Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mom's Zucchini Pancakes

My mom will be the first to tell you she doesn't generally branch out too much with her cooking.

Off the top of my head, I can't remember more than maybe five or six dishes she made for dinner when I was a kid. It's not that her cooking was bad, because it certainly wasn't, but she stuck to the classics. She was on a budget and cooking for a picky husband (ew, cheese) and two picky daughters (ew, meatloaf) was no easy feat -- one of us wanted macaroni and cheese, the other chicken tenders, and my dad wanted beef stew.

But there was one thing the four of us could ALWAYS agree on -- mom's zucchini pancakes.

Though I haven't lived with my parents in some time, I can still remember the smell of them cooking. I can remember as a kid sitting and watching my mom make them, waiting for her to turn for a moment so we could swipe a fingerful of the delicious garlic batter. We couldn't have cared less that there were raw eggs in it -- it was amazing.

Mom and her two zucchini swipers. My sister Christina, left, mom in the middle, and I'm on the right.

The very idea of a "zucchini pancake" bothers some people. They think I'm talking about a literal pancake made of zucchini -- some breakfast food on fiber-filled steroids, but that's not it. Zucchini pancakes are savory and snacky and garlicky and delicious and all that is good and right with the world. They were different than the kind you'd read about in a cookbook or see on a Food Network show. For one, the zucchini was never shredded but diced, and my mom's had a distinctly souffle-like texture because of the amount of egg in them. Mix it with garlic and seasoned breadcrumbs, and you'd end up with a WHOLE lot of delicious.

For years, I've asked my mom for her zucchini recipe. It wasn't that she ever hesitated to give it to me, but she kind of just... couldn't. She didn't measure when she cooked, and she could give me her best estimation, but that was it. Until this weekend.

While visiting this weekend, my mom brought me a batch of her zucchini pancakes -- I may be 25, but to my parents, I'm basically still in college, and they're still responsible for feeding me.

While she was at my house, I told her I wanted to blog her recipe and she FINALLY was able to give me at least close approximations so that you too can enjoy them in your home. So here it is, after many, many years spent trying to pin it down -- my mom's (very short and very easy) zucchini pancake recipe.

Mom's Zucchini Pancakes
Yield is approximately 30 5-inch cakes

1 large zucchini, diced into half-inch pieces
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 yellow onion, diced
9 eggs
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 cup olive oil

Combine eggs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and bread crumbs. When well combined, add zucchini and onion.

In a frying pan, heat 3-4 tablespoons olive oil on medium high heat. When fully heated, ladle mixture into hot olive oil. Three or four pancakes can be cooked in oil at once.

When oil is dried up, pour enough to cover the bottom of the pan and repeat ladeling process. In my mom's estimation, you will need to add oil before every other batch.


No comments: