Las Vegas Labor Day Weekend.
Our last summer hurrah.
- House music. I still don’t really get it.
- Michael Phelps at Surrender. Why hello, Most Decorated Olympian of all time.
- Clubs. Too many sweaty people rubbing all up on you. Squeezing past a thousand house-crazed drunk people to get to the bathroom… Hm.
- People in clubs. If you’re from LA, get ready to run into at least five people you know. Or meet all sorts of crazy people who want to stay in touch once you all get back to LA.
- High heels. Ladies, why. Why do we wear them?! Blister band-aids are your best friend.
- Ice bath for the feet at 4 a.m. Painful but your feet will thank you tomorrow.
- Everyone’s comment of the night, “Going home already? How old are you???”
- Old. I’m old and I just want to lie in bed with my Netflix and my puppy. Maybe a few beers if I’m feeling extra frisky.
Suffice to say, I’m Vegased out for the next year or more. No more Vegas for me.
And back to eating somewhat healthy. Drunken sunrise Earl of Sandwich tuna melt does not a meal make.
These fritters reminded me of Russia and our last meal at simplethings in Moscow. That was only a few months ago and already it feels like it’s been ages… Oh, dear Russia, how I do miss you.
Which reminds me… I need to book a trip somewhere ASAP.
Isn’t work so much less painful when you have something to look forward to? Maybe that’s why I’ve been antsy as of late… I have no trips planned!
Will change this very, very soon. Christmas vacay is coming up.
WHERE TO NEXT?!
Adapted a bit from smittenkitchen
Yield: About 10 2 1/2 inch fritters
1 pound (about 2 medium) zucchini
1 teaspoon coarse or Kosher salt, plus extra to taste
2 scallions, split lengthwise and sliced thin
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying
To serve (optional)
1 cup sour cream or plain, full-fat yogurt
1 to 2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
Pinches of salt
1 small minced or crushed clove of garlic
(I decided to be lazy and just topped mine with a garlic parsley sauce I bought at the farmer’s market)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Have a baking sheet ready.
Trim ends off zucchini and grate them either on the large holes of a box grater or, if you have one, using the shredding blade of a food processor. The latter is my favorite as I’m convinced it creates the coarsest and most rope-like strands and frankly, I like my fritters to look like mops.
In a large bowl, toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Wring out the zucchini in one of the following ways: pressing it against the holes of a colander with a wooden spoon to extract the water, squeezing out small handfuls at a time, or wrapping it up in a clean dishtowel or piece of cheese cloth and wringing away. You’ll be shocked (I was!) by the amount of liquid you’ll lose, but this is a good thing as it will save the fritters from sogginess.
Return deflated mass of zucchini shreds to bowl. Taste and if you think it could benefit from more salt (most rinses down the drain), add a little bit more; we found 1/4 teaspoon more just right. Stir in scallions, egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a tiny dish, stir together panko crumbs and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.
In a large heavy skillet — cast iron is dreamy here — heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet only a few at a time so they don’t become crowded and lightly nudge them flatter with the back of your spatula. Cook the fritters over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. If you find this happening too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain briefly on paper towels then transfer to baking sheet and then into the warm oven until needed. Repeat process, keeping the pan well-oiled, with remaining batter. I like to make sure that the fritters have at least 10 minutes in the oven to finish setting and getting extra crisp.
For the topping, if using, stir together the sour cream, lemon juice, zest, salt and garlic and adjust the flavors to your taste. Dollop on each fritter before serving.