Life, Left Over

Food Friday – Baked Zucchini Chips

Posted on: October 21, 2011

Wow, this week seemed to FLY by! I’ve got a lot to do this weekend, so here’s a quick recipe for you. This one is best as a side dish or appetizer, and is a good way to use up surplus zucchini from the market or your garden. I based these on this recipe at Eclectic Recipes, and made it the day after the Ratatouille (since I had extra zucchinis, and this recipe came to my attention that day). This is a good alternative to deep-fried veggie appetizers (love those, by the way), too. Read on!

Ingredients:
Zucchini, sliced into coins
Salt
Bread crumbs
Grated Parmesan cheese
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Dried Basil & Oregano
Milk
Non-stick spray

Equipment:
drying rack
baking sheet
a couple of bowls
two forks
paper towels


The bananas are still irrelevant.

The Process:

Slice your zucchini (I suspect you could also use yellow squash, or any type of squash, really) and lay them out on the drying rack, with the baking pan underneath. Sprinkle liberally with salt. This will draw out the moisture inside the squash and prevent them from becoming mushy. Let sit for a few minutes, flip, and salt again.

Meanwhile, assemble your coating supplies. Mix the breadcrumbs and spices and cheese. I actually forgot the cheese completely, and didn’t have any onion powder. Feel free to season yours however you choose. Put a small amount of milk in a bowl (only a tablespoon or two). It looks like I have a lot of breadcrumbs here, but I actually ran out of them before I ran out of zucchini, so plan accordingly. Now is also the time to preheat your oven – get that hotbox up to 450°F.

Use a paper towel to dry the remaining moisture from your zucchini, pressing a little to get them as dry as possible. Rinse and dry your baking sheet (or use a clean one, whichever), and spray with nonstick spray. (A very very thin layer of non-aerosol oil would also be fine.)

Dip the vegetable coins in the milk and then coat them in breadcrumbs. This is what the recipe says to do, and that’s what I did, but I don’t think it worked very well. The milk isn’t sticky and the crumbs therefore didn’t stay on the zucchini. Lay out your “breaded” zucchini on the baking sheet.

Pop the pan into the oven and set your timer for 5 minutes. When it goes off, take them out and use two forks to carefully flip them all over, and bake for another 5 minutes.


See? The breading didn’t stick very well.

Let them cool, and serve. I used Ranch dressing as a dippie, but use whatever you like!

My Thoughts:
First, I definitely have to reiterate that the milk was insufficient for breading. The addition of an egg or even some oil to the milk would add a lot of stickiness. I also thought of using something like honey mustard (one of my favorite breading stickers for chicken). So maybe I’ll try these again, redux.
These were easy and quick to make. I sliced the zucchini and let them drain while I loaded the dishwasher, so it’s great if you’re in a time crunch (guests coming over in 20 minutes?). It takes only a tiny bit of space, so it’s cool if half of your kitchen is dirty. You can use any spices you like, and breadcrumbs are easy to make out of the heels of your sandwich loaf, so this is definitely a recipe that you can make anytime – you already have all the ingredients!
The finished product was soft and tasty. For those who don’t like the semi-slimy texture of cooked zucchinis (it’s a good thing I made this on a night when Hubby was not home), you may want to pass on this recipe. These were not floppy, but they definitely had a bit of the mush-factor. I don’t mind that, so I was happy. Despite the difficulty getting the crumbs to stick, the breading was good. Very crispy and flavorful. Ranch was a good companion.
As an alternative to deep-fried veggies, I think this stacks up pretty well. If fried is what you want, it won’t compare, but as far as taste and easy-to-make, this baked version wins. I’m giving this recipe a final grade of B. Needs some improvement, but still good.

Anybody else have picky husbands? Need to cook around the mess in your kitchen? How many people have problems with the texture of foods? Leave your suggestions, questions, and ideas in the comments!

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2 Responses to "Food Friday – Baked Zucchini Chips"

I will have to try this out. I LOVE fried zucchini, pickles, mushrooms… you name it. YUM!

I love fried squashes and mushrooms and the like as well. I definitely think this was an acceptable substitute. Just add an egg or something to the milk! 😀

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