Tag Archives: fries

Zucchini Fries/Sticks

No matter what you call them; zucchini fries or zucchini sticks these are out of the garden, baked and so good!
image1 large/2 small zucchini
1 1/2 cups flour (I used gluten free chickpea flour)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups finely shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 cups bread crumbs (I used gluten free)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon dried oregano

Place 2 cookie racks inside 2 separate baking sheets and lightly brush or spray with extra virgin olive or canola oil to coat.

In a medium bowl combine the flour and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
In another medium bowl beat the eggs.
In a medium/large bowl combine the cheese, bread crumbs and spices.
Cut the zucchini into roughly 3″ lengths and then into 1/4-1/3″ sticks.
Coat a handful of the zucchini sticks in the flour mixture (I usually just toss with my fingers) then coat in the beaten egg (I use a fork to flip and rotate around) and finally toss in the cheese and bread crumb mixture (I use a fork to flip and rotate around). Place the zucchini sticks on the prepared cookie racks making sure they are not touching. Continue this process until the racks in the pans are full. When the second pan is half full, preheat the oven to 450.

Bake the zucchini sticks for 15-20 minutes, until they are golden brown. I served the sticks with ketchup and an avocado cut inside the skin and filled with salmon salad.

Puerto Rican Inspired Flounder, “Aranitas”, Sweet Potato Fries and Fresh Baby Greens

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Puerto Rican Inspired Flounder
1 small onion; halved and sliced thin
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb flounder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
dash paprika (I used Trader Joe’s smoked)
juice of 1/2 lemon

Sweet Potato Fries
4 medium sized sweet potatoes; peeled and sliced to 1/4 inch thick strips
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400.

Saute onion in olive oil over medium low heat until soft and translucent. Meanwhile- toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Back to the fish dish- stack flounder in a glass baking dish 3 or 4 high. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Pour onions with olive oil over the fish and top with lemon juice. Cover the fish with aluminum foil. Place the sweet potato pan and fish dish in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, until the fries are soft inside and crisping on the outside. Remove from oven and sprinkle fries with salt.

Mojo Sauce; lemon garlic dipping sauce for the Aranitas
4 cloves garlic; crushed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil (I use California Olive Ranch)

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and set aside.

DSC_0002Aranitas; shredded green plantain fritters
2 green plantain
canola oil for frying
sea salt to taste

Preheat a small pot with 1 1/2 inches of canola oil over high heat. Peel green plantain (slice through the skin on the “seams” and with fingers separate and pull to remove. Some will peel easily but others come off in small tedious chunks). Shred plantain using the small section of a grater into a bowl.  To test the readiness of the oil place a single strand of the plantain in the pot. If it sizzles and rises to the top immediately it is hot enough. Using two tablespoons grab and squeeze together the shredded plantain and place into the hot oil. Fry just a few at a time, don’t crowd them, so that they fry hot and fast. Remove with a slotted spoon or two forks and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Repeat until done and sprinkle with salt.

Enjoy with a fresh salad on the side. We also enjoyed one of my father’s avocados that he so generously ships to the northeast. The amanitas can be dipped in the mojo sauce or simply drizzle the mojo sauce on top. (They are also good with ketchup.)

College Kitchen Questions

My “baby” will be moving into her first apartment this semester. She asked me for a few basics-

COOKING DRY BEANS
Soak beans for 8 hours, drain, rinse, drain again, add four times as much water as beans and a little salt, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook till tender. The time will depend on the type and size of the bean. After an hour, use a fork to fish out a bean and test. When the beans are tender drain off the cooking water and rinse. I normally soak the beans 24 hours before using so that I can let them cook while getting ready in the morning so they are ready when I come home to prepare dinner. Beans can also be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

BASIC BROTH/SOUP
The three magic vegetables for starting a soup are onion, carrot and celery. When I make soup I generally saute the vegetables in a bit of extra virgin olive oil and then add the spices, other ingredients (vegetables, legumes, rice) and water bring to a boil and simmer until whatever is added is done. Taste to decide how much salt and pepper to use.

BOILING EGGS
Place egg(s) in a pot, cover with water, sprinkle with salt, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, set the timer, reduce heat to simmering and continue cooking. For soft boiled 3-5 minutes depending on the size; for hard boiled 9-11 minutes depending on the size. Drain, rinse with cold water till cool enough to peel.

POTATOES
*Boiling Scrub potatoes, place in a pot, cover with water, add a bit of salt, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Test with a fork for tenderness. I have noticed that the heat needs to be reduced throughout the cooking time so keep an eye on it.
*Baking Preheat oven to 375. Scrub potatoes, place whole on a baking sheet, poke each one twice with a fork and bake until the skin is crispy and the potatoes soft, about one hour.
*Roasting Preheat oven to 400. Scrub potatoes, cut into desired size and shape, place in a bowl, toss with extra virgin olive oil to coat, pour in a single layer on a baking sheet, sprinkle with sea salt (you can also sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper, paprika and other spices you like- experiment) place in oven and bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Test with a fork.
*Fries I make fries like the roasting recipe. Cut the fries to the shape you want and some extra salt when they come out of the oven. Not only is this much healthier than frying potatoes in oil but the clean up and splatter pains are eliminated.
*Home Fries Preheat a skillet with a lid to medium low heat. Scrub potatoes and cut into one inch cubes. Add a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil to the pan (or you can do 50/50 oil and butter) add the potatoes, sprinkle with salt and fresh ground black pepper, cover and let cook until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. There are a lot of variations (onions, peppers, spices) so that is the basic recipe.

COOKING RICE
Soak rice for at least 1 hour. I usually let it soak while at work. Drain, rinse and drain again. When cooking soaked rice it requires less water. Normally, it is one part rice to two parts water with a bit of salt and/or oil. When soaking I have found that using one part rice to one and a half to three quarters water with a bit of salt and/or oil is good. Put it all in a pot, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook with lid on until tender, about 20 minutes. I turn the heat to low for the last five minutes. To check if the rice is done carefully tip the pot. If water appears at the edge of the rice continue cooking until all of the water is absorbed.