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Crunchy, sweet and spicy

  • @$:KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Fried Zucchini with Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce
    @$:KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Fried Zucchini with Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce
Published August 28. 2013 05:00PM

A few weeks ago I got a little carried away buying zucchini at my favorite farm stand.

After making the usual dishes, I still had some left, so I tried to come up with something different. I recalled having a fried zucchini appetizer at a restaurant once, and really enjoying it.

I played around with a couple different methods until I had something that was crunchy on the outside and soft, but not mushy, on the inside.

Panko breadcrumbs, and a method of "double breading," helped create the perfect combination.

The other thing I realized I had to monitor closely was the temperature of the oil. In order to cook the zucchini strips properly, you can only put a few in the hot oil at a time.

The longer you cook, the hotter the oil becomes. Therefore, it's wise to use a suitable cooking thermometer to keep the oil at a steady 325-350 degrees and no hotter.

I'm a dipper from way back, so although the finished zucchini tasted great, I wanted to serve them with some kind of sauce.

Last year I had Fried Green Tomatoes with a Sweet and Spicy Rémoulade at a terrific restaurant near the Delaware Water Gap.

I looked for recipes for rémoulade, but I couldn't find one that even remotely sounded like the rémoulade I'd had before. So, I created my own sauce. I loved the combination, and I hope you will too.

Fried Zucchini

Sticks with Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce

Makes 6-8 appetizer servings

1 medium zucchini, cut into strips

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon water

1 cup flour, seasoned with a teaspoon of salt, half teaspoon black pepper, half teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

2 cups vegetable oil

Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce

Put flour, salt, black pepper and garlic powder into a large ziplock bag, Put the panko breadcrumbs into a different bag.

In a deep bowl, beat eggs with water.

Making one spear at a time, dip zucchini into beaten egg mixture, then into the bag of flour to coat; then back into the egg mixture, then into the breadcrumbs. Place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet.

Meanwhile, heat oil to 325-350 degrees. When the oil is hot enough, carefully add several pieces of zucchini and cook until golden brown, turning after 1 minute. Cook another minute, then remove to drain on paper towels.

Continue until all of the zucchini has cooked. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.

Sweet and Spicy

Dipping Sauce

Half cup mayonnaise

Quarter cup sour cream

2 tablespoons chili sauce

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons adobo sauce

For the sauce, combine all the ingredients. Refrigerate until serving.

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