To Frizzle (Zucchini) or Not to Frizzle (that is the question!)
Lately I've been very pro-Zucchini. As a substitute for heavy starches/carbs, Zoodles (spiralized-Zucchini) is a new staple, and is really excellent with the right sauce (I find garlic/oil with parmesan melted in is really great). But how often can Zoodles (masquerading as spaghetti) make it to the plate? I considered frying Zucchini into fritters, but they fall apart very easily w/o an infusion of at least some flour - which defeats the point of low-carbing (btw: normal fritters with shredded zucchini is very delicliious)
One answer for variety is Frizzling. But this is no easy feat since frizzling requires frying, water is the enemy of frying, and Zucchini is 95% water. The goal is to dewater (as much as is possble) the Zucchini (or Zoodles) before frying.
Here’s my method:
Prepping the Zucchini:
1. Make the Zoodles. This is easy…and I do it with my basic, yet quite effective spiralizer:
2. Salt and oven-bake the Zoodles at 500F on a large try lined with parchment paper. Stir occasionally. The heat and salt will draw out a lot of water. Before they start to burn, and still mostly translucent, remove from heat to cool. They are now shrunken, but still wet.
Note: I spice-grind my course, pink Himalayan sea salt. Fine salt is easier to spread evenly.
3. Put cooled Zoodles into cheese cloth or a nutbag (um..stop laughing!) and squeeze until it’s a compressed semi-dry mass. Remove and spread out on a try. This is what you will Frizzle. There is no coating for this (no egg or flour). All flavor comes from the oil you fry in.
Note: Best nutbag I've found. No solids get through, easy to clean, very durable, and overall better than cheese cloth.
Q: Why can't I draw-out the water like I do with Eggplant (slice, salt, heavy press on paper-towel)?
A: Because we're not slicing. Spiralized zucchini won't create an flat surface for a good press..so you'd still end up using a nutbag to get more water out, and 30min in the oven is still faster than hours of hoping a heavy press will work. If you did slice to press, you wouldn't be able to spiralize later.
Make the Flavored Oil
4. In a sauce pan, add a quart of oil. Can be Oilve, GrapeSeed, Avocado. I like to mix the oils. Add bacon and garlic. Heat until all bacon-fat is rendered into the oil. Strain and keep solids aside.
Note1: Avacado oil has a very high smoking point so it’s great for frying (means nutritional compounds aren't rendered useless under high heat)
Note2: I use Costco Bacon Bits (so easy!) and my Garlic Festival “Dried Garlic” (potent and easy!) http://hvgf.org/
5. Put flavored oil in a cast iron pan and heat to frying temp. Add Zucchini in small batches...don’t over-crowd which will drop the temperature too much.
Note: Get oil to 400+F. There's still a lot of water left to deal with and HOT oil is your friend. But if VERY hot, watch -out for over-frizzling..see #6.
6. Stir the Zucchini clumps around to loosen. Fry until part of the batch turns golden brown=Frizzled! (about two minutes). Remove onto paper-towel to absorb oil. Let oil reheat and repeat.
Note: For each batch, DON'T frizzle ALL the Zucchini…the Frizzle loses its taste. The part that is still wet (less frizzled) adds the flavor, while the frizzled part adds the crunch. Great combo!
Leftover Bacon/Garlic Crunchy Solids:
7. Save for snacking or add to eggs. Or get really crazy and spice-grind into a powder (bacon/garlic dusting for a quiche perhaps?)
If you make this recipe, let me know how you like it...and what you did with your leftover solids!