Today's New Clean Plate Club menu was supposed to kick off our new theme for August: sun-drenched summer picnics. However, as I was writing the newsletter, it was absolutely pouring outