Friday, August 19, 2011

Faux-fried Drumsticks, Zucchini Corn Cakes, Wheat Berry Salad, and Blueberry Rhubarb Crisp

This is an amazing summer meal, with yet another way to use up zucchini.  We actually made one other complete meal, as well as several dessert items containing peaches, but you'll have to wait for those to post. In the meantime, here are some recipes to keep you from starving to death.

Faux-fried Chicken Drumsticks
Delicious.  The original recipe calls for 6 drumsticks, but we doubled it and added cornflakes for the extra crisp. Six drumsticks would be a joke for our family. A super funny joke that would end in people crying because there was no bawk-bawk left. So be sure to make enough. The ironic thing about this recipe is that it's oven-baked, but you dip the drumsticks in melted butter, so I kind of feel like something gets cancelled out. You could try olive oil or egg wash, but let's face it, butter adds such a great aroma and flavor.  I've never been tempted to leave it out.,1826,148166-231196,00.html

1 c flour
1/2 c cornflakes, finely crushed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
12 chicken drumsticks
1/2 c butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix flour, cornflakes, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper in a bowl. Dip the drumsticks in butter and roll in flour to coat. Arrange on an ungreased baking pan.  Like with foil to easy clean-up.  Bake uncovered until done, about 50 minutes.

Zucchini Corn Cakes
Wow.  These were amazing. They are best served immediately.  We thought there should be a light dip that went with it, so we whipped one together.  Recipe follows. It was hard to stop snacking on them, and they were a hit with my kids.  The original recipe calls for only 1/2 c flour, and makes thinner pancakes. We like these- a little heartier and easier to handle.,1850,142181-230206,00.html

4 large eggs
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 c mayonnaise
1/3 c Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 c flour
1 small finely diced onion
4 c shredded zucchini
2 T fresh chopped basil
1/2 c corn
1/4 c chopped yellow pepper (for color)
salt and pepper
1-3 T each butter and salad oil

Beat eggs with a fork in a large bowl until well-blended, then beat in lemon juice, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, flour, and onion. Stir in zucchini until well-combined.  Season with salt and pepper.  In a 10-12 inch frying pan, heat 1 T each of butter and oil until butter melts. Drop 1 heaping T of zucchini mixture at a time into the pan, let it spread out slightly.  Cook until golden brown, and gently flip.

Basil Cilantro Yogurt Dipping Sauce
You could just serve with sour cream and chives, or you could make this.  We used leftover stuff from all our other dishes. Fantastic!

1/3 c yogurt
2-3 basil leaves, chopped
smidge of minced garlic (scraped it off the cutting board)
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 T chopped cilantro

Whisk it all together.

Wheat Berry and Barley Salad with Smoked Mozzarella
Our friend Robi made this with us. Delicious and satisfying, with lots of protein. Substitute regular mozzarella if you must, but the smoked mozzarella flavor brings it all together. You may want to cut back on the red onion a little if you have little guys.  Or consider adding more if you don't want to be bothered with having to talk to people. Whatever works for you. From

1 cup wheat berries
1 cup pearl barley
1 small red onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
6 scallions, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups cooked corn (cut from about 2 large ears)
1/2 pound smoked mozzarella cheese, diced fine
1 pint vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives

Into a kettle of salted boiling water stir wheat berries and cook at a slow boil 30 minutes. Stir in barley and cook grains at a slow boil
40 minutes
While grains are cooking, in a large bowl stir together onion, garlic paste, vinegar, and oil.
Drain grains well and add to onion mixture. Toss mixture well and cool. Add scallions, corn, mozzarella, tomatoes, chives, and salt and pepper to taste and toss well. Salad may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before serving. Serve salad with parsley salad.

Blueberry Rhubarb Crisp with Pistachio Crust
This was also Robi's contribution.  We love when she joins us.  This was extremely popular with the kids, who did not pause to hear the answer to their question, "What's rhubarb?"

1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 pound rhubarb
2 cups blueberries (about 11 ounces)

For topping
1/3 cup shelled natural pistachios
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375°F. and butter a 2-quart shallow baking dish.
In a bowl stir together sugar and flour. Trim rhubarb and cut enough of stalks into 1/2-inch pieces to measure 2 cups. Add rhubarb and blueberries to sugar mixture, tossing well, and spread mixture in baking dish.

Make topping: Finely chop pistachios. In a bowl whisk together flour and sugars. Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes and with your fingers or a pastry blender blend into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add pistachios and toss well.
Squeeze a handful of topping together and coarsely crumble in chunks over filling. Squeeze and evenly crumble remaining topping over filling in same manner. Bake crisp in upper third of oven until filling is bubbling and topping is crisp and golden, about 50 minutes.

Serve crisp warm or at room temperature.

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