by Caroline of Whipped the Blog
I have always loved a good game of “Would You Rather?” Participants ask each other inane questions, which force them to make a choice between two unlikely options. My standby questions are often culinary in nature. One of my original questions, which I still use as an icebreaker with new people is, “Would you rather give up cheese or chocolate for the rest of your life?”
For me, the mere thought of one or the other has my palate in panic. But, after years of asking dozens of people this question, I have found that scales tip in favor of cheese. My victims often squirm under the pressure of such a possibility but ultimately they almost always choose a life without chocolate.
Who could blame them? Grilled sandwiches without the oozing cheese? A childhood without the comfort of macaroni and cheese? Crisp fall apple snacks missing a side of Sharp Cheddar? No cheesy sauce on broccoli and cauliflower? Cheese-less pizza? My palms are starting to sweat just imagining.
Growing up, my cheese repertoire mostly included Cheddar, American and Colby. In the past decade, my cheese world has expanded considerably. My husband is half Greek and half Dutch, so thanks to regular visits to the Netherlands and Greece, I have come to adore creamy Edam, cumin-spiced Gouda and salty Feta.
Over time, I have learned many traditional Greek recipes and have adjusted a few to my liking. One of my favorites is this version of zucchini fritters, adapted from a traditional Greek favorite, with delicious Wisconsin Feta.
Zucchini Fritters with Mint, Dill and Feta Cheese
by Caroline of Whipped The Blog
2 medium to large zucchini coarsely grated
1/2-cup Feta cheese, crumbled
4 green onions including green parts, chopped
3 Tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
1 large egg
4 Tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
Wash zucchini. With skins on, grate them with the coarse side of a grater. Put the grated zucchini in a colander and sprinkle liberally with salt, tossing lightly to spread the salt. Let sit and drain for at least 30 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
Remove the zucchini by the handful, squeezing to remove as much liquid as you can. Put it in a bowl with herbs, feta and green onions. Mix with a fork. Add the lightly beaten egg and stir. Add flour and bread crumbs. The mixture should be wet but not watery. Mix in a healthy dose of salt, about 2-3 large pinches. I prefer coarse sea salt.
Heat olive oil in a pan about 1/8 inch deep covering the entire pan. When the oil is hot enough, a drop of water will sizzle. When hot, scoop out a large spoonful (about ¼ cup) of the zucchini mixture and place gently in the pan. Let it cook about 3-4 minutes or until brown and then flip them. Cook another 3-4 minutes until brown. Carefully remove fritters and place on a paper towel-lined plate to remove some excess oil. Serve fritters hot with sour cream or Tzatziki sauce.
Tzatziki (Cucumber Yogurt Dip)
2 cups plain yogurt (or 2 cups, thick Greek yogurt)
2 large cucumbers
1 1/4 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and white pepper to taste
If using regular yogurt, put yogurt in cheesecloth lined sieve over a bowl. Drain several hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Greek yogurt is thicker and does not need the draining. Peel, seed and coarsely grate cucumbers. Drain well. Add garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to cucumbers. Mix well. Add drained yogurt and blend.