When the zucchini begin to multiply on the vine and take over every surface of the house, even when you give them away at every opportunity, it is time to get creative! Last night we ate roasted zucchini and also had some fried zucchini slices. Yum!
My 8 year old usually turns her nose up at cooked zucchini, which she will eat raw by the hands full. But she makes an exception for fried zucchini slices. My sister, Melissa, and I first cooked these up after tasting them at a local Italian restaurant, and they are fabulous! Unlike the typical fried zucchini served with ranch dressing, these babies don’t need a thing after a little dusting with grated parmesan. Delicioso!
Fried Zucchini Slices
Enough zucchini to make 6 or 7 slices per person being served
1/4 cup milk
Progresso Italian seasoned Panko bread crumbs (Seriously, I have tried other brands and they are too bland for us)
Vegetable or Canola oil – enough to give you 1 to 2 inches in a high sided frying pan
Parmegiana Regiana cheese – rough grated so that you can see the grates
The steps to making this dish are pretty simple: slice zucchini, dredge in egg/milk mixture, coat with Panko, fry, garnish with cheese. Bingo, you have tasty, crunchy appetizers!
Slice your zucchini into thin slices. The best (and most dangerous!) way to do this is with a mandolin-style slicer. Why dangerous you ask? Because, as always, I decided to throw caution to the wind and trust that my GIANT zucchini would protect my fingers from contact with the slicing blade. Funny how that doesn’t work. YES, use the plastic dohickey thing, even if you don’t think you need it. The making of this recipe is slowed down considerably by a trip to the urgent care unit and the application of DermaBond to try and glue the wound together. Unless you enjoy holding hands with the Urgent care physician for a long period of painful pseudosurgery, just use the stupid thing.
You can simply use a knife to slice the zucchini, but it is hard to get even, thin slices. Even slices are important if you want all your zucchini to cook in the same amount of time.
Once the zucchini is sliced, set it aside while you put together your dredging station and heat the oil. Two pie pans work great for dredging. Put a large mound of Panko in one pan, mix the eggs and milk together with a whisk in the other. Next put some paper towels on a large plate, so that you can put your just fried slices there to drain any excess oil and add the parmesan to the tops.
Heat enough oil to get about 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep in a high sided frying pan. When you drop a coated zucchini slice in the hot oil it should sizzle and immediately begin to crisp the edges, but not smoke or burn. Use vegetable or Canola oil, or any oil with a high smoke point. Olive oil tends to burn rather than deep fry.
As the oil heats, begin to coat your zucchini slices. Simply take a slice and put it into the egg mixture, flip it over and set it into the Panko. Push the slice down firmly into the Panko, then flip it over and do the same again. Set the coated slice aside. Repeat with enough slices to fill your pan without allowing the slices to touch one another.
When oil is hot, place coated slices in the pan and let them cook about 2 minutes before flipping. Once the underside is golden brown, flip the slices and cook until the opposite side is also golden, about a minute more. Remove cooked slices from pan and set on paper towel lined plate to drain. Grate some parmesan over the finished zucchini slices and serve. Yum!
Repeat this process until everyone is happily sated.