Saturday, January 29, 2011

zucchini pancakes

Hash browns, pancakes, latkes, tempura, fry cakes, whatever the hell you call them; we love them passionately. Especially when you can dip them in something awesome and shove them in your face without spending a lot of money or effort. Oh, and while drinking beer.

We got the idea for this dish a few nights before at a pub when Katie ordered zucchini pancakes and actually got pancakes, only with some chunked zucchini and onion in them. They were served with plain sour cream and a boring salsa. After a few bites we realized that we could do this better, and way less than $7 for 4 pancakes. So we started drinking some beers another night and this is what happened.

Zucchini Pancakes:
(makes 20 3" pancakes)

2 zucchini
3 potatoes, russet preferably. About 1.5 pounds total.
1 onion, peeled. Please don't shred an unpeeled onion.
1/2 jalapeno, seeded if you please. (odds are this is a good idea).

You got a food processor? OK. Then shred this stuff above and mix it in a bowl. No processor? I hope you have very strong arms and a lot of will power. Rest assured that the end product will be worth the work. Meanwhile mix everything below in another bowl.

2 cups rice flour
3 tablespoons corn starch
3 teaspoons baking powder
salt to taste
2 cups H20, or club soda if you're nasty

Heat some (ahem, about 1 inch of) oil in a deep pan over medium high heat, we used safflower because of its high smoke point and neutral flavor. (Plus its REALLY cheap, its basically the new canola oil. Don't say I didn't let you in on the scoop.) Mix the slurry into the shredded veggie mixture and adjust for any overage or underage of moisture. What you should have should feel like a really grainy, thick and chunky paste. It should feel like something you would never want to eat. But we are about to deep fry it, so just be patient.

OK. First you have to do the unthinkable. You have to make a tester. Then you have to eat it. I HATE this step, but if I MUST make the food right its too crucial to skip. Use a 4 oz. ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup to make 1 pancake in the oil. Please be careful, its real hot. Flip it after about 2 minutes (when its golden brown and delicious on the down side) and cook for an additional 2 minutes on the other side. Check for doneness with the no fail-taste test and adjust your cooking time accordingly. When done, set to drain on paper towels or some fancy rack you have that we don't.

Need more or less cooking time? Then adjust. Keep tasting, this recipe makes enough for everyone and plenty for you to snack on as well.

If you are going to eat them now, keep them in an oven set to 250. If you are just torturing yourself, put them in the fridge. These also freeze remarkably well, just make sure to refrigerate them first so that the temperature change is gradual and you don't pull too much moisture from the veggies. Serve with the dipping sauce below, any salsa that doesn't come from a jar, and some nicely stewed black beans. Oh yeah, and a really fresh IPA.

Chipotle Sour Cream Sauce:

1 container tofutti sour cream
2 tablespoons chipotle sauce in adobo
4 tablespoons cilantro/scallion pesto (it's a basic pesto, recipe will be in one of the next entries)
lime juice and garlic to taste


  1. Hello lovelies!
    I just found your blog through Vegansaurus today. How is it possible that we've both been writing SF CSA blogs for years and have never found each other? (Or have we? I have a terrible memory - but I assume you would have been on my blogroll if I'd known.) I see you're in NY now, but am excited to read that you're starting up a new CSA box! I love reading about boxes from other parts of the country.
    You have lots of lovely produce-using inspiration here, just what our CSA-ing community needs.

  2. Great blog with so many amazing recipes! Your "followed"!