Saturday, September 4, 2010
Zucchini Sticks with Tzatziki Sauce
In general, I try to eat healthy. And this means staying away from fried foods. The alternative is usually to bake, which turns out a similar crunch in a far more healthful manner.
But sometimes, occasionally, once in a while... my cravings overtake me and I want, actually, I NEED something fried. In these very rare (ahem) cases, I fry at home. Yes, it is fried, but at least I control the type of oil, the amount of salt, and I make sure it tastes good. After all, if you are going to give into a craving, you better be eating something that tastes darn good!!!
This frying batter is unique because it uses soda water, which I believe gives the batter a lighter texture. Combined with some cornmeal, you get a crisp, light outer coating with a distinctive crunch.
I used this batter for zucchini sticks, but you could also use it for calamari, fish, and other vegetables like eggplant, onions, asparagus, or peppers.
Makes a whole bunch!
2 cups Flour
1 cup Cornmeal
Zest of 1 Lemon
2 1/2 cups Soda Water
1 kg Zucchini, cut into sticks
Vegetable Oil for frying
Heat oil in a large pot. The oil should be about 6 inches deep.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, and lemon zest. Add the soda water and stir to make a lumpy batter. Place a handful of zucchini sticks into the batter. When the oil is ready (test by dropping a little batter into the oil. If it immediately fries and floats, the oil is hot enough), drop a few zucchini sticks, one at a time, into the oil. It is very important not to put too many in at once, otherwise the temperature of the oil will drop and the sticks won't fry nicely.
Fry until golden, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the oil with a strainer, and place on paper towel. Salt immediately and serve hot with tzatziki.
For the Tzatiki Sauce
3/4 cup Cucumber, grated
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Plain Yogurt
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Salt and Pepper
Place the grated cucumber onto some paper towel, salt generously, and leave for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, pat dry to remove as much moisture as possible.
In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients. Season to taste.