Monday, September 10, 2007

Zucchini-Feta Pancakes

4 cups packed, coarsely grated zucchini (3 about medium zucchini)
4 eggs, separated
1 heaping cup finely-crumbled feta
½ cup minced green onions
¾ tsp dried or 1 tablespoon fresh mint
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup flour (yes, I used whole wheat and it is fine)
Plain yogurt (I thoroughly endorse Trader Joe’s Greek yogurt) or sour cream

Put zucchini in a colander, salt it, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse and squeeze out most of the moisture.

Combine squeezed zucchini, egg yolks, feta, green onions, flour and spices.

Beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold into zucchini mixture (very gently, try not to deflate the egg whites since they add the loft to the pancakes).

Fry on a lightly oiled griddle (butter or canola oil work best) until both sides are golden. Serve with yogurt for dolloping on top.

Yet more thanks go out to Georgina (via The Original Moosewood Cookbook) (serves 4)

Polenta, Spinach and Baked Eggs

4 cups good veggie broth
1 cup dry polenta (Whole Foods had great stuff in bulk) or stone-ground yellow cornmeal (don’t use white!)
½ to 1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar (optional, but it really is better)

Bring broth to a boil in medium saucepan (I prefer non-stick and a size that allows for the expansion and bubbling of the polenta). Slowly sprinkle the cornmeal into the boiling broth (if you dump, it will clump). Over medium heat, whisk the polenta often (some say the stirring should be constant but I’ve never ever done that), esp. as it bubbles and thickens. You are done when it is good and thick and about 25-30 minutes of stirring have passed. Stir in salt and remove from heat. Stir the cheese (if you’re using it) in once it is off the heat.

The rest of the dish:
2 bags or about 2 pounds of fresh spinach (I suppose you could use a couple of packages of frozen spinach too, but I haven’t tried it – do thaw and drain it first)
4 large eggs

Wash and stem the spinach. Throw the wet spinach in a pot and steam until it is just bright green. Drain and chop coarsely. Put spinach in the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch baking dish. Spread hot polenta over the top of the spinach. Make four wells in the polenta and carefully crack an egg into each indentation. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Bake (uncovered) in a pre-heated 350 degree over until whites have set and yolks are firm (or however you like your eggs!). Note: baked eggs are deceptively shiny even when they are well cooked. Give them a little poke to see how well they are really setting up. I like my eggs well-done so I tend to leave this in the oven for 15-20 minutes. People who like eggs with a little more jiggle should be checking them at 8 minutes.

From Georgina (based on a recipe in Diana Shaw’s The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook) (serves four)

“Grate” Zucchini Bread

¾ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup unbleached white flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 egg white
1 whole egg
3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) vegetable oil
1 ¼ cups packed, finely grated unpeeled zucchini (about 1 medium)
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup finely chopped nuts
1/3 cup raisins

In a large bowl combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and all spices. In a smaller bowl, mix eggs, oil, zucchini, and vanilla. Add the latter to the former and combine well. Mix in nuts and raisins. Pour batter in greased loaf pan (will work in muffin pans, but stays moister as a loaf). Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

From Georgina (from Jane Brody’s Good Food Book) (makes 1 loaf)

Stuffed Jalapeños

22 to 25 Jalapeños
1 lb breakfast sausage (for example, Jimmy Dean... or for the veggie types like me, Gimmie Lean... I would suggest the veggie type because w/ the cheese and jalapenos I can't imagine anyone would be able to tell the difference.)
1 package cream cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the jalapeños in half long-ways. Hallow out the seeds (I just use a spoon to scoop the stuff out) so you have little jalapeño boats. This is where the gloves very much come in handy.
Cook the sausage, making sure that it is broken up into nice and little pieces. Let it cool a bit.
Mix up everything else in a bowl. When all of that is well combined, add in the cooked sausage and mix that in well, too.
Spoon the cheese/sausage mixture into each jalapeño half/boat/shell, about a half teaspoon per shell, depending on the size of your jalapeños.
Put them in a baking dish or a cookie sheet. You can easily make these a day ahead of time and pull them out of the fridge when you’re ready to cook them.
Cook them in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for about 12-15 minutes until the cheese on top of them is just starting to turn brown.
Eat them.

Thanks to Steve and his blog for this recipe. I haven't tried them yet, but he made them the other day and they looked fantastic.