Baked Zucchini Fries

I’m an absolute junkie when it comes to Pinterest.   Not sure I’ve mentioned it here before, but I’m crazy about it.  It’s a really, really fun way to kill time and learn about cool stuff and there’s something for darned near everyone.  Seriously … everyone.  For instance, pretend for a second that you’re say … a basket weaving enthusiast.  You adore all things basket woven – from hair braids to buttercream frosting, to hand knit blankets, or potholders, or throw rugs.   Guess what?  You can find each and every one of those basket woven things (and more, I checked) on Pinterest.  It’s amazing.  Truly.  

There are a large handful of categories that I stalk multiple times daily, but at the top of my list is Food & Drink.

(I know — process your astonishment, I’ll wait.)

That’s where I became obsessed with Baked Zucchini Fries.

Another family was over for dinner this past Sunday night and I thought that would be a fine time to see how these fries would go over with grownups as well as the 15-and-under crowd.  I set out a tray of them and needless to say, they disappeared (the fries, not the guests) in roughly five minutes.  I consider that a home run — blogworthy at the very least — and an excellent way to get your punks to ingest / enjoy zucchini at the same time.  I hope you’ll give ’em a go, and I hope you’ll try Pinterest sometime, too.  You can blame me if you get hopelessly sucked in.  : )

SERVES:  2 – 4

2 medium zucchini, cleaned and ends trimmed (zucchini are on sale)
3/4 c. flour
2 eggs
1/4 c. Sendik’s milk
1 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs
1 1/2 t. Italian seasoning
1/2 t. garlic powder
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese (Kraft Grated Parmesan and Belgioioso Parmesan Wedges are on sale)
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Cooking spray

Purchased marinara sauce, warmed (Dei Fratelli Pasta Sauces are on sale)

Preheat oven to 425.  Generously coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise, then slice each half in to 1/2″ strips.  The thinner your strips, the more tender your zucchini with be in the end.

Set up your SBP (that’s Standard Breading Procedure :-) :  place flour in a shallow dish and season generously with salt and pepper.  Place eggs and milk in another shallow dish and whisk to blend.  Place panko, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste in a third shallow dish, stir with a fork to blend well.  Place the dishes in this order on your counter and place the oiled baking sheet at the far end.

Working with one hand, toss a couple of zucchini strips in the flour to coat.  Shake off the excess flour before dipping the strips in to the egg mixture, and then rolling them in the panko mixture.  Set breaded strips on the baking sheet and repeat until all of the strips are breaded.  Coat strips lightly with cooking spray.  Bake zucchini strips in the middle of the preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until  golden brown and crispy.  Sprinkle fries with a bit more kosher salt; transfer them to a platter and serve immediately with warm marinara for dipping.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | August 14th, 2013