Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Trial and Error Pan-Fried Zucchini


Whatever shortcomings our first-year garden may have, it sure is producing a lot of zucchini! We've been enjoying zucchini in a number of dishes lately. But I had not yet prepared a favorite from my childhood, pan-fried zucchini...until today.

To see more of my favorite zucchini recipes click HERE.

When lunch-time rolled around today, I looked at my most recent zucchini harvest piled on the countertop and decided that it was time to pan-fry some zucchini.

I didn't have a recipe, so I just started grabbing some of my favorite basic breading ingredients: milk, eggs, panko (Japanese bread crumbs), Parmesan cheese, and seasoning salt.

In one coating tray, I whisked together an egg and some milk. Then in the other, I combined the panko, Parmesan, and seasoning salt.


I sliced the zucchini into 1/4" (approximately) slices.



I first dipped the zucchini into the egg/milk mixture.


Then I coated them with the panko mixture. I chose panko because of that special added "crunch" it brings to a breading.


Then I heated about 1/2" of olive oil in a skillet and dropped the breaded zucchini in. First I fried them on one side and then flipped them over to fry the other until golden brown.

I forgot to snap a picture of the frying step, but here they are, draining on paper towels afterward. Notice that I took a flaming hot bite out of one, straight from the skillet. I sure do miss the skin on the roof of my mouth right now...


Here's the thing: While I really enjoyed the flavor of the Parmesan and the crunch of the panko, the panko breading did not stay attached to the zucchini during frying. It was kind of patchy on the finished product.

Then I remembered that when my mom made fried zucchini when I was a kid, she just breaded them with some seasoned flour and nothing else.

I decided to try it her way.


I fried them up.



And drained em' on the paper towel-lined plate.


These were good, but I missed that panko crunch and the subtle bite of the Parmesan. But hey, at least the breading stuck this time!

I resolved to combine the two methods. I stirred the flour into the panko-parmesan mixture.

After breading the next batch in the new breading mixture, I dropped them into the skillet.


Ahhh. Perfection! The breading stuck to the zucchini and it was perfectly tasty and crunchy. Score! The only thing missing? After tasting these, I decided that they needed a little Italian seasoning. I've added it to the recipe below.


Here's a close up. You can actually see "the crunch". YUM!


Here is my recommendation for the perfect pan-fried zucchini:

Pan-Fried Zucchini

2 small or 1 firm medium-sized zucchini, sliced into 1/4" rounds
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon Italian blend seasoning
Olive oil
Additional salt and pepper for seasoning

Directions:

In a shallow dish or coating tray, whisk together milk and eggs. Combine panko, Parmesan, flour, and seasonings. Pour oil 1/4"-1/2" deep in a heavy skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Coat zucchini slices first with the milk/egg mixture, then dredge in the panko mixture. Place in the heated oil. Fry on one side for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, then flip and fry for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown on the other side. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Season with additional salt and pepper as desired.

Notes: I fried these in olive oil. You can also use vegetable oil, canola oil, OR do it like my mom did and fry them in butter (YUM!).


2 comments:

noemptychairs said...

Zucchini experiments are some of my favorite! Looks great. One tip for breading with panko: use 3 trays for coating: the first with seasoned flour, then dip in egg, then dip in the panko crumbs. The flour coating sticks to the veges or meat and the panko on the outside makes it nice and crunchy. That is how I make Tonkatsu, a traditional Japanese breaded pork cutlet. The Italian seasoning and Parmesan sound like great additions for zucchini!
Kelly

Krista said...

Great tip, Kelly! Thank you!

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