August 13, 2006

Breakfast at home (Zucchini Fritters)

Much as I adore going out for breakfast, I usually make some sort of effort at a breakfast at home at least once on the weekend. It often starts with a smoothie, just to fortify us with enough strength to beat eggs for a frittata or slice peppers for a breakfast quesadilla.

We are both savory-breakfast junkies, so it is no wonder that most of of our breakfasts at home are at least somewhat eggy. Today's breakfast was a sort of happy accident - I had picked up a zucchini to make my Zucchini Fritters "sometime soon" and by chance had some leftover Dijon-Dill sauce in the fridge. The urge to make some sort of Benedict-like breakfast was overpowering. I was quite helpless against it! I modified the fritter recipe to use spices that would go more harmoniously with the dill and mustard sauce, using a mixture of thyme, oregano, white pepper and a pinch of cayenne. I heated the leftover sauce (an emulsion of mayonnaise, sour cream and dijon) with a little pinch of cornstarch, to keep it from separating, and treated it like a faux-hollandaise.

Zucchini Fritters

Makes 6 fritters
Total prep and cooking time: 30 minutes

3 cups grated zucchini
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup breadcrumbs ~ I use panko
1/3 cup finely minced onion
2 teaspoons chile powder or southwestern seasoning
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup flour
oil for shallow-frying

Make sure that the strands of grated zucchini are not too long - I usually cut a slice into the zucchini lengthwise before grating. Squeeze the zucchini to release (and discard) extra liquid, and place the shreds in a medium mixing bowl.

Add the egg, butter, bread crumbs, minced onion, salt and chile powder/seasoning. Mix well with a fork, so that all ingredients are evenly distributed.

Using wet hands, shape the mixture into six thin patties. Dredge each patty in flour, patting it to remove excess flour. You can prepare in advance up to this point and hold the patties on a plate in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap.
In a medium skillet, over medium heat, heat enough oil to lighly coat the bottom of the pan. When the pan is hot, fry the patties in oil until a medium dark golden brown on both sides. Serve hot - for a tasty breakfast, place a poached egg on top of each fritter, and serve 2 per person.

I do confess that I wimped out on the eggs - they were simply steamed in little baskets, as opposed to being properly poached, but some mornings there are just only so many things you can keep in the air at once. A perfectly poached egg would of course be the preferable option, but I was willing to sacrifice that for convenience, today. Next time...

The fritters are a big favourite of mine, and something that I am prodded to make whenever the zucchini are heaped high in the produce stores. They are delicate - downright fragile before cooking - but not difficult to make, and they make a wonderful side-dish at any meal (or snack, I confess, with a little hot pepper sauce, or not, as you see fit. You can vary the seasoning to make them spicy, mild or assume compatible characteristics with any cuisine you choose.

They certainly don't need an egg or fancy sauce to show their little golden faces at the table. I do have a compulsion that must soon be addressed: I want to make these fritters meat-ball sized, and serve them with spaghetti and a light, fresh tomato sauce for a light veggie-based dinner. I'm convinced it would be a winner.

*This post was updated in 2017 to replace dead link to recipe*


kickpleat said...

those look incredible....and i'm not even a fan of zucchini. i think i'll try this out to get a little zucs into this house!

Kate said...

I think your idea sounds great. You may even fool someone!!

I like my breakfasts too. It's a comforting thing to have something hearty in the morning.

Dawna said...

Thanks, Kickpleat! I hope you do get to try these - they're not particularly "zucchini-y" in the way that some dishes are, but they're wonderfully vegetal - especially if you use thinly sliced green onion for the onion component.

Thanks, Kate - I've been thinking about this for a while, but now I need to get off my backside and actually do it! Fortunately, zucchini season is here, and there will be plenty of "reminders" stacked up in the shops.

Sara said...

all your ideas for these fritters sound wonderful. especially the spaghetti.

foodiechickie said...

I love Zuchini fritters! My mom made them while growing up! Some people add Feta in theres which is tasty as well.

Lera said...

dawna,these are gorgeous!I mean the way, am I invited over..;)

Dawna said...

Sara - I hadn't even gotten to the curried version yet!

Foodichickie - thanks for the suggestion. I think feta would be a wonderful addition - it would be a bit like the feta and grilled zucchini salad.

Lera - you are absolutely invited over! It's a long way to come for breakfast, but food is one of the best reasons for travel, I think!

Melissa CookingDiva said...

They look delicious! Thanks for sharing ;D