; roll the towels up, squeeze any remaining water out and then zucchini is ready for mixing.  You could also shred zucchini into a colander, salt and let drain over another bowl (or the sink).  Blot with paper towels.  You want the zucchini as dry as possible in order to prevent sogginess and to ensure the pancakes don’t fall apart.  Note – these cakes are pretty fragile since I go very light with the binding ingredients in order to maximize the zucchini flavor.  Use a good wide spatula and flip with a gentle touch.

Zucchini Pancakes

2 zucchini, shredded and drained thoroughly
1 egg, beaten
1 tbl mayonnaise
fresh basil, chopped
1-2 tbl coconut oil

Gently combine all ingredients except coconut oil.  You want the pancakes to be mostly zucchini, not filler, so add just enough breadcrumbs so the mixture will stick together.  Heat coconut oil to medium-high heat in a pan.  Using a 1-2 tbl portion scoop scoop zucchini mixture into pan, making sure to leave plenty of room around each cake.  Gently mash into pancake shape with spatula and cook until browned, about 2-4 minutes.  Flip and cook other side until browned.  Remove and serve with yogurt sauce dolloped on top.

Yogurt Sauce

Greek yogurt ~1/4 cup
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2-3 tbl cucumber, finely minced
red pepper flakes
1 tbl mayo (optional)
Splash of lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together and let sit to allow flavors to combine.  All ingredients are to taste so make sure to adjust as necessary prior to serving.