With the warm weather here, I’m beginning to eat outdoors and my mind wanders to Greece: eating outdoors at a taverna with family & friends. Ordering two of everything off the menu is how we roll. I always make sure that some fried zucchinii chips are included in the parade of mezedes.
I’m a big fan of simple foods and I never tire of Kolokithakia Tiganita or Deep Fried Zucchini (courgettes). I always make sure an order or two of these appear on our table when at a taverna. Slightly sweet zucchini are thinly sliced and then dredged in seasoned flour and then deep fried until just golden.
A sprinkle of sea salt and simply serve them while still hot. These deep-fried zucchini never last long on the table. If you’re the kind that wants to avoid potatoes, try some zucchini. Deep-fried zucchini are often found on menus of both seafood and meat taveras alike.
They are thinly sliced in three ways: long thin strips, thin coins or my fave…on a bias. I use a mandoline to thinly slice the zucchini on a bias. The rounds can be too small and the long strips a little too big (depending of course on how long your zucchini are). The “chips” that are sliced on the bias are the perfect size and they are ideal for my favourite accompaniment for deep-fried zucchini – Tzatziki.
Ubiquitous in Greek cuisine, this dip made from strained Greek yogurt goes with souvlaki, gyro or other grilled meals and it’s great for scooping up with vegetables…like zucchini!
If you’re adept at thinly slicing vegetables with a knife, you may take that route or invest in a mandoline to get perfectly even and thinly sliced vegetables. Other kitchen equipment needed are a deep fryer and a candy thermometer and you’re set. The main reason people screw up frying food is the oil is either too hot or not hot enough. A candy thermometer will give you an accurate reading. The flour mixture that works best for me is a combination of all-purpose flour plus some corn starch (the stuff used as a thickener) for dredging. I also pre-season the flour with fine sea salt and ground black pepper.
Mix the flour, salt, pepper and corn starch with a fork and have a quick taste to see if the seasoning is to your liking. Simply dredge the zucchini slices and carefully drop them in your hot oil. Fry in batches, reserve on a paper-lined platter, sprinkle with some sea salt as soon as they are out of the oil and serve your guest with a side of Tzatziki.
Deep Fried Zucchini (ÎšÎ¿Î»Î¿ÎºÏ…Î¸Î¬ÎºÎ¹Î± Ï„Î·Î³Î±Î½Î¹Ï„Î¬)
3-4 zucchini, well-rinsed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 heaping Tbsp. of corn starch
Approx. 1 tsp. fine sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying (I prefer sunflower oil)
- Rinse your zucchini well and pat-dry. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, cut into very thin slices (1/8 inch). You may cut long thin slices down the length of the zucchini, across to make thin coins or on a bias to make tongue-like slices.
- Pre-heat your vegetable oil in a medium pot, wok or dedicated deep-fryer. You will need enough oil to fill the vessel about 2-3 inches deep. Place your candy thermometer in the oil and wait/watch for the oil to reach a temperature of between 365-375F.
- In the meantime, Mix the flour, corn starch, salt and pepper in a bowl with a fork. Dab your finger in t he flour and taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Lightly dredge your slices of zucchini in the flour and reserve on a plate/platter.
- When your oil has reached 365-375F, remove your candy thermometer and drop your first batch of dredged zucchini slices. Fry until golden and remove with a slotted spoon or spider and place on a paper-lined plate or platter. Sprinkle with some salt and serve immediately with some homemade Tzatziki.
- Continue to fry in batches.
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