Last night I was breading chicken for both our son’s dinner and ours, and I was trying to figure out how to sneak a veggie into our little guy’s belly. I had a bunch of fresh zucchini in the fridge, which I was also planning to use for our meal, so I decided to try zucchini fries. It worked like a charm! They were actually the first thing he finished on his plate! I noted in a previous entry that for us, simply transforming the look of a particular food item is often all it takes. He has no problem eating regular french fries, so why not make “fries” out of zucchini sticks? Here’s how I did it:
Heat oven to 400. Cut 1/2 of a large zucchini into sticks (similar to “fast food” style fries).
Coat in the standard breading mix of light seasoned flour, then a little beaten egg, and some seasoned bread crumbs. I seasoned mine with salt, pepper, a little garlic powder, and some parmesan cheese.
Lay a cooling rack on a baking sheet and line up the fries. I like to oven-fry this way because the bottoms will get crispy if they’re slightly elevated off the baking sheet, rather than sitting directly on it, and you don’t have to turn them.
Spritz the zucchini fries with a little bit of olive oil or cooking spray to encourage better crisping.
Bake until breading is crispy and zucchini is tender, but not mushy. Let them cool and serve with a blob of ketchup, or “dip” as we call it in our house.
I was actually sort of shocked at how easily he tried them, but he loved ’em and I’ll definitely make them again! I wonder if it would work with carrot sticks… Maybe par cook them a little so they don’t go into the oven raw? I’ll give it a shot and let you know!
P.S. I know I should probably include some photos, a la The Pioneer Woman blog, but I’m still figuring this stuff out. I LOVE her site by the way… I bet it would be a ton of fun to sit on the back porch and have a couple glasses of wine with her!