Tag Archives: zucchini

Chilled Avocado Corn Soup with Zucchini “Latkes”

6 Aug

I’m a shiksa (non-Jewish woman, for you other gentiles out there), Zak is Jewish.  Meaning he was raised on latkes.  His grandmother made them, his mother makes them, and he made sure to let me know that the first time I suggested making latkes.  I think his close-to-exact words were, “Just so you know, you have a lot to live up to.  My grandma and mom both make killer latkes.  I’m not saying you can’t do it, but just … be aware.”  Talk about a lot of pressure!

So, I decided to mix it up from the traditional latkes to give myself something of an edge.  My mom had found a zucchini latke recipe to use up some of the copious zucchini from their garden, so I did some Googling of my own and adapted my own version from this recipe at Food Network.  They turned out absolutely delicious.  Zak had no complaints, which made me very happy.  The latkes would make a delicious appetizer, too.

Pairing these with the soup was a good idea.  The soup ended up VERY spicy, so the creaminess of the latkes and sour cream really helped cool it down.  All in all, this was a fresh, summery, yummy and very healthy meal.  Admittedly, it was a lot of work, but I had my favorite kitchen helper, Roo, to keep me company¹.

Chilled Avocado Corn Soup with Zucchini “Latkes”

Chilled Avocado Corn Soup:

Adapted from Gourmet, 2005

Serves 2

3 ears of corn, shucked

1 jalapeño

1 cubanelle

1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped and divided

2 cups of chicken stock, frozen

2 cups water

1-2 tsp. lemon zest

Juice from 1 lemon

3 garlic cloves, smashed

1 ripe avocado

Cooking spray

Sour cream for serving

2-3 tbs. chopped cilantro, for serving

Preheat broiler and cover baking sheet with tinfoil.  Spray with cooking spray and place shucked corn, jalapeño and cubanelle on baking sheet.  Spray with cooking spray and place in broiler.  Broil, turning occasionally, roughly 15 minutes until the skins of peppers are charred and blistered.  Remove the peppers from the baking sheet and place immediately in a plastic zip lock bag (the steam will make peeling the peppers much easier).  Return corn to the broiler and broil additional 15 minutes until corn is browned and charred.  Let corn and peppers cool.

Remove peppers from plastic bag and peel off outer layer of skins.  Discard.  Remove most of ribs and seeds from the peppers, depending on how spicy you would like your soup (I left about 1/4 of the seeds and it was SUPER spicy).  Cut kernels off of the corn, reserving 1/2 cup of kernels for serving.  Cut the corn cobs into thirds.

Bring corn kernels, cobs, 1/2 of chopped Vidalia onion (reserving the other half for serving), chicken stock, and water to a boil, covered.  Reduce heat to a low simmer, remove cover and simmer until reduced by 1/3.

Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature uncovered.  Remove corn cobs and discard (or save for additional stock making).  In a food processor, puree mixture with peppers, lemon zest, juice from 1 lemon, and about 3/4 of the avocado (roughly 1/2 cup).  Reserve the rest of the avocado in slices for serving.

Cool pureed mixture in the refrigerator until serving time.

Serve with reserved onion, corn, sour cream and cilantro.

Zucchini “Latkes”:

Adapted from foodnetwork.com

Serves 2-3

3 cups zucchini, grated

1 medium white potato, grated

1/2 small Vidalia onion, chopped

2 eggs

2-3 tbs. flour

2-3 tbs. seasoned bread crumbs

Garlic salt to taste

Pepper to taste

3 tbs. vegetable oil

Sour cream, for serving

Mix zucchini, potato, and onion.  Squeeze out extra moisture using cheese cloth or paper towels.  Whisk together eggs and add to vegetable/potato mixture.  Mix in flour, bread crumbs, pepper and garlic salt.  Mix together well with your hands.

Heat a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan.  Form zucchini, potato, egg and flour mixture into patties roughly 2 inches across and 3 inches long.  Sauté roughly 5 minutes per side until golden brown, adding vegetable oil as necessary.  Serve warm with sour cream.

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Roasted Chicken, Butternut Squash, Zucchini and Feta Lasagna

2 Aug

It may appear from the assortment of recipes so far that we are obsessed with butternut squash in our household.  It IS great, because it’s inexpensive, nutrient packed, has longevity, freezes well, and can be used in a lot of different forms and flavor profiles.  What’s not to love?  I’m admittedly obsessed with using leftovers, and so what I made before inspires flavor profiles for quite some time.  This recipe from Closet Cooking had caught my eye, I had some of my soup leftover, butternut squash was again on sale, and I had a huge zucchini from my dad’s garden to use up.

Lasagna is labor intensive and not the healthiest, but I love it.  It’s not Zak’s favorite but the cook should get to choose sometimes, right?  It seems like it takes a long time and is a lot of work (I really didn’t enjoy peeling the butternut squash BEFORE roasting it), but it’s mostly simple steps that can be done over the course of the day.  I started around 11:30  and had it in the fridge ready to go in the oven around 4, but I walked away for a lot of breaks and set things in the refrigerator.

All the work was completely worth it, though.  This was absolutely amazing.  YUM.  Even my non-lasagna-lover liked it and is taking it for lunch tomorrow.  The salty feta, sweet butternut squash and smoky tomato was really, really good.

Roasted Chicken, Butternut Squash, Zucchini and Feta Lasagna²

Adapted from Closet Cooking

Serves 2-4

2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

1 cup zucchini, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

Cooking spray

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 small Vidalia onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup white wine (I used chardonnay)

3/4 cup diced tomato (one small tomato)

3 tsps. tomato paste

1 cup leftover Ginger and Spice Roasted Butternut Squash Soup or pureed roasted butternut squash

1 cup leftover roasted chicken, shredded¹

2 tbs. butter

2-4 tsps. all natural whole wheat flour

1 cup milk

1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

3/4 cup feta, crumbled

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

6-8 cooked lasagna noodles (I used no boil noodles)

Preheat oven to 400°.  Cover a baking sheet with tinfoil and spray with cooking spray.  Spread butternut squash and zucchini pieces in a single layer over the baking sheet.  Spray with cooking spray and season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Roast in oven until tender, roughly 20 minutes.  Set aside.

If you do not have leftover Ginger and Spice Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, roast an extra 1/2 butternut squash per the instructions in the linked recipe.  Peel, cut into pieces and puree in a food processor with a few tablespoons of water or chicken stock.  Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat olive oil.  Add onions and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent and tender, 5-7 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  Increase heat to medium and add wine, diced tomato, tomato paste, leftover Ginger and Spice Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (or roasted butternut squash puree), kosher salt, and freshly cracked pepper and bring to a slow boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15-20 minutes until sauce is thickened.  Add shredded chicken and mix throughly.  Set aside.

Heat butter in a saucepan until bubbling and lightly browned.  Slowly add flour and simmer until lightly browned.  Mix in milk and heat through until lightly bubbling.  Add cheese a bit at a time and heat until melted and thickened but not pasty.  Reserve small handful of grated cheese to sprinkle on top later.  Don’t worry if the feta does not completely melt.

Preheat oven to 350º.  Layer all with noodles in a 6″ x 3″ x 4″casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Assemble lasagna as follows: a little bit of chicken and tomato sauce, noodles, chicken and tomato sauce, roasted veg, cheese sauce, repeat, cheese sauce.  Bake, covered, for 30-45 minutes.  Remove cover and sprinkle reserved cheese on top.  Bake uncovered for the last ten minutes or place under the broiler for 2-3 mins if not golden brown.

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