Zucchini Fritters

Please note that a batch of my Butterscotch Blondies + Salted Chocolate Glaze are now up for auction over on Keep it Sweet! Please check out all of the delectable goodies that Lauren has up for auction - it's for a great cause!!

Last night I spent some time with this guy:

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If you have Verizon FiOS, you can get Breaking Bad season 3 on demand - a triple hoorah! I was just about to buy the DVD in order to catch up before season 4 starts in July. I'm sooooo happy that I can save my $19.99 and simply watch it on TV.

Aside from that, I'm pretty excited because tonight is Zumba, and that workout just always makes me happy. Are any of you taking classes? I think it's the best workout around. I sweat like a beast but actually enjoy it. It's a win-win ;)

As I mentioned in yesterday's post...I adore all things summer. This may surprise you, but one of my favorite summer things is the food. Surprised? I adore fruits like strawberries, cherries and pineapple, while I just can't get enough of corn and, one of the most versatile veggies around, zucchini. In trying to come up with some zucchini recipes, my mind went instantly to fritters. Yum.

Zucchini Fritters
Serves 3-4
2 zucchini, grated w/skin still on
1 2/3 C+ panko bread crumbs
1/4 C parmesean cheese
2 egg whites
kosher salt
pepper
olive oil

Grate the zucchini. I used the grater attachment on my food processor, but you can also just use a box grater and get 'er done the old fashioned way.

With paper towels, squeeze out as much moisture as possible from othe zucchini. It's going to be a wet one, but it won't hold up in cooking if it's too moist.

In a mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, egg whites, panko, parmesean cheese and salt and pepper to season. If the mixture looks too moist to mold into patties, then add more panko.

Using 1/3 C, scoop out the batter and form into patties.

In a non-stick skillet (I used 2 of them), heat just a bit of oil. Once very warm, add the fritters and cook, just a few minutes on each since until golden and cooked through.

I think these are perfect just as they are (cheesy-song style), but I think they'd also be fantastic with a little marinara sauce or tzatziki sauce for dipping or with a bit more parmesean sprinkled on top.

 

So there you go. One of my favorite new summer dishes! I hope you enjoy this one! And if you have any ideas on how to bake them without falling apart, please share with me :) What is your favorite zucchini recipe? What's your favorite summer vegetable?

Sweet Corn & Zucchini Hash + an Animal Lover's Giveaway!

I'm hosting a great giveaway today...scroll down to find out about it and enter!

I have arrived in Las Vegas! I'm blogging from my king-sized bed (which feels very empty without Shaun to share it with!) and my computer is reading 2:51AM Eastern Standard Time, though it's only 11:51PM here. But it feels like almost 3AM for sure! I landed around 3PM, checked into the MGM Grand and darted right out to meet my cousin Mona (who lives in Vegas!) for an early dinner at Border Grill (super duper yum!). Immediately following, I went to a cocktail party followed by another dinner at Strip Steak (I did more of a tasting off of other people's plates for this one). So far, a successful trip!

Meanwhile, I have a recipe to share with you. I threw this together so quickly on Friday evening from ingredients that were on the verge of going bad in my refrigerator. And I'm soooo happy that I did. It's so easy, so fast and so delicious. Seriously. 

I am definitely rocking a full-blown, four alarm fresh corn obsession right now. Causes of said obsession may include a) my craving for all things summer, b) its ease of use and abundance, and/or c) its simplistic deliciousness. It's probably all of the above. 

 

This is one of the easiest side dishes I've ever whipped up. I'm fairly positive that though this dish serves around 2-3 people, I could easily devour this entire thing on my own. And I just might have.
Sweet Corn & Zucchini Hash
3 ears of fresh corn, husked & kernels removed
1 zucchini, diced
2 tbsp parmesean cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the zucchini. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes. 
Add the corn (with kernels cut off of the cob). Cook until the corn is tender and toasted, turning a bit brown from carmelization.
Mix in the parmesean cheese. Devour immediately.

 

The Giveaway!

