8.24.2016

Baked Zucchini Fries


Okay guys, we are already halfway through Zucchini week and I am already getting emails and messages that you've been trying out the recipes! The Zucchini Tots have been a total hit in those who have reported back to me, and I already know of some of you who are making the Zucchini Pizza Crust tonight! This totally makes my day (week and month, actually!), and makes me even more excited to share with you the last three recipes I have ready for you. Today's recipe is one that I'm sure many of you have tried. But I'm telling you, THIS is the recipe you're going to want to keep around and make every year during zucchini season! The zucchini fries are baked, so they haven't been drenched in oil or deep fried. But dang, they sure taste crispy like they have been! For me, that's a win. haha. Making these fries are a process, but they can be an easier and less-messy process with my tips below. I promise you that! Let's dive in, shall we? 


First, slice up the zucchini. The bigger the zucchini, the harder it's going to be to get the perfect fries. Why? Well, bigger zucchini tend to have more fibrous centers with lots more seeds. So if you have a batch of medium-sized zucchini lying around, those are the ones you want to use. I sliced up four of them, removing the ends, and carefully sliced them into fries. The more uniform you slice them, they will bake up more evenly as well. 


Next, we bread the little suckers. I usually use three cake pans. Since almost all of mine are in storage, I used what I found in my sister-in-law's kitchen. The breading is comprised of three different parts. The flour - make sure to dredge the whole zucchini fry in four. No spots can be left un-floured! Next, the egg - I always add in a little splash of water to loosen up the whisked eggs (not too much, though!). And lastly, the panko mixture. You can use straight up Italian panko bread crumbs and skip the Italian seasonings. I had regular Panko in my pantry, so I added Italian seasonings and a bit of garlic powder. If you're going to use regular bread crumbs, it's not going to be as crispy, or look like these, so try to find some Panko if you can.


Working in batches is key. I did about 5 at a time. With one hand for wet ingredients and one hand for dry, dip each zucchini in the flour, then the egg mixture, then the panko, then place on the prepared baking sheet. Easy peasy, if you keep one hand wet and one hand dry, that is. ;) 


Next, they bake up in the oven. You don't have to turn them because they're on the cooling rack in the oven. They should cook beautifully all the way around. 


And voila! Baked zucchini fries! 


These are the most crispy delicious fries! I served them up to my brother's family one night with our dinner with some garlic butter noodles and they were a hit! Even my brother had some, and my cute little niece loved them as well. I was so happy with how they turned out this time. I had made them before, but this time my mixture was right on the money. These would be really awesome as appetizers for an Italian dinner, or even just as a fun lunch with the littles. 


Serving them with marinara sauce is a must, I tell you. It really takes the flavors home. I love serving it with the Classico Pizza Sauce (not sponsored, just love it). 


They do well eaten right away. I've noticed that they don't keep their crispiness as leftovers, or even after they are frozen. So eat 'em up while they are fresh and crispy! 

Make sure to come back tomorrow for yet another yummy zucchini recipe to try this zucchini season! I have two more and you will L.O.V.E. 'em. :) 


Baked Zucchini Fries
makes 6 servings

ingredients: 
2 C Panko (Japanese Bread Crumbs)
2/3 C freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 t Italian seasoning 
1 t garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
 4 medium zucchini, ends removed and sliced into fries
2/3 C all purpose flour
3 large eggs, beaten
marinara sauce or ketchup for serving

method:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place parchment paper with a cooling rack on a baking sheet, set aside. 
2. Using three plates or flat glass dishes (I use cake rounds), place the flour in the first container, the whisked eggs + a little splash of water in the next one, and the panko and seasonings (garlic powder, Italian seasonings) in the last. 
3. Working in batches of 5 at a time, dredge the zucchini in the flour (making sure to coat all the surface of each one), dip into eggs until completely coated, and then press into the panko mixture last. *Using one hand for dry ingredients, and the other mainly for wet ingredients will help you to not make a huge mess with your hands.* Place each coated piece of zucchini on the prepared baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. 
4. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Serve with marinara sauce, and enjoy!

Recipe source: Baking with Blondie 

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