Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Baked Zucchini Cakes (for dinner)

It isn't often that I share a recipe that I do not absolutely love on this blog. But this is the exception to the rule, because this is a recipe that Greg absolutely loved, and he said I needed to share it. So this one is for you, Greg (don't say that I never did anything for you)!

Our garden has been absolutely overflowing with zucchini. It is pretty awesome to be able to pick out 1 - 3 zucchinis a day out of the garden. But then the decision making has to happen. What the heck am I going to do with all of this zucchini? Over the past couple weeks, I have made 6 loaves of zucchini bread. I realized that I should make something a little healthier and more substantial with the zucchini, so I attempted to make zucchini cakes for dinner. My first recipe was good, but I wanted to make it better. I think I improved it between the first and second time, but I still wasn't in love with it. Greg, on the other hand, raved about the zucchini cakes. After eating them, he asked me if we could have our neighbors over for zucchini cakes. I guess Greg is such as fan of the zucchini cakes because they are filled with bread and because he was able to eat them with lots of ketchup. Greg has an obsession with ketchup.

I thought the zucchini cakes were good with melted fresh mozzarella cheese and a little Sriracha sauce for dipping. Greg recommends eating them with a gallon of ketchup.The zucchini cakes are a healthy enough meal and they are filling, and they helped to use up some zucchini. As an extra bonus, you build some serious arm muscle while grating the zucchini that is used in the cakes!  Enjoy. I'm off to make zucchini quesadillas for dinner tonight.

Recipe for Baked Zucchini Cakes

2 medium zucchini, grated with a box grater
1 cup of fresh bread crumbs
8 crushed saltine crackers for the mixture, plus 12- 18 more for coating the cakes
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
Zucchini Cakes served with ketchup
1/2 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
A dash or two of Sriracha sauce (careful, this stuff is HOT)
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup of all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. of baking powder

Put the grated zucchini in a colander and carefully set it on top of a bowl so that the zucchini can drain. Add a little bit of coarse sea salt and gently mix. Let the grated zucchini drain for about an hour, tossing occasionally. About a cup of water from the zucchini should be in the bowl. After an hour, use your hands to squeeze out any excess moisture.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly oil a baking pan.

Put the bread crumbs, 8 crushed crackers, red pepper flakes, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper Sriracha sauce, and beaten egg into a bowl and mix. Add in the grated zucchini and mix again. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the zucchini mixture and mix well. Use your hands to form the mixture into 6 - 8 zucchini cakes. Try to make them the same size and thickness. Put the remaining crushed crackers onto a plate. Coat each side of the zucchini cakes with the crackers. Crush more crackers if needed for coating. Place the zucchini cakes on the baking pan. Put in the oven and cook for 10 - 15 minutes, then remove from oven and carefully turn over each one (use a spatula and make sure to keep them in tact). Place back in oven and cook for another 10 - 15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.

Serving suggestions: Serve with ketchup or another dipping sauce. Serve on a toasted and lightly buttered bun with fresh mozzarella cheese.

Other recipes that use zucchini:
Summer Pasta Dish with Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Corn & Basil
Portobello Mushroom and Veggie Sandwiches with Avocado Spread (vegan)
Creamy Vegetarian Taquitos
Coming soon: Spicy Zucchini & Mushroom Quesadillas, Zucchini Bread
Zucchini, also known as green squash. Put me in your dinner tonight!