one man's ceiling
Thursday, March 15, 2007
  greek to me 3a: fried zucchini & cucumber yogurt dip
this was a side dish that became the main vegetable for din-din last night. yeah, a fried veggie isn't always (ever) the best choice, but i'm gonna justify it by saying the dip had cucumber in it.

for the zucchini:
for the dip:

(yeah, there's a lot of olive oil going around)

start with the batter...
make sure the egg and water are at room temperature, probably easiest to crack the egg into the water and let them sit
start with the egg and water in a large bowl, lightly mix them, adding the oil and the garlic
add the flour slowly so it doesn't turn into one bog ball of gooey glue. if it's too thick and looks more like bread dough add water a couple tablespoons at a time until it's more batter-esque
add the salt and pepper and let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes

now go with the dip...
grate the cucumber into a colander lined with cheesecloth; weight it down with a plate and something heavy to extract the water for at least 15 minutes
(slice the zucchini now if you haven't done so yet)
pick up the cucumber in the cheesecloth and squeeze out all the water you can, then dump it in a blender
add the garlic, yogurt, red wine vinegar to the blend and set it to puree
drizzle the olive oil in while the blender is going
when it's nice and smooth pour it into a serving bowl, grate some pepper on it and refrigerate until ready to serve

ready to fry some zukes...
heat the oil in a deep skillet or (as i prefer) a wok -- less splatter all over the stove that way!
tumble the zucchini into the batter and give it a good mix with the old hands; they won't be totally batter-covered, just dabbled and streaked
fry the zucchini disks in batches making sure not to crowd them.
once they start to brown flip them to brown both sides evenly, about 5 minutes
transfer them to paper towels to drain and set them aside to stay warm

they should be served when the last batch finishes their frying, so timing is everything. if you want them table ready to start (or serve with) a dinner then you need to start your first batch about 30 minutes before plating.

kid tested and approved. you've never seen kids eat this much zucchini.
there will be no zucchini leftover, but there will be dip which will stand for another day or two in the fridge and can be used with carrot stix or even an interesting dressing for a salad.
hey, why not top some kefta with it? probably a little more drizzle-able than the other sauce i tried
you could use half as much zucchini and replace the other half with disks of equal-sized japanese eggplant
probably my favorite thing all week.

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