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Zox Kitchen: August 28, 2014

Cooking Options For The Plentiful Zucchini

Zucchinis are easy and fun to grow. In fact, our family was always offering these vegetables to friends and neighbors. But it wasn’t always easy to give them away in late August since everyone had a surplus of the ever-present summer squash available to them. And this is why cookbooks like the 50-year-old Italian cookbook, The Silver Spoon, recently translated into English in the United States, includes 37 zucchini recipes and six for zucchini flowers.

I have always been attracted to zucchinis in part because of their plentifulness, but also because of the almost magical way in which they can grow. It seemed they could double in size overnight. And while I never grew a zucchini three meters long, they say it is possible and likely if the conditions are just right. I remember dreaming as a child that our crop was going to grow up to our home and invade us. My mother told me if this happened we would just make more soup for family, friends and neighbors. My scary dreams disappeared.

This year, the local farmer’s markets are again filled with zucchini. I love to stuff them, bake them, fry them, steam them and roast them. Here are a few of my favorite zucchini recipes which will give you many cooking options to consider for your garden of plenty.

Baking zucchini bread has always been a popular and delicious way to prepare and to eat zucchini. The recipes are fairly uniform and predictable. However a recent issue of the magazine Cook’s Illustrated suggests an easier way to “lighten the loaf” by doubling the usual amount of squash, and wringing it in a towel which extracts over a cup of green liquid. This recipe also achieves a wonderful flavor by switching from granulated sugar to brown sugar, adding nutmeg and vanilla and increasing the typical amount of cinnamon.

1. Zucchini Bread Recipe

325F oven; Grease 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan

(Adapted from the August 2014 Issue of Cook’s Illustrated)

• 1 1/2 pounds zucchini

• 1 1/2 pound brown sugar

• 1/4 cup vegetable oil

• 2 large eggs

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

• 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

• 1 tbsp cinnamon

• 1 1/2 tsp salt

• 1 tsp baking powder

• 1 tsp baking soda

• 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

• 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

• 1 tbsp. granulated sugar

Place zucchini in center of dish towel and squeeze ends tightly. Discard 1/2 to 2/3 cup liquid. Whisk together the brown sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Fold in zucchini.

Whisk together the flours— all purpose and wheat flours, the cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda and nutmeg in large bowl. Fold in zucchini mixture until just incorporated. Fold in walnuts.

Pour butter into prepared pan and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake until top bounces back when gently pressed and toothpick inserted in center comes out with few moist crumbs attached— 65 to 75 minutes. Let bread cool in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove bread from pan and let cool completely on rack. Serve and enjoy.

2. Parmesan Zucchini Crisps

Serves 4

Ingredients

• Preheat oven to 425 F

• 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

• ¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs

• 1/8 tsp black pepper

• ¼ tsp garlic powder

• 3 egg whites

• 3 cups zucchini rounds, sliced about 1/2 inch thick — about 3 medium-size zucchini

1. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and place a wire baking rack on top. Lightly coat the racks with cooking spray.

2. Combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, pepper and garlic powder in a shallow dish and mix together.

3. In a small bowl, beat the three egg whites. Dip each zucchini round in the egg whites to coat both sides and then press each side of the round into the bread crumb/Parmesan mixture. Place the coated round on the wire rack on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining zucchini rounds.

4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the Parmesan and bread crumb coating is browned and crisp. Serve immediately.

3. Zucchini Mexican Soup

4 servings

Ingredients

• 1 1/2 tsp butter

• 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion

• 2 cups unpeeled, medium diced zucchini

•1 1/2 cups corn kernels

• 2 Tbsp minced jalapeno or other green chilies

• 2 cups vegetable broth

• 1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper

• 1 cup coconut milk

• 2 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, diced

• Salt to taste,

• Minced fresh parsley

• Nutmeg

1. In a medium-size soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and saute until it begins to soften.

2 Add the vegetable broth and heat.

3. Add the zucchini, corn, jalapeno, broth, and pepper to the broth. Bring to a boil and simmer until zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in coconut milk. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Salt to taste

5. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley and a pinch of nutmeg. Mangia!

