Friday, August 10, 2012

Zucchini + Squash = Greatness

Ben recently acquired a large quantity of rather large zucchini and summer squash. By large I mean many and huge, respectively. All of them were larger than my forearm. And he gave me 7 of them. Later that week Gwyn and I were going to go to a church BBQ, and needed to bring something to feed other people. I figured this was a great opportunity. Some people might be saying: "Hey Scott! This one time so-and-so made really good grilled zucchini" and "Ooohh... Lots of zucchini? You should make zucchini bread!" While I do like both of those options, I decided to go for a different approach, ever since making sweet potato pancakes with Chelsea, I have wanted to experiment with more ( <item> + eggs + breadcrumbs ) -> butter + heat = pancake like goodness.

Forewarning, I am inheriting my mother's cooking technique: you don't need to measure anything, you will just know. While this may be true for people who have done this, it can cause trouble for others, like my roommate (but I am not saying any names, and she gets a post after this one on one of her cooking achievements)

Summer Time Squash Pancakes

3-4 Home Grown Monstahs (that being Larger than normal home grown squash)
5-7 store bought squash

for both of these you can mix and match summer squash and zucchini, if you like one more than the other, focus on that one.

2-3 cups bread crumbs
2-4 eggs
1-2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (kind of optimal, you need something here... it could be any seasoning you prefer)
Milk and Flour as needed (I used about 1 cup of flour)
Butter. Lots of Butter. Or Oil if you would rather.

Sauces to dip in.

Wash your squash, cut off the ends (the stem and the nub on the other end) and start grating. Use a large cheese grater, or similar interment, and shred all of the squash you are using. This activity can take a while, and it is very dangerous for your knuckles. You have been warned.

Once your squash is all cut up, you need to get as much water out as you can. I grated mine in to a big bowl, then pressed the squash, and drained, then pressed and drained. I got my hands dirty, but I am sure there is some graceful way to do this. You just want to get rid of the juice.

At this point, I went to sleep and worked on it the next day.

Drain again, add the egg, bread crumbs and seasoning. Mix well. You are looking for a sweet spot in consistency, you want to be able to ball up the batter and have it kind of hold shape, but you don't want it so doughy that it is super sticky. Eggs and/or milk to make it more liquidy. Add more bread crumbs or flour to stiffen it up. This is kind of an on going process, as you start to cook them you will see what kind of consistency you are looking for.

Squished Squash (and some other stuff)
Melt a good amount of butter in a fry pan/skillet. Once butter is just getting hot, press a small hand full of batter in to a flat circular pancake thing and plot in to the butter. Let this cook for a while. There is a fine point where you want the butter to be really hot, but not burning. I found this was right around '6' on my stove, but it may depend. You will find the sweet spot as you keep cooking more. After a few minutes, flip the pancakes over, you should see a nice browning going on. I like them crispy and well done, but you can shorten time if you want softer ones. Keep doing this untill all your batter is used up.

From here they look like Sausages
Serve with a sauce or two, they are not all that flavorful on their own. I did spaghetti sauce (you really should use marinara sauce) and some tzatziki. Both were well received.

Presentation is everything
Be sure to put this on your favorite plate.


  1. Someday I will learn to do the "dont measure anything and have it turn out perfectly" but for right now my food is just going for edible.

  2. Scott - You definitely inherited that trait from Gram and I! It is a recessive gene. Many people cringe at "dont measure anything and have it turn out perfectly", and hate us. You and I understand the concept of "the sweet spot" that you can't anticipate, but just looks and feels the right consistency. We also realize that whoever wrote the cookbook had to try things, and what the heck... there is a place in the kitchen for creativity. Your recipe and presentation look and sound great. I think there is a correlation between your method and your favorite tray :-)