Kamis, 04 Oktober 2012

Spiced Cucumbers and Coconut Milk

Recipes that use cucumbers as a main ingredient are pretty hard to find. I almost overlooked this one in a BonAppetit issues. My husband pointed it out and wanted me to make it. It is easy to prepare and absolutely tasty. The cucumbers are cooked for just a couple of minutes and combined with tomatoes and green onions. The dish finishes by cooking in coconut milk and gets a nice splash of lime juice to round up the flavors. Another plus is that the Curry is very low in calorie.

Spiced Cucumbers and Coconut Milk

From BonAppetit
serves 2

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups 1/4-inch-thick slices peeled lemon cucumber (or any other cucumber)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 small tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 red Thai chiles (with seeds), thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, smashed
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 ½ teaspoons honey
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
Fresh lime juice

1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cucumber. Sauté until beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

2. Add tomatoes, scallions, chiles and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are soft, 2–3 minutes.

3. Add coconut milk and honey; simmer until vegetables are cooked through, 2–3 minutes. Stir in cilantro leaves and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Serve with rice, if desired.

Senin, 01 Oktober 2012

Zucchini Fritters

Light and crispy, these zucchini fritters are a great way to use up any zucchinis you need to cook before they go bad. In order to get the right consistency, you need to get rid of the excess water in the zucchinis by sprinkling them with salt and then pressing out the liquid.  They are a little bit like potatoe latkes but without the potatoes. Serve them with a light yoghurt sauce or a fried egg.

Zucchini Fritters
(from smittenkitchen)

1 pound (about 2 medium) zucchini
1 teaspoon coarse or Kosher salt, plus extra to taste
2 scallions, split lengthwise and sliced thin
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying

To serve (optional)
1 cup sour cream or plain, full-fat yogurt
1 to 2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
Pinches of salt
1 small minced or crushed clove of garlic

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Have a baking sheet ready.

Trim ends off zucchini and grate them either on the large holes of a box grater or, if you have one, using the shredding blade of a food processor.

In a large bowl, toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Wring out the zucchini in one of the following ways: pressing it against the holes of a colander with a wooden spoon to extract the water, squeezing out small handfuls at a time, or wrapping it up in a clean dishtowel or piece of cheese cloth and wringing away. 

Return deflated mass of zucchini shreds to bowl. Taste and if you think it could benefit from more salt (most rinses down the drain), add a little bit more; we found 1/4 teaspoon more just right. Stir in scallions, egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a tiny dish, stir together flour and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.

In a large heavy skillet — heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet only a few at a time so they don’t become crowded and lightly nudge them flatter with the back of your spatula. Cook the fritters over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. If you find this happening too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain briefly on paper towels then transfer to baking sheet and then into the warm oven until needed. Repeat process, keeping the pan well-oiled, with remaining batter. 

For the topping, if using, stir together the sour cream, lemon juice, zest, salt and garlic and adjust the flavors to your taste. Dollop on each fritter before serving. These fritters are also delicious with a poached or fried egg on top, trust me.

Do ahead: These fritters keep well, either chilled in the fridge for the better part of a week and or frozen in a well-sealed package for months. When you’re ready to use them, simply spread them out on a tray in a 325 degree oven until they’re hot and crisp again.