Saturday, September 8, 2012

Baked Zucchini Sticks

This recipe was pinned from King Arthur Flour.

I, like thousand of other Amerians with vegetable gardens had a plethora of zucchini.  I am not sure what I was thinking when I planted 3 zucchini plants, but if I had to guess, it was to make up for the disasters my past attempts at gardening turned out to be.  I figured if I planted three, one of them had to survive. Right?  Well, fate is fickle, and all three of them lived, and thrived.  They were so successfull, the baby zucchini grew to Chernobyl like proportions in the space of a romantic three day weekend in which I was out of town.  The picture below is actually one of the smaller fruits:

The recipe suggests that you not use "the baseball-bat-sized zucchini hiding under your plants."  Well, all I had were said baseball bats (remember the above mentioned romantic three day weekend), so I decided to improvise. 

In order to get the recomended size "sticks,"  I cut the zucchini into 4 pieces, halved those pieces, then scraped out the seeds with a grapefruit spoon.

You don't have to use a grapefruit spoon, a regular spoon, or a melon baller will work.  I just happen to have grapefruit spoons, even though I don't eat grapefruit. Hey, I saw them, thought they were neat, and bought 4, isn't that how most kitchen gadgets make it home?


                                              I then cut the above into 1/4'' sticks:
Which resulted in a ridiculous amount of sticks. This is a very large colander that stretches across my sink.  I told you, it was a very large zucchini.
I salted and allowed the zucchini to let go of most of it's moisture.  I planned on only letting it sit for an hour but it was closer to an hour and a half.  Don't blame me, I have a touch of ADD and started talking to my neighbor while browning the onions.  Don't worry though, my husband saved the onions. 
The recipe calls for mixing the browned onions with 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon mustard, and 1 cup of mayonnaise.  I did not have the cider vinegar, but I did have wine, which is really just unfermented vinegar that tastes really good in a glass, so I figured it would be a natural substitute.  Anyway, I deglazed the pan with some dry red wine, and cooked that down until the wine equalled approximatley 2 tablespoons. 
Since this is a healthier recipe, I also substituted half the mayonnaise with non-fat Greek yogurt, sacrificing none of the creaminess, and cutting the fat by half!
When it came time to dredge the sticks in the egg and the panko crumbs, I could not get the egg or the crumbs to stick.  As I mentioned before, I am pretty good at adapting, so I decided I would dredge the sticks in flour, then egg, then crumbs.  Voila!  We had stickage!
I am the worst about flipping food in the oven.  Probably because my hand-eye coordination is about as good as a new-born's, and much less coordinated. So,  after dredging the sticks, I put them on an oven safe rack.  I have done this with other recipes before.  It ensures an even, crisp crust, without me having to flip, and saving a possible trip to the emergency room to treat a second degree burn.  Believe me, it's happened, more than once.
I realize it is hard to see the rack, but trust me, it's there.  I also used foil to line the baking sheet.  My backup dishwasher was doing his homework, and the cookie sheet won't fit in my primary dishwasher.
After I had all the sticks dredged and racked (okay, half the sticks, as I said, it was a BIG zucchini), I sprayed them with a cooking spray in order to ensure maximum crispiness.  I suggest you spray the rack with cooking spray also.  You don't want all that dredging ruined by getting stuck to the rack.
I then put them in my preheated to 425 degree oven, with the convection setting on.
These are the golden brown little nuggets of goodness:
They were so tasty, I had to stop my 15 year old from eating all of them, and he does not like squash of any kind.
I found this recipe to be delicious, and no less labor intensive than frying.  The mess was about the same, but I think that has more to do with the cook than the preperation.
Thanks for reading.  Next week, I test Samoa Bundt Cake.


  1. You should post the final recipe. Or maybe post the recipe and then post the recipe YOU made (w/all your substitutes and whatnot). I'll definitely have to try this as I'm the only one in the house that will eat squash and I love it! Maybe this will get others in my house on board with squash.

  2. Thanks. I will keep that in mind for future recipes.