Ok, now for the really fun part. I'm so psyched today because I love hosting giveaways on TAA. And what makes this one even more awesome is that it's sponsored by my talented artist cousin, Alyson! With a love for and specialty in animal art, Alyson has generously offered to giveaway a custom pet portrait to a very lucky TAA reader! And if you don't have a pet? Pick out a favorite animal or childhood pet! I absolutely love this idea, and I would be all over this if I had a pet of my own. Alyson has provided some samples here, but you can see her full gallery at Alyson's Animal Art.



Here's the rundown:
What your playing for: One custom 9x12 pet portrait in your choice of media (colored pencil, pencil, soft pastel, oil pastel or conti)

To enter: Simply leave a comment telling Alyson and me something fun about your pet/your family's pet or your favorite animal

When: It starts now!

Ends: Friday 6/17 at noon EST

Logistics: This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only

For extra entries:

1) Follow me on Twitter (@theavidappetite) and Tweet this giveaway, leaving me a separate comment telling me that you did so.

2) Like The Avid Appetite on Facebook and leave me yet another separate comment telling me that you did so (or if you already do, leave a separate comment with that too!).


A winner will be selected at random and announced on Friday evening. Once a winner is selected, please email me at theavidappetite@gmail.com to discuss the logistics of your prize...be sure to have your favorite animal photo ready!

I hope you'll enter to win this one of a kind, custom prize!!

Zucchini Pizza Friday

It's no secret that the mister and I love zucchini. Oh and we also get down with pizza every now and again. I am a huge fan of pizza - be it artisinal, giant Jersey Shore boardwalk-style slices, Manhattan pizza parlor slices, or even making it in my own kitchen.

In addition to touring NYC pizza kitchens with my friend Lauren, I used to enjoy Pizza Friday every single week while at my previous place of employment with friends Kristin, Catherine, Jeanne and Mary who were just as avid about pizza as me. It was a weekly outing creatively named "Pizza Friday". (side note - pizza friends, I miss you!).

Since I still haven't found that perfect slice of delivery pizza in Jersey City after a two and a half year search, I decided to give it a go on my own. And my homemade creation is nothing short of cheesy, salty, lightly greased goodness. Oh and did I mention that it's not terrible for you? Or that yes, this pizza is as good as it looks? Well it's a true story.

One of the things that I love about cooking is that there are endless possibilities. I took the white pizza topping idea that I had from my Cinque White Pizza and turned it into the real deal. Sometimes there's no need to reinvent the wheel. Using part of a fabulous dish to invent a brand new one is the delicious melted cheese on top of an already great pizza.

Zucchini White Pizza
1 pizza dough, I used whole wheat purchased in the refrigerator section of grocery store
1 C part skim ricotta
1 egg white
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
olive oil
flour, whole wheat or all-purpose
parmesean cheese
mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, or whatever your package suggests. In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg white, salt, basil and oregano with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until light and fluffy.

Remove pizza dough from its container (whether tightly wrapped bag or canister if using the Pillsbury kind). Put a bit of flour down on your board or countertop and knead the dough with some flour to get it stretchy and unsticky. You will only need about a tablespoon for this entire process.

Rub your baking sheet with a bit of olive oil. Stretch the dough out to fill the sheet. It may require a bit of elbow grease to get 'er done, but gently stretch the dough until it is fully laid out and about the same width throughout so that it will cook evenly. Layer the ricotta mixture, mozzarella cheese, parmesean and zucchini on top. Drizzle the zuccini with just a bit of olive oil.

Bake for 20 minutes, or as directed on your package of dough (mine said 20 minutes at 450 degrees). Transfer to a cutting board and slice with a pizza cutter. Devour immediately.

Doesn't it look delicious? The browned bits of melted cheese add an amazing flavor while the egg white keeps the ricotta moist and creamy. And isn't is a great way to get some veggies into your meal? I imagine that this would be equally delicious with onions, bell peppers, yellow squash, eggplant or even butternut squash, perhaps?

So what do you think? Have you ever made pizza at home? Have you ever taken a part of one dish to recreate a new one entirely?