Zucchini Corn Fritters (A.K.A. Summer and Childhood and Nice Things)

In addition to chasing around a now-crawling baby, we’ve done some cooking this summer.  My (very local) farmer did some corn-growing, and we combined our efforts to cook some corn from the yard.  Lots of it.

One of my favorite recipes for this summer’s corn bounty was for zucchini corn fritters.  When I was a kid, we went to my grandma’s house for a few weeks  in the summer.  There were always a ton of fresh veggies at her house–corn and peas and tomatoes and cucumbers, oh my!

My very favorite of all the food was her drop cornbread, thus named because you drop it into the pan and cook it in blobs of tastiness.  It’s crispy and delicious in a way that other cornbread will never be.  It’s really the only cornbread that I love.

For some reason, I don’t ever make that cornbread.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t have a recipe for it.  It was just this grandma thing that existed in my childhood.

Until now.  [Cue happy music.]

These zucchini corn fritters are A) delicious, B) simple, and C) healthier than your typical pan-fried bread due to the addition of fresh corn and zucchini.  The zucchini wasn’t super obvious when mixed with all of the other ingredients, but I felt slightly virtuous as I ate the tasty bread.  I knew it had an extra dose of veggies inside, even if it tasted almost just like my grandma’s cornbread.  Winning all around, right?

img_4138Go get yourself some zucchini corn fritter recipe goodness here: recipe!

Don’t forget to get some spicy ketchup to go with it.  Spicy ketchup is perfect with these.  And with sweet potato fries.  And lots of other things.  You’ll like it.

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Fried Green Tomato BLT (a.k.a. Summer Love)

Sadly for me, there’s still no spare time in my life to write.  Happily for me, there’s still time in my life to cook.  Yay!

Sometime last week, we tried a new-to-us recipe for Fried Green Tomato BLT sandwiches.  Or actually, Scott tried the recipe while I was at work.  And it was a hit.  So much so that we made them again the next day.  There was only one adjustment between day one and day two–adding an egg wash to the cornmeal/tomato/frying process.  It made the cornmeal crust much more satisfyingly crunchy, or so I heard.

This really is the perfect summer lunch or quick dinner.  The fried green tomatoes taste fresh and happy, the bacon is… well, it’s bacon.  The end result is comforting and fresh at the same time.

photo by Lee Harrelson

photo by Lee Harrelson

Here’s the magic how-to (originally from Cooking Light Through the Seasons with very minor changes):

Fried Green Tomato BLT

Ingredients

8 slices bacon
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices green tomato (about 2 tomatoes)
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
Cooking spray
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
8 (1-ounce) slices bread (recipe called for white country bread, we prefer whole wheat), toasted
8 red leaf lettuce leaves

Preparation

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings. Set bacon and drippings aside.

Combine cornmeal, cheese, and pepper in a shallow dish. Crack egg into a separate shallow dish.  Dredge tomato slices in cornmeal mixture first, followed by egg wash, followed by a final dip in the cornmeal mixture. Heat 1 teaspoon reserved drippings and 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Cook 6 tomato slices 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 teaspoon bacon drippings, remaining 1 teaspoon oil, and 6 tomato slices.

Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise over each of 4 bread slices. Top each slice with 2 lettuce leaves, 3 tomato slices, and 2 bacon slices. Top with remaining 4 bread slices. Serve immediately.

Squash Season, Floors, and Other Very Exciting Things

To celebrate the start of the summer squash season (and the first fruits from our veggie garden this summer!), I went big with Giada’s Verdure al Forno.  This time, I even found fontina cheese at the grocery store, and let me tell you… yum.  I mean really.  If you don’t think parmesan, fontina, and mozzarella mixed with squash, breadcrumbs, and heavy cream are good, you’re crazy.  I know, “Who am I to say you’re crazy?!”  Try it and then tell me what you think.  This is certainly not the healthiest way to eat your veggies this summer, but I’m willing to be it’s one of the tastiest.

Peanut agrees with me, although he might be eyeing the leftover pulled pork, not the squash.

IMG_20140629_202814_987That was family brewing time at its best, thus the burner and such in the background and dinner in the driveway.  Nobody minded eating in the driveway a bit.

If that’s not enough excitement for one day, check this out:

IMG_20140630_115748_190Yes, Scott did rip out a huge chunk of our floor this morning while I was selecting books at the library and making event calendars and whatnot.  Color me impressed!

In case you’re wondering why we’re replacing perfectly nice laminate flooring, let me remind you:

photo-5See, it looks like a messy food trough for dogs, complete with blurry dog.  That’s not what most people look for in a floor, so we’re changing it to this:

photo from LumberLiquidators.com

photo from LumberLiquidators.com

We checked into lots of options for flooring–reclaimed wood, antique but not reclaimed wood, smaller and/or more local mills, bamboo floors, and last but not least, Lumber Liquidators.  As much as we wanted to go with a cool, environmentally responsible option, it just made more sense this time at the good ol’ LL.  The pre-finished option meant at least a week less manual labor and a total lack of fumes in the house.  The slightly cheaper cost meant that shipping at the next best option made it for reals more expensive.  So Lumber Liquidators won in the end.

This was their best competition in our book: Elmwood Reclaimed Timber.  Their prices are reasonable, their products are gorgeous (samples were even better in person than catalog pictures or website), and we really really like them.  But we also like living without fumes and being able to buy Peanut all the kibbles his heart desires.

I really like our pick though.  It looks a little bit rustic without that seriously distressed look (gently rustic).  It’s dark (as Scott prefers) without being super dark (which I don’ prefer).  It’s just right.