4. Poached Vegetables With Caper Mayonnaise

Serves 4

(Adapted from the Yotam Ottolenghi cookbook Plenty)

Poaching protein or vegetables is an easy, delicious way of cooking. It can be as flavorful as you wish— as spicy or bland as you prefer. This recipe is halfway between the two— a little spicy but not too mild. Remarkably, the caper mayonnaise has no more than 1/2 tsp salt while the poaching liquid has only 1 tsp salt. I mention this now because most of us are watching our sodium intake and this dish qualifies as a healthy snack.

a) Caper Mayonnaise  

Ingredients

• 1/2 garlic clove, crushed

• 1 egg yolk

• 1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar

• 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard;

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

• Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

• 1/2 cup vegetable oil

• 2 tbsp capers, drained well and finely chopped

To make the mayonnaise, place the garlic, egg yolk, vinegar, mustard, salt, chile flakes and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Start blending and then very slowly drizzle in the oil until you get a thick mayonnaise. Fold in the capers, and lemon zest and set aside.

b) Preparing Vegetables

Ingredients

• 1 bunch baby carrots, peeled but not cut

• 4 baby fennel or regular size cut in 1/2-inch slices from top to bottom of fennel

• 12 spears asparagus, 6-7 inches long. Don’t need to be cut

• 8 slices of zucchini, 6 inches long and 2 inches wide

• 10 slices of leeks, 6 inches long and 2 inches wide

• 2 tbsp. chopped dill to serve

c) Vegetable Procedure

Wash the vegetables but don’t trim them too much so some of the stalks and leaves remain. Try to cut similarly sized pieces.

d) Poaching “Liquor” Ingredients

• 2 1/2 cups white wine

• 1 cup olive oil

• 2/3 cup lemon juice

• 2 bay leaves

• 1/2 onion

• 2 celery stalks

• 1 tsp salt

e) Poaching Procedure

• Place the wine in a wide pan (12-14 inches) and boil for 2-3 minutes. Add all the other poaching liquor ingredients and bring to a simmer. Start the poaching by adding the vegetables to the simmering pot one at a time waiting a minute between each one. All should be cooked but crunchy at the end. Using tongs remove the vegetables from the poaching liquor and place in deep plates. Add some liquor to the serving bowl and spoon each portion with a dollop of Caper mayonnaise; sprinkle with dill. Enjoy.

Contact Chef Zox with questions or comments and new recipes at www.zoxkitchen.com or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Enjoy healthy eating so you can eat well while eating alone or with others.

News

Our experience of 9/11 has changed; today it is seen as part of a journey and not an isolated event. On Wednesday, Sept. 10, President Barack Obama spoke to the nation saying the battle against terrorism is ongoing. 

 

That awareness that we had gone through the experience of the fall of the Twin Towers and had rebounded, but the danger is not over, and the battle is still to be won was repeated by Senator Carl Marcellino at the Day of Commemoration at the Oyster Bay 9/11 Memorial Garden on the Western Waterfront on Thursday evening.

“Visitation is up 300 percent,” said Harriet Gerard Clark, Raynham Hall Museum director.

“Two-thirds of them come because of reading the book by Brian Kilmeade, George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution, and seeing the series ‘Turn’ on A&E,” added Tom Valentine, docent, who keeps the list of visitors. Soon the series will include the story of Robert Townsend of Oyster Bay who was known as Culper, Jr. when he was a spy for George Washington.

Alex Sutherland, director of education, nailed his definition. “He was the most important spy for George Washington because he had the perfect cover. He was pretending to be a Loyalist and writing for a Loyalist newspaper and befriending British officers at his coffee shop in downtown New York while secretly collecting information.


Sports

Hard work paid off for local athletes Christine Grippo of Locust Valley, Kelly Pickard of Oyster Bay, Bernadette Winnubst of Locust Valley, Steven Quigley of Bayville, Catherine Soler of Oyster Bay, Maria Elinger of Oyster Bay, and Armand D’Amato of Oyster Bay Cove, each of whom won awards in a field of some of the best triathletes from all of Long Island and beyond in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon, held in and around Oyster Bay’s Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park on Saturday morning, Aug. 23.

Grippo earned top honors in the women’s 30-34 age group with a time of 1 hour, 17 minutes, 36 seconds. Pickard (1:17:39) scored first among the women in the 35-39 age group. Winnubst scored in 1:38:48 to earn third place honors in the Masters Athena Weight Division. Quigley earned the second place award in the Masters Clydesdale Weight Division in 1:23:23. Soler (1:29:12) scored 5th among the women in the 20-24 age group. Ehlinger (1:39:23) was the 4th place award winner in the women’s 55-59 age group. D’Amato (1:42:44) earned top honors in the 70-74 age group.

Ice Dreams, an Olympic Ice Show starring 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist Jason Brown and aspiring local skaters, is coming to Twin Rinks Ice Center at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow on Sept. 20.

Isabella Skvarla, 13, Julia Tauter, 12, and Chiara Vlacich, 12, all of Oyster Bay, Julia Forte, 12, of Locust Valley and Riley Stein, 11, of Bayville will be skating in the world class show to celebrate the opening of the best figure skating facility Long Island has ever seen.


Calendar

Art In A Meadow

Saturday, Sept. 13

Bayville Oktoberfest

Saturday, Sept. 13 - Sunday, Sept. 14

Hurricane Preparedness

Tuesday, Sept. 16



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