Tag Archives: garlic

Zucchini Oven-Baked Crisps

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Normally when we think of crisps, we are dreading having to heat the oil and deep fry the food. These are baked in the oven and come out just the way I like them- tasty and crisp.

I tried a couple ideas when it came to preparing the baking pan that I mention here so you can see the possible choices. I used an 11 x 15 pan. First, I used a small amount of olive oil; it burns easily at these temperatures and left me with a bad cleanup job. Then I tried to line the pan with parchment paper; I was surprised that while the pan seemed protected, there was still burn on the edges of the pan- I don’t know how that burn got there. And the parchment paper was really done for; it crumbled in my hand as I took it out. I think the answer is probable back to a fat with a higher burn point; I believe peanut oil and safflower oil are considered best for being stable in high heat. And remember that the oven temperature actually rises and falls to give an average temperature at which you set the knob- I watched mine one day and it seemed like the excursion of temperature was almost 100 degrees in each way. Perhaps, with that in mind, the answer is to reduce the temperature setting and cook the crisps longer. For now, you will either need to accept where I am in my experimenting, or try changing the parameters yourself.

Zucchini Oven-Baked Crisps

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini (yellow, green, or both)
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and lightly grease a baking sheet. (See the August 17th update at the bottom of the page; lower heat and higher smoking-temperature grease).
  • Slice the zucchini into 1/4 inch rounds; this can be done on a mandolin slicer, a meat slicer, or with a handheld knife.
  • Prepare three dishes for dredging the rounds and coating them. In the first dish, place the AP flour. In the second dish, break the two eggs and whip them. Finally, in the third dish, mix the Panko, cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder to form the coating.
  • For each zucchini round, dredge it in the flour and shake off any excess, then wash it thoroughly with the egg, and finally dredge it in the coating mix. Lay the coated round on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 25 minutes (See the August 17th update below;- increased cooking time to go with lower cooking temperature). or until the rounds are golden brouwn and crispy. Allow them to cool about 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer them to a serving try with a spatula.

August 17, 2015: Made another batch today, and used shortening as the pan grease; it worked well without a lot of splatter like I had with Olive Oil. I also turned the oven down to 400 degrees F., and cooked for 30 minutes– lower heat but longer cook time. I think everything worked like I wanted it to work!

Spaghetti Marco Polo

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Now here is a spaghetti dish with lots of earthy flavor, but not tomato or milk based. And it is easily expanded for a large crowd.

We originally got this recipe from the 1972 Julia Child television show on PBS. Since then, I have searched a lot of recipes called Marco Polo, but never found this exact recipe. It is again a case that you really can’t improve on the classic base.

When I made this recipe the other day, I was surprised at how much “sauce” it made, and how it totally covered the spaghetti. From that experience, I have a couple suggestions. One would be to not be afraid to double the amount of spaghetti to a full 16 ounces, and the second would be to not be afraid to stir the “sauce” into the spaghetti instead of leaving it on top. My memories of when Marlys made the recipe is that the spaghetti showed through on top, and wasn’t completely covered with “sauce”, and since there were four of us eating, she might have doubled the amount of spaghetti anyway.

My personal choice is not to sprinkle the parmesan cheese on the serving dish, but to put it on the table and let each person sprinkle the amount they want on their serving of the dish.

Spaghetti Marco Polo

(Julia Child, TV Program 1972)

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. spaghetti
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped black olives
  • 1/2 cup red pimento (no vinegar flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 cup chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, pureed

Directions

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain the spaghetti.

Make the sauce by mixing together in a bowl the walnuts, olives, pimento, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In the cooking pan put the olive oil and garlic. Stir over moderate heat. Return spaghetti to pan and toss with the oil & garlic.

Transfer to serving plate and top with the “sauce”. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serves two generously.


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Chicken Marinade

For many years, Marlys was the grill master in our house; I had a long commute to work and home, and was also going to school several evenings each week. So Marlys had to be fairly independent. She learned to light and cook on the Weber Grill, and her favorite was chicken thighs and breasts, marinated in this marinade. It is a good recipe since it does not require refrigeration, can be made early in the day and be ignored until time to grill the chicken. And she used the recipe also as a basting sauce. (As with all marinades that have been used on raw meat, you do not use them on the table with the cooked meat; they need to be cooked, too).

Marination doesn’t give many opportunities to show interesting pictures. This first photo shows the ingredients in the marinade.

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Chicken Marinade

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, mashed

Makes enough for 1 whole chicken. Marinate at room temperature all day or over night. Grill chicken on indirect heat on a Weber outdoor grill about 1 hour, turning once. Baste every 15 minutes.

Marlys used a freezer bag to hold the meat and the marinade. Push the excess air out as you seal the baggie, and then you will not need to turn the bag as often as the marinade will fill the remaining space.

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When I published the recipe for Basil Chicken Marinade, I commented that marination really had a slight cooking action. I decided to demonstrate some of that action by showing you a before and after set of photos of a chicken breast that I was marinating. Notice the darker color and somewhat tightening of the flesh after marinating.

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This is good for pork also; either marinated or just brushed while grilling.

Creamed Squash

This is an easy, delicious side dish made from zucchini. Jenn admits that it is one of her favorites, and she has made it herself. So I gave her half of what I made.
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Creamed Squash

  • 2 lbs. fresh zucchini squash.
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon flour

Coarsely grate zucchini. Using a 10″ or large frypan with a tight lid, combine the butter, water, pepper salt, basil and garlic. Place on high heat; mix in squash. Cover and cook about 5 minutes or until tender. Remove lid and cook to evaporate the liquid—about 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the sour cream and flour. Mix until smooth; stir into squash mixture. Bring to a boil stirring until blended into a smooth sauce.

While I don’t think any hints are necessary for you to have success with this recipe, I will explain what I did and think. First, the two pounds of grated zucchini takes a large space. It cooks down, but you need to start with a large pan. I used the 12 inch sauté pan, but remember you need a pan with a lid.

It took me a couple minutes longer than 10 to evaporate the water, but then, I don’t like to turn the burner all the way to “high”. I tend to keep the burner about 70-80% of “high” when the recipe calls for high heat.
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When I served myself some of the Creamed Squash, I felt that the salt was not as strong as I would like it. However, I won’t change the recipe, but instead will add salt from the shaker on the table.

I hope you will try this delicious side dish of zucchini, and find it as good as I say it is.