Zippy Zucchini Cakes
Growing up in this area my whole life, especially in the summer, there is always an abundance homegrown veggies. ESPECIALLY ZUCCHINI. If you were to travel a mile in any direction away from my house, you’re likely to see 10-15 pretty decent size gardens in other people’s yards. More so, it seems that everyone grows more than what they need. EVERYONE. A normal summer is when you’re given pounds and pounds of veggies from various people that weren’t going to get to use them. WHICH IS FINE I WILL NEVER COMPLAIN. We do a garden too, but my wife and I are learning how to garden right. Starting a garden on virgin ground (which we did the year before last) has taken a few years to get right, but things are looking good despite the late start this year!
The point is that the garden at our house always produces, but nowhere near enough that we would have to give food away.
What kinds of veggies do we end up with?
The biggest grown veggies in this are limited to a select few. Corn is EVERYWHERE once people start harvesting. I’m talking really good sweet corn too. You pretend to be annoyed with how many canopies you see along-side of the road with a cardboard sign saying how much for a dozen. Other than that, you’ll see a lot of tomatoes, a lot of cantaloupe, and a lot of you guessed it: squash. All kinds of squash. Literally every variety you can think of and probably some you haven’t. Have you ever heard of white scallop squash? My great-grandparents grew these from a seed line they’ve been using since before my parents were born and always called them “patty pans.”
With all of the squash that are flying around, I’m bound to get offered an upwards of 20 pounds of zucchini or more every summer, and I’ll never turn it down. I’ve seriously got some that are bigger than my upper arm, and I’m no small fellow at 6 foot, 190 pounds. I’ve been told my whole adult life that there’s so much you can do with zucchini. When I’m told that I generally ask, “Well what do you like to do with it?”, and I get the same response of, “shred it and make zucchini bread.” Ok well zucchini bread is fine and dandy, but I’m not going to want to make that many loves of zucchini bread, even as much as I love to bake.
Plus, (generally speaking) I’m more of savory guy, so naturally, I’m not satisfied with simply shredding my zucchini and waiting for the day that I crave zucchini bread. Nope.
We’ve learned to get really creative with our zucchini in the summer time. We can incorporate it into a lot of our “staple” dishes, and not have to change them drastically. However, this post isn’t about just dicing it and throwing it in a stir fry. (delicious, but neither here or now). Ingredients should be the star of a show, so I like to pick an ingredient, build the recipe around it, and keep it the main focus of the dish. Some sort of fried cake or croquette with zucchini as the focus seemed like a good idea so we starting playing around.
Better with time
I’ve been making these zucchini cakes for about 3 years now, and one thing I’ve found with these is that they’ve a little different almost every time. I think a big of this is the water content of the zucchini. The water seeps out slowly thus watering down your mixture more over time. I always recommend having your pan hot and ready as soon as your done mixing. You could definitely squeeze the water out with some cheesecloth. Or, you could even shred the zucchini, salt it and let the water drain off in a colander over a bowl for about 10 minutes then rinse. You have options, so keep it simple or do your thing. Whatever works!
Once thing is for sure, this a recipe to be customized. I still look at my recipe and notes just to recall some of the ratios in this one. Honestly, I grab what we have. I never use the same kind of cheese. It’s always a mixture of whatever is available in our fridge, but I do always try to use Parmesan. Sometimes I’ll even throw in jalapenos, a little garlic powder instead of fresh. ANYTHING. MAKE IT YOUR OWN. That’s what cooking should be all about!
If you go crazy with this one (or any other recipes on my blog) LET ME KNOW! I’d love to hear what you’ve taken away from this and how you’ve customized it. This definitely seems like one that a creative mind could take and run with and make it amazing.
- 2 cups shredded zucchini, firmly packed
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup cheese of choice, (1/2 Parmesan and 1/2 cheddar preferably)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1/4-1/2 cup flour (depending on consistency)
- paprika (optional)
- Combine the zucchini, egg, cheese, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and paprika in a bowl and stir to combine.
- Add in the flour, starting with a quarter cup and adding more if mixture seems thin.
- Drop about a quarter cup into a hot non stick skillet with vegetable oil.
- Fry each about 1-2 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
- Serve with sour cream or hot sauce and enjoy!!!