Thursday, February 16, 2012

Parmesan-Crusted Zucchini Sticks


It's been a long day week, full of children's feverish red cheeks and ear infections. 

There's been much crying and screaming (and not much sleep for me).

No one's eaten any vegetables in my house in four days. 

I feel guilty about that.

So, after finally getting my scream-y children down for naps yesterday, I exhaled, cleared the counter of medicine cups, sippy cups, and shot glasses (just kidding), and decided to make a super-sneaky "quick and easy" zucchini recipe that I've been thinking about for a couple of weeks.
I love blogging during naptime.

But what happened next is typical of any mommy blogger's efforts at blogging.

Right as I've reached the point of no return (the veggies are cut, eggs are cracked, oven is preheating), Matthew wakes up. 

Crying. 

Bless his little heart.  Ear infections HURT.  
 
 Blank stare, red cheeks, burning fever, bed head.
Good times.  

Matthew asked me to "make" him an orange.
Anything for you, baby doll.
How about a side of Motrin with that?

Since one kid was contentedly snacking,
I turned back to the zucchini sticks.  
That only ensured that the other kid would wake up.

Right on cue, Timothy entered the kitchen.
"Mommy, can I play Lego.com?" 

Yup.
Lego.com is serious business, people.

Once more, I turned to the zucchinis.  

Sliced them in half lengthwise, 
 

and then in half again (lengthwise).
  

Then I cut each slice into four strips.
  

And lopped each strip in half.  
(Getting all this "half" business?)
(If you want to save yourself some time, don't slice them as small as I did and 
increase the baking time by about 5 minutes or so.)

 

Timothy was still playing on the computer.
I dare not interrupt him at this pivotal point in his
career journey to be a Master Lego Builder.

Matthew's Motrin hadn't kicked in yet.
 
 So I picked him up and held him for about 20 minutes on the couch until it did.

 Seriously.  Progress at the speed of snails. 
At this point, ninety minutes had passed since I started on these zucchini sticks.
And my light was fading (bad news for natural light photographers).

Solider on, mommy blogger.

I like to use Panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs).

I beat two eggs and put them in a bowl.
 Then I mixed the panko, Parmesan, thyme, salt and pepper in another.

Dip,

dredge,

and deposit.
  
 (On a parchment-lined baking sheet.)

Now, I'll shoot straight with you and disclose that I was very displeased 
with how little the breading was adhering to the zucchini.

Displeased isn't the word. 

Maybe it's the lack of sleep and near-constant high-pitched screaming that
made me so grumpy, but I was downright HACKED.

So I took matters into my own hand fist.

There.  Much better.
 
(They were still good, in a pig-in-a-blanket kind of way.)

I baked them in a pre-heated 425-degree oven for about 20 minutes.
 


Wonderfully delicious.  
Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside.

A perfect appetizer.
(As long you can make them faster than I did!)

 The Motrin finally kicked in, and my superhero returned to save the day.

I slightly altered this recipe that I found here by increasing the amount of breading ingredients and by slicing the zucchini differently.  My zucchini sticks look nothing like Kevin's (author of the blog Closet Cooking where I found the recipe).  But they were still very good.

Here's the printable recipe.


Parmesan-Crusted Baked Zucchini Sticks
Makes about 50 small, thin "sticks" of breaded zucchini*

2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 medium zucchini, sliced into "sticks" (see photo illustration)*

Combine the bread crumbs, cheese, thyme, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.  Place the beaten eggs in a small bowl.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Dip the zucchini "sticks" first in the eggs and then dredge in the breading mixture.  Set breaded zucchini on baking sheet (skin side down, if applicable) and repeat with remaining zucchini. 

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown. 

*You can alter this recipe by slicing the zucchini differently.

4 comments:

janzi said...

YOu are so clever to do this recipe, I shall try it out soon.. and with two sick children to care for, you make me very amazed at your caring and capability and what a super mum you must be.. well done.. hope they are better tomorrow and you have a better night with more sleep.. poor babies..

Ginny said...

Oh, Janzi. Thank you for your kind words! (I wish I were a super mom, but alas...I am not...)

Please do try the recipe. It's really wonderful. Thanks again for your sweet words. You made my day.

Caneel said...

((HUGS)) my friend. Soldier on, wonder mommy! These look yum-yummy. And your boys look *pitiful* - hope you all sleep tight tonight!

Aimee Christian said...

Obviously we have the SAME life. My youngest had an ear infection last week and I too was thinking - why am I doing this blog thing when I can barely keep my head above water? It's very funny when your kids ask, "can we eat it yet or do you have to take a picture?" Ah, the life of a mommy blogger!

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