Thursday, May 3, 2012

Zucakes with Tomato Confetti

My new favorite food in this whole wide world (until I eat too much and get tired of it) is zucchini pancakes.

I'd never tried vegetable-based pancakes before; the idea seemed kind of weird to me. Pancakes should be sweet and sticky and syrup-laden, not healthy for you. Well, these can be unhealthy too, if you top them with enough sour cream, but the recipe itself is pretty wholesome.

I found it in Mark Bittman's newest book How to Cook Everything: The Basics. I have not read the whole thing, nor have I cooked more than one recipe from it (I'm not the kind of person to spend $30 on a single cookbook). But from the once-over I gave it, it appears to be a great collection of recipes that you can modify in pretty much any way you want.

I don't remember what Bittman called the recipe (probably something boring like Zucchini Pancakes) but I've renamed it Zucakes. Makes them sound more fun and whimsical, like they actually are. The recipe suggests serving them with sour cream and salsa, but I didn't have any, so I created the tomato confetti (called such to keep the recipe fun).

I've modified the cakes by replacing the parmesan cheese with mozzarella, as we never have any at home and mozz is cheaper. He also calls for oil, to cook the cakes in, but it's not necessary, and healthier without the oil. On top of that, the grater I have turns the zucchini into more of a mush than small strips, but it works just fine mushed or grated.

My favorite thing about the pancake recipe is that you can make it with pretty much any vegetable and spices that you want. Add cumin! Use carrots instead! Replace the mozz with pepper jack! The one I'm most excited to try is a butternut squash version, served with a curry sauce.

(I'd have included a picture, but they disappeared too quickly for that!)

2 lbs zucchini, grated (so far as I can guesstimate, this is about 2 medium zucchinis)
2 eggs
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. mozzarella
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix it all up. Plop the mixture onto the griddle/pan, using the spoon to spread the mixture out into an even circle (or whatever shape you want). Flip when ready, just like regular pancakes.

Tomato Confetti
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 c. onion, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. white pepper
Hot sauce

Cook the garlic and onion in oil over low heat for about 5 minutes. Before they brown, add tomato, spices, and a few dashes of hot sauce. Heat and serve over pancakes.

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