Sunday, 16 October 2011

Zucchini fritters, poached eggs and hollandaise

I am sure that even as a small child, I knew of a season where zucchini is plentiful. I remember people bringing over their zucchinis and saying "Do you want more? I have more. Take more". I even remember friends bringing over zucchinis when I was quite young, "my mom made me bring these over" they would say. I never really thought about it, or why this was. I still do not really know why people end up with more zucchinis than they can handle but it seems to be a widespread phenomenon. Needless to say, I am currently the bearer of a substantial zucchini repertoire. 

Two, football-sized zucchinis from Mike's parents look at me every time I open the fridge. I have been swamped all week trying to finalize my thesis for submission to an external examiner who will attend my thesis defense providing an outsiders perspective. I finished revising the document on Friday around 3 pm but will not submit it until Monday morning. I finally have some time to get back to the kitchen. In addition to the zucchinis in my fridge I have beets, squashes, cucumbers, cabbage, blueberries and hot peppers. 

Yesterday was a beautiful, picturesque day that my sister and I spent out in Abbotsford with my mom's brothers, their partners, their gorgeous children and my precious Gramma who was visiting from Winnipeg. Their homes are out amongst the farmer's fields, in the middle of the valley surrounded by hills and mountains. I understand their situation to be that they provide work or mechanical services for a farmer who allows them to use any produce they need from the fields. Yesterday my uncle drove me out to pick hot peppers and I ended up with my stock of vegetables plus 5 medium pumpkins. It was a really neat experience to be out in that field, in that beautiful setting, seeing where our food comes from. It was also strange to see how much food does not get picked because of frost or because they turn the wrong colour or end up the wrong shape. It was fun nonetheless. I wish I had brought my camera.

This morning I started with the zucchini, making the highest density zucchini dish possible, zucchini fritters. I made a simple, very fast hollandaise sauce and poached some eggs for a very yummy breakfast.

Zucchini fritters, with poached eggs and hollandaise
First, I mixed up the zucchini fritter batter. Then I made the hollandaise, set it aside. Then I plopped the fritters in a pan. The eggs were poached last. Also my fritter batter was very runny, I think one whole egg was too much for the amount of ingredients I used. So I would recommend doubling everything and using only 1 egg still. If your batter is really liquidy, just let the liquid settle to the bottom of the mixing bowl and take the batter from the top

Zucchini fritters
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 Jalapeno, finely chopped
1/4 cup pea shoot tops
3 green onions, chopped
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3 tbsp flour

1 - Mix the ingredients together (up to pepper). Stir in the egg until well coated and then stir in flour a little bit at a time to avoid clumps.
2 - Make hollandaise - see below
3 - Heat a generous amount of canola oil in a large pan at moderate high heat. 
4 - Plop spoonfuls of mix into the pan and press rounds down with a spoon or a fork to shape into patties
5 - Fry about 4 minutes on each side or until brown.
6 - Place on a paper towels until ready to use

2 egg yolks
3 tsp lemon juice
melted butter (less than 1/4 cup)

1 - Add about an inch of water to a pot and warm to medium-low heat on stove. 
2 - Fit a glass or metal bowl on top of the pot. 
3 - Add 2 egg yolks to bowl and whisk until warmed. 
4 - Very slowly mix in 1/2 of the lemon juice, whisk until warmed through. 
5 - Start stirring in melted butter with a whisk until desired consistency is reached. 
6 - Taste. If desired stir in more lemon juice, adding a drop at a time and constantly whisking. Remove from heat and cover until ready to use.

Poach eggs
1 - Bring water to a very gentle boil in a pot (about 3 inches deep water).
2 - Add a tbsp or 2 of white vinegar. If your water is actually boiling, turn the heat down until it is very gentle so your egg whites don't get dispersed all over the pot. 
3 - Break open egg into a small tea cup and gently lower the cup into the water letting the egg gently slide into the hot water.
4 - Let eggs poach for 3 - 4 minutes
5 - Remove eggs with a slotted spoon or a spatula and place to drain on a paper towel.

Place poached eggs on zucchini fritters, top with hollandaise and a dash of paprika.

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