Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fried Zucchini and Freezer Zucchini Parmesan

It's that time of year again for us gardeners...so many zucchini, so few recpies.  I decided to fry some last night, and they were delicious.  Here's the recipe.

Fried Zucchini
1 Huge Zucchini...ours was almost 18 inches long (or a few smaller ones)
1/4 cup Kosher Salt (if using Table Salt, use less than half amount specified)
Canola Oil (for frying)
Corn Starch
4 eggs, beaten
Breadcrumbs (optional)

Peel zucchini, if desired.  Cut zucchini into slices or wedges, depending on the shape you want.  We cut ours about 1-inch thick, then quartered the slices.  Sprinkle salt on zucchini slices.  Let stand 30 minutes. Rinse salt off of zucchini.   Use large, sturdy pan or skillet, pour in enough oil so it is about 1 inch deep.  Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat.  Pour corn starch into open dish that allows you room to coat the zucchini slices in corn starch.  Coat slices in corn starch.  Dip coated zucchini in beaten eggs, sprinkle lightly with breadcrumbs, if deisred.  Place zucchini in hot oil.  Let fry 3 minutes, or until batter browns.  Turn over and fry other side until browned.  Remove fried zucchini from oil, place on cooling rack or paper towel-lined plate.  Serve.  Delicious dipped in marinara sauce, alfredo, or eaten plain.  Can be served as an appetizer, or fabulous side dish. 

You can also make zucchini parmesan with these. 
Fried Zucchini (use the breadcrumbs for this recipe)
2 28-oz jars spaghetti or marinara sauce (or you can use my freezer sauce recipe from Sun, Jun 7)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano
1/2 lb Mozzarella cut into large chunks or shredded

Spread 1 cup of sauce in a 9x13 inch baking dish.  Layer half of the zucchini over sauce and sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan or romano. Pour half of remaining sauce over zucchini.  Then put remaining zucchini over sauce.  Pour remaining sauce over top.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup parmesan and mozzarella.  Cover and freeze casserole (or cook immediately).  Thaw completely.  Bake at 375 for 45 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned and sauce is bubbly.

Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin

I know this cut of meat is usually expensive, but we bought half of a cow and the butcher sent all kinds of cuts of meat that I had never purchased before.  So I'll be putting the successful recipes for beef cuts up for all to see.  The meat was frozen immediately after butchering, so that's the "freezer" part of this recipe.  :)

Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin
Four 4-oz Beef Tenderloin Steaks
1 tsp Whole Rosemary
1 tsp Thyme
4 tsp Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
4 tsp Balsamic Vinegar

3 Tbsp Canola Oil (for pan)

Thaw steaks 24 hours in refrigerator.  Combine dry ingredients.  Rub on steaks.  Sprinkle garlic over steaks.  Drizzle steaks with 1 tsp vinegar each.  Refrigerate 2 hours.  Heat 3 Tbsp. canola oil in large skillet over medium high heat.  Cook steaks 5 minutes, turn and cook 5 minutes or until done (I like steaks medium well, cook less time for medium rare or medium doneness).  Let steaks rest 10 minutes under foil before serving.  Great with garlic mashed potatoes.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Freezer Black Beans

We love beans...if they taste good. My kids can get past the texture if there's enough flavor (like in chili). Here's my recipe for Black Beans. They are simple to make, but they do take time (soaking and cooking in the crock pot). Be patient, the time is worth the result. Enjoy! Freezer Black Beans (inspired by Chevy's Restaurant) INGREDIENTS: Soaking Water, 2 lbs Black Beans, 10 cups water, 2 cups chopped onion (or 1 cup dried chopped onion), 4 Tbsp garlic (or more if you like it a lot), 2 Tbsp ground cumin, 1 Tbsp chile powder, 2 tsp dried oregano, 2 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt (or 1/2 Tbsp. Table Salt). DIRECTIONS: Wash, sort, and rinse beans. Soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse beans. Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on High 2 hours. Then cook on Low 8-10 hours (until tender). Turn off crock pot. Let beans cool 1 hour. Label freezer containers (you can use mason jars, ziploc freezer bags, or plastic freezer containers available in the canning section at the grocery store) with contents, date, and quantity. Measure beans into containers, close, and freeze. To use, thaw in refrigerator or microwave. Use in recipes that call for canned white beans. I like to measure the beans into 2 cup measures. That's about the right size for my family, and pretty close to a 14.5oz can. You can also buy pint containers and freeze them in pints.

Carribean-Style Beans and Rice

I was serving Salsa Chicken (2008 posting) the other night and was searching for a great side dish to go with it.  Here it is!  After making it, I realized this could have easily been our main course.  So delicious, and more than 11 grams of protein per serving with almost no fat.  Plus, it was cheap.  Most of the ingredients I needed were in my garden, and the rest were in my pantry and freezer. :)  Enjoy!

(from The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook), adapted by Avalie

3 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1 heaping Tbsp minced garlic
1 cup coarsley chopped tomato
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 pint Freezer Black Beans (today's posting), thawed and drained (or sub one can black beans plus extra garlic)
2 cups cooked rice

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium high heat until hot.  Add onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until tender.  Add chopped tomato, salt, crushed red pepper, and cumin; saute 2 minutes.  Stir in cooked rice, cilantro, and black beans; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.  Serve with shredded cheese, if desired.  Yield: 4 servings, 1 cup each.  If you want to freeze this after preparation for a quick and easy side dish, simply freeze single portions in freezer bags.  Reheat in microwave.