Crispy, crunchy, light as sunshine, batter, hiding tender, garden-fresh zucchini sticks. Munch, munch. Every bite tastes like summer garden goodness. More please.
Summer in the Okanagan means a bounty of fresh fruit and veggies, at every turn. From cherries and cantaloupe, to heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers, and everything in between. Oh yeah, and zucchini. Come mid to late summer, and into the fall, lots of zucchini.
You'll find zucchini everywhere. Everywhere = our little backyard garden, roadside fruit stands, weekend markets, front porches and in the hands of dinner guests as they arrive.
Needless to say we make quite a few zucchini dishes. But the one friends and family seem to never get enough of is Beer Battered Deep Fried Zucchini sticks. Which makes it such a fun and easy appetizer to make for almost all of our summer gatherings.
And bonus, big bonus for me, is that Forest Grump (aka Cliff, the husbando) almost always fries it up perfectly, leaving me to chat and visit with whatever charming little gang is in house. And he's got the batter and the fry down pat. Yay, all the way around.
We serve it with your choice of soy sauce, sweet chili sauce or what has now become the 'house sauce' for zucchini sticks, dilled hollandaise. Yup! Aaaaannnnndddd, again, because it's summer and in the summer time the living is easy, I use packaged Knorr Hollandaise sauce, made just as the envelope says, but add a tablespoon of dried or fresh chopped dillweed. It's a damn good dipping sauce for hot, crispy, zucchini sticks. You'll have to try it, and see for yourself.
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BEER BATTERED ZUCCHINI STICKS ~ Makes 4 to 6 to 8 appetizer servings.
2 medium sized zucchini, cut into 3-inch long, quite skinny, sticks
1/2 cup flour, plus 1/4 cup
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 -1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup+ cold beer
Oil for frying
I put the dry ingredients for the batter together ahead of time, so when it's time to fry, just whisk in the beer.
For the batter 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 2 teaspoons baking powder, salt and pepper. Whisk dry ingredients to combine, then add 1 cup beer. Whisk, whisk. The batter should be really quite thin, but not too thin. We often add a bit more beer at this point.
Put the extra 1/4 cup flour in a bag or bowl, and gently toss zucchini sticks.
Heat at least 3 inches oil, in a wok, or deep sided pot to 375F. Working with one batch of zucchini sticks at a time, drop them into the batter, to cover, and gently add them to the oil. Using tongs, slotted spoon, or chopstick, move sticks around a little while frying until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and serve them up to your eager guests, with soy sauce, sweet chili sauce and maybe try our dilled Hollandaise.
DILLED HOLLANDAISE ~ 1 package Knorr Hollandaise sauce, made to the directions on envelope, then stir in 1 tablespoon of dried or fresh, chopped dillweed.