Thursday, August 25, 2011

Zucchini Fries with Sweet Onion Dip

 I (Andrea) was at Penzey Spices the other day and was given a bumper sticker that said "Love People: Cook Them Tasty Food." That is so true! I love to cook yummy recipes and see the enjoyment from my family at dinner time. Tonight, I was over ambitious.  I invited my in-laws over and I made a ton of food!

Earlier I was at the Wealthy Street Farmer's Market and got inspired to cook with all the great fresh ingredients. I came home with carrots, zucchini, red pepper, spaghetti squash, green leaf lettuce, blueberries, and a beef steak. As soon as I got home from the market I took two chicken breasts from the freezer and opened the Ziploc bag and added Italian dressing. I put the steak (I think it was round tip) in a casserole dish and put balsamic vinegar with garlic salt and freshly ground pepper. I set the chicken and steak out on the counter to thaw. As soon as the munchkin woke up from his nap, I set to work. He played in the kitchen and pretended to mix up and taste a treat of his own. I looked up a recipe for Blueberry Cobbler and found a Betty Crocker recipe for Blackberry Cobbler. I thought that would work just great. (So I just searched for it on line because I used a cook book. The online recipe is completely different from the cook book. I will post the recipe in a later blog, because it is worth sharing!)

Next, looked up a recipe for zucchini fries that i pinned on pinterest. I thought I had all the ingredients, except for Pamko bread crumbs. I decided to use the good old fashioned bread crumbs that was sitting in the cupboard.  I prepped the Zucchini and made the Sweet Onion Dip. The dip was super easy to make, and turned out scrumptious! I then realized I was missing a key ingredient for the batter....Parmesan Cheese. So I called my Father-in-law up, who was coming over for dinner, and ask if he could bring their stash over. So I put that whole recipe aside and focused on other dishes until the Parmesan was in hand.

I chopped up some fresh broccoli that needed to be eaten asap along with the a red pepper, onion, carrots, and a green pepper and corn from my own garden. I placed all the veggies on a foil lined cookie sheet and drizzled olive oil over the mixture. Then I added some garlic salt and pepper. I put the veggies under the broiler until the broccoli florets were beginning to brown. It was about 8-10 minutes with a stir in between.  Mmmm! I love roasted broccoli!

I then realized that this meal was a ton of veggies and no starch. Since I have a huge bag of russet potatoes to satisfy my nine p.m. cravings for a baked potatoes, I rinsed off 8 of them and cut them into chunks and into a pot of boiling water.  Soon they became ranch mashed potatoes.  Easiest mashed potatoes to make with out lacking flavor. When mashing the potatoes, add milk, sour cream, salt and pepper and about 4 tablespoons of ranch dressing. It adds a nice zip!

Next,  I heated up the grill for the chicken and steak.  Soon after, my Parmesan cheese arrived and I quickly made my batter for the zucchini fries and threw them in the oven while the meat was on the grill. Surprisingly, the timing worked out well! The meat was finished minutes after the fries came out of the oven.

Wow was it a spread of food. The weather was fantastic, so we all fixed out plates in the kitchen and ate outside on the deck under the huge maple tree.  My mother-in-law loved the zucchini fries and dip. She went back for seconds! I will admit too, I ate my share along with Jory's share. (Jory isn't a veggie lover) I even ate them at nine tonight in place of my baked potato! Now that is saying a lot! :)

So here is the recipe for the fabulous Zucchini Fries and Sweet Onion Dip from King Arthur Flour.
p.s.The comments in green are my own.  Enjoy!


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium sweet onion, about 1/2 pound, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar ( I used 1 1/2 TBS White Vinegar and 1/1 TBS of apple juice)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard (Deli Mustard Worked)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 3 medium zucchini, unpeeled, cut into 3"-long stick
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs (The old fashioned bread crumb worked, but i know Panko would give a better crunch)
  • scant 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (This is called "Stinky Foot Cheese" in this house!)
  • 1 tablespoon Pizza Seasoning or mixed Italian herbs
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute; or 2 large eggs; or 3 egg whites, lightly beaten


1) To make the dip: Melt the butter in a medium frying pan over moderate heat, and add the sliced onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, then caramelize. This should take between 10 and 15 minutes. The lower the heat, the longer it takes, but the less likely you are to burn the onions.
2) Once the onions are a medium brown, remove from the heat and add the vinegar.
3) Place the onions and vinegar into a small food processor. Add the honey and mustard, and process or blend until smooth. I have a faux Magic-Bullet, worked wonderfully :)
4) Add the mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste, stirring to combine. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. I added a little more honey to make is a touch sweeter. 
5) To make the zucchini sticks: Place the zucchini sticks in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt. Let the zucchini drain for 1 hour or longer; rinse and pat dry. (It is amazing how much this veggies sweats! Make sure to pat it dry!)
6) Combine the Panko, Parmesan, and pizza seasoning; set aside.
7) Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and spray the parchment with olive oil.
8) Dredge sticks a few at a time in the egg, then roll in the crumb mixture. Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheet.
9) Bake sticks for 12 minutes, turn over, and bake for an additional 8 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.
10) Serve immediately, with sweet onion dip.
Yield: about 3 dozen zucchini sticks, and 1 1/2 cups dip.

Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
30 mins. to 50 mins.
Baking time:
20 mins. to 20 mins.
Total time:
50 mins. to 1 hrs 10 mins.
about 3 dozen sticks

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