Monday, November 4, 2013

Zucchini keftedes and to each their own

Zucchini keftedes / Keftedes de abobrinha

Every time I watch “The Great British Bake Off” (thanks to some really nice people who post the episodes on YouTube) I get cranky about the contestants’ lack of hygiene – all that touching of hair, then touching of the floor, then touching the food drives me crazy! I feel sorry for the judges who have to eat the baked goods. There was an episode in which a cake or something was sliced and a hair could be clearly seen on the close up – I think it was one of Cathryn’s sweets (season 3), if I’m not mistaken. Eeew. :S

To make things even more unappetizing for me the last episode I watched had the contestants baking with suet, which is something I wouldn’t eat no matter the amount of sugar and fruit added (that said, I have always wanted to make a roly-poly, replacing the suet for butter or vegetable shortening or using this suet-free version from Gourmet Traveller).

While eating suet is not part of my plans, my husband wouldn’t try anything with zucchini (to each their own, right?), and telling him a hundred times how delicious that vegetable is wasn’t really helping. Things changed when he tried these keftedes – the minute I started frying the balls the kitchen was filled with a wonderful smell, sort of like when someone is making grilled cheese and some of the cheese slips off the bread and touches the screaming hot frying pan; that got him immediately interested – he bit into one fritter, looked at me and said: “I’ll grab the Tabasco and a very cold beer”. :D

Zucchini keftedes
slightly adapted from the beautiful Full of Flavor: How to Create Like a Chef

450g (1 pound) zucchini, trimmed and coarsely grated
2 tablespoons grated onion
100g feta cheese, crumbled
¾ cup finely grated parmesan
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
6-8 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
all purpose flour, seasoned with salt, for dusting
canola oil, for frying

Blanch the zucchini in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and squeeze dry in a cloth (I let the zucchini cool a little before doing that because it was impossible to handle such a hot kitchen towel).
Place the olive oil in a small saucepan, add the onions with a pinch of salt and cook until soft and translucent. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Add the zucchini, feta, parmesan, parsley, oregano, eggs and half the breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper, then mix to combine. If the mixture is too wet, gradually add more breadcrumbs. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Taste the seasoning before frying the keftedes. Shape the mixture into 2.5cm (1in) balls, then roll into the flour*.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and fry the balls in batches until golden. Drain in paper towels and serve immediately.

* the hubby suggested that rolling the keftedes in breadcrumbs instead of all purpose would make them even nicer on the outside and although I haven’t tried doing that I agree with him.

Makes about 20


Anonymous said...

Actually it's:
"One keftes is on the plate".
"I ate one kefte".
"The keftedes were fourty".
"Who ate all the keftedes?"

It's greek (although we shape them into more of a small patty form). Beautiful blog!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and definitely add mint next time! Lots of it!

ela@it's better when I make it myself said...

Just my type of finger food! Thanks, Pat :)

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

What tasty little bites!

Daniela Rossi said...

Hi Patricia, how are you? can I cook them in the oven instead of deep fry them?

Lesleyc said...

Hi Patricia. Wait till you watch Season 4 - tears and tantrums and that was mostly the viewers …. most of whom were thoroughly fed up with the contestant called Ruby. Anyway, on to suet - you can get a vegetarian version - and if you're British then suet puddings are the best, warming, ribstickers on the planet especially in the winter. There is really nothing like them. Suet makes very light pastry for meat pies as well as dumplings for casseroles and stews. If you take a look at Atora Suet on the web, you'll see it looks just like rice grains and is the texture of shortening. If you can't get it in Brazil and food stuffs can be sent by mail and you want to try some I'll willingly send you a box, vegetarian or non-vegetarian. Best wishes - Lesley

ela@it's better when I make it myself said...

Hi Pat, to change a subject again...I made my first panna cotta (w/buttermilk but w/o rosewater), following your suggestion, and it's fantastic! It's posted on my blog! Thanks, all the best :-).

SugarOnSnow said...

Hi Patricia!Your kolokithokeftedes (that is the whole Greek name) look delicious!!! And so cute!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Daniela, I think you might try - it sounds like a good idea. :)

Lesley, you are so sweet! Thank you, dear! I have made a couple of recipes that called for suet using vegetable shortening. Thank you for your offer, anyway, it's really kind.
As for TGBBO, I have seen the fourth season and I couldn't stand Ruby. And, to be honest, by the end of the season I couldn't stand both Paul and Mary either, they were too biased this season. Not good. I believe it was you who once commented here about having Dan Lepard as a judge instead of Paul Hollywood and I couldn't agree with you more, darling.

Ela, I can't wait to see your panna cotta! xx

Victoria, that is too hard for me to write or say aloud, darling! :D Thank you for teaching me that! :D

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