Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fried Zucchini with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

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Zucchini has to be one of the most prolific as well as versatile garden vegetable ever grown. Imagine Bubba Blue from Forrest Gump saying that zucchini is the fruit of the earth-you can barbecue it, bake it, broil it, saute it;"deys uh"-zucchini Parmesan, stuffed zucchini, fried zucchini, zucchini soup, zucchini bread-----. You get the message?

After eating the tasteless, over-breaded fried zucchini at some of the large chain restaurants, I had forgotten how wonderful really good fried zucchini could be until I made this recipe. Crisp golden spears of tender zucchini served with a chipotle ranch dressing-unbelievable! With the proper temperature of the oil, frying the zucchini is a breeze, the hot oil sealing off the vegetable so it won't be soggy and full of grease. The combination of the freshly grated Parmesan cheese and the bread crumbs gives a light crispy outer layer.

Fried Zucchini

1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs from toasted bread
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3 medium zucchini, cut into 3 inch long by 1/2 inch pieces

Put enough oil in a pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat over medium heat until the oil reaches a temperature of 350 degrees F.

Combine Parmesan, bread crumbs and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs in another medium bowl. Begin dipping zucchini in beaten egg-let excess drip back into pan. Coat the zucchini completely in the bread crumb Parmesan mixture. Place on baking pan. Repeat with remaining zucchini.

In hot oil, fry zucchini in batches until golden brown-about 2-3 minutes. Don't crowd in the pan. Remove when browned and drain on paper towel.

Arrange zucchini on plate and serve with Chipotle Ranch Dressing. Recipe follows.

Chipotle Ranch Dressing

2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 to 1 small chipotle en adobe, minced
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 scallion, green and white parts, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest

Mash minced garlic and salt together to make a coarse paste. Scrape into a bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix together for a creamy dressing.

Recipes adapted from Food Network


Deborah said...

This looks wonderful - especially the dressing!! I love zucchini in all forms, fried is no exception!

Kelly Mahoney said...

Those both look amazing. I've never had fried zucchini, but I'd love to try it.

Tartelette said...

Love your recipe! You are right about poor quality fried succhini at restaurant: the idea should be first and foremost to showcase the vegetavle and not the breading. Great dippig sauce!

Ali-K said...

Ah yes, you're right, you can do so much with Zucchini. Although my workmates did baulk one day when I turned up with zucchini cake! Great recipe.

marye said...

mmm..that looks wonderful!

Homesick Texan said...

I am such a food for anything chipotle flavored and anything ranch flavored, but surprisingly have never had the two together. I know what's going on my salad tonight!

Lynnylu said...

Deborah-thanks, I love zucchini, too and the dressing is amazing with anything.

Kelly-thanks, it's really easy to fry even with my fear of frying.

Tartelette-thanks, we get so used to poor fried zucchini that we forget just how good it is when made well.

Ali-k, thanks-I'm sure your zucchini cake was delicious.

Marye, thanks, I have made it three times now.

Homesick texan, I am a chipotle fan, also. It's wonderful in pureed sweet potatoes.

The Cooking Ninja said...

wow! Those zucchini sticks looks so delicious. I'll have to try them out next time when I have guests over for dinner.

Lynnylu said...

Cooking Ninja-They are the best I made in recent years.

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