When I’m out and about, I can’t pass a farm stall. I have to look at the offers and sometimes take home more than I really need. Fresh corn, vegetables, tomatoes, zucchini, melon, and berries are just a few of the things I can’t resist.
One rainy night, I unloaded the refrigerator’s vegetable bins and experimented with making small batches of vegetable-based snacks. As I was working (and tasting), I got the thought that these tidbits would make a great party kitchen.
The Cheddar Corn Fritters are especially tasty and have just enough cheese and egg to hold them together. You can make them small or larger, use different types of cheese (I think Pepper Jack would be great!), And add fresh herbs like cilantro if you’d like.
Who wants a new way to use zucchini? I’ve read about these “crunches” in the past and when I finally made them I found that using a mini muffin pan works so well! Don’t skip the step of squeezing the water out of the shredded zucchini. This is another flexible recipe that lets you choose your cheese and herbs. I took parmesan, but any hard cheese would be delicious.
If you have a silicone muffin pan this would be ideal. The next day, I liked these tots even more after they had been made crispy again in the oven.
I have to admit that I had to wrinkle my nose at the words “crispy kale”, but I’ve become a fan. This recipe is the best method I know. I like to dust it with nutritional yeast, and since I had the oven on, I roasted a few chickpeas to add more protein to my party tray.
All of the versatile snacks listed below can be prepared in advance and then warmed and crispy in the oven at around 250 degrees for 5-10 minutes before serving. Add a pinch of za’atar seasoning mix to some plain yogurt to make a simple dip, and you’re done.
Summer’s bounty doesn’t last long, so enjoy it while you can!
Cheddar corn fritters
4 ears of fresh corn (corresponds to 2 cups of grains)
3 tablespoons of colored paprika, diced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of melted butter
Vegetable oil for frying
Peel the corn and put it in a large saucepan with boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes. Take off the stove and let cool down a bit.
Cut the kernels off the cob and scrape the cob with a table knife to release the corn milk. Stir in paprika, eggs, water and cheese.
Mix the flour, sugar, chili powder, salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the corn mixture and stir until evenly moistened. Stir in melted butter.
Pour 1/4 inch oil into a large, heavy pan and heat over medium heat. Put the batter into the hot oil spoon by spoon. Don’t overcrowd. Fry until golden brown and crispy on the first side, approx. 2 minutes. Turn and fry for another 2 minutes until golden brown on the second side. Drain the donuts on kitchen paper and season with salt. Yield: 16 small donuts
1 cup zucchini, crushed
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a mini muffin pan with oil or cooking spray.
Place the grated zucchini in a clean tea towel and squeeze out the moisture, then transfer to a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients.
Fill the muffin cups to the brim with batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned and set. Yield: 1 dozen
Crunchy kale chips
1 bunch (about 6 ounces) of kale
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Wash and dry the kale, then remove the stems and mid-ribs. Pluck the leaves into pieces, mix in a bowl with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with baking paper. Bake for 20 minutes or until crispy. Place on kitchen paper to cool down. Yield: 4 servings