Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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Baked Zucchini Fries
Recipe adapted by Our Best Bites from Aggie’s Kitchen

About 1 lb. zucchini
1/2 c. Italian-seasoned panko bread crumbs
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese (the crumbly stuff, not shreds)
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Set aside.

Whisk 2 eggs together in a shallow pie plate and set aside.

Cut the ends off the zucchini and then cut the zucchini in half so you have two short, stubby pieces. Set one piece on its end and cut it in half lengthwise. Cut that half in half, making 2 planks. Repeat with the remaining halves (so you’ll get 16 planks per zucchini).

Stack 2 planks on top of each other and cut into strips. Thicker strips will yield “meatier” fries with more zucchini flavor while thin strips will be crispy and taste virtually nothing like zucchini. When all the fries are cut, blot the pieces with a paper towel.

Working with a small handful at a time, dip the zucchini sticks in the egg, shake them to remove any excess, and then roll them in about 2-3 tablespoons of bread crumbs at a time, adding more as needed; you just don’t want to work with all the bread crumbs at once because they’ll soak up moisture from the egg and won’t stick to the zucchini. Place the coated strips on the prepared baking sheet and repeat until all the zucchini strips have been coated.

Bake for 10-12 minutes in the prepared oven then remove from oven, flip the fries, and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the zucchini is not soggy and the coating is crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately with Pizza Sauce or Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. Serves 6-8 as a side dish.

Weight Watchers Points:
2 (for 8 servings) or 3 (for 6 servings)

Homemade Nutella

The original recipe instructs to strain the spread at the very end, but I don’t mind a little nut texture in mine. Adapted from the Encyclopédie du Chocolat, by way of David Lebovitz.

1 1/2 cup whole hazelnuts
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup powdered milk
1 Tbsp. mild-flavored honey
pinch salt
1 heaping cup chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, or chips
1 scant cup chopped milk chocolate, or chips

On a rimmed baking sheet, toast the nuts in a 400ºF for 10 minutes, or until fragrant and their skins begin to pop. Transfer to a tea towel, gather into a bundle and rub together to remove as much of their skins as possible. While warm, transfer to the bowl of a food processor and blend until they go from finely ground to pasty and thick, like natural peanut butter.

Meanwhile, warm the milk, powdered milk, honey and salt in a small saucepan just until it starts to boil. Remove from heat. In a glass or stainless steel bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in the microwave), melt the chocolates, stirring occasionally until smooth.

Add the melted chocolate to the ground nuts and continue to process the mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the warm milk mixture and process until everything is well blended and as smooth as you can get it. Makes about 2 cups.

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