Archive for the ‘fritters’ Category

breaded zucchini flowers

All week I have been using zucchini flowers in omelettes, stir fries and soups. Today I decided to bread and deep fry them. Instead of regular breadcrumbs I used Panko, the japanese style breadcrumbs. The result was crispier, lighter and more fluffy. The panko I used were unseasoned, so it combined perfectly with the herbs I used fresh from the garden.

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ingredients

10 zucchini flowers

3 eggs

1 cup breadcrumbs

a few cloves of minced garlic

a handful of parsley & other herbs you prefer

salt, pepper

1/2 cup oil for frying

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Prepare frying pan with oil
Leave a few inches of stem on the zucchini so it is easier to dip them
Mix the eggs with herbs, garlic, salt and pepper
Mix the breadcrumbs with parsley
Dip the zucchini in the egg mixture, and then in the breadcrumbs
Place the zucchini carefully in the hot oil and fry until golden
Place them on paper towels to absorb extra oil
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Zucchini flowers were in great abundance in my garden this year. During the month of August, I picked flowers almost every morning. Because the plant was zucchino rampicante (yields very big zucchinis) the flowers were much bigger than the ones from regular zucchinis.   The male flowers are picked and cut with a long stem for easy handling.

The flowers are usually fried. Each region of Italy has its own preparation. The south tends to fry them as-is, while Tuscany typically stuffs and then fries.

The stuffing varies. Fillings may include fresh mozzarella and a basil leaf, ricotta and herbs, or perhaps an anchovy or slice of prosciutto. There are differences in the batter as well. Some use an egg and others find egg makes the batter too heavy for the delicate petals.

Experiment. Try different things. Because no matter which batter you use, which stuffing you choose or which way you fry them – you’ll be surprised how deliciously light and addictive they are!

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This is a quick and easy way to deep fry the flowers with no stuffing.

20 zucchini flowers

2 eggs

1/2 cup of herb mixture finely chopped

(I used parsley, basil, garlic, but you can add any herb you like)

salt

flour

breadcrumbs

extra virgin olive oil for frying

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With a dry dishtowel, gently brush off any dirt on the flower. Do not rinse with water. Check inside for any insects and shake them out.
 
Whisk the eggs in a bowl with ½ teaspoon of salt and half of the herb mixture.
 
Mix the flour and breadcrumbs together in a plate, in a ratio of 1 part of flour to 2 parts of crumbs and the rest of the herb mixture.

Dip the zucchini flowers in the egg wash and then in the crumb mixture.

Fry blossoms in a saucepan, 2 or 3 at a time, in 1 inch of hot (375°F) oil.
Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

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ciabotti

There are as many names for this fritter  as there are recipes.

In Molise the fritter is known as “screppelle,” and in dialect as “scr’pell'” and/or “scr’pell’ natalizie” —  other spellings include: “scrapelle,” “scrapelli,” “scrappelles,” “scrippelles,” and “screppelli.” In Agnone, a town in Molise, they call them “ciabotti”.

The dough is shaped into countless different styles. Long strings, short, a ring like a donut,  or some just grab chunks of dough and fry them, resulting in different shapes. My mother-in-law, Adelina, is such an amazing cook and baker, she makes this beautiful twist (above).  Each time she makes them she adds a little something extra or changes the flavour from orange to lemon or by adding a little cinnamon, nutmeg or punch. Whatever she does, it works perfectly.

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ingredients

1 kilo of flour

5 teaspoons of yeast

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

grated rind of half a lemon (or orange)

2.5 – 3 cups of lukewarm water

vegetable oil for frying

for dusting:  table sugar or icing sugar (optional)

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Mix the ingredients and work into a fine dough (Should be softer than a bread or pizza dough).

Let the dough rest until it starts to rise (about to two to three hours).

Cut the dough into pieces and stretch it out about 20 cm long and 1 1/cm wide (The pieces do not need to be uniform in size). Unless you want perfect twists like the ones in the photo.

Fry the stretched dough in hot oil until golden brown. Best served freshly made.

Offer a bowl of table sugar so those who like their fritters sweet can sprinkle a touch of sugar on them.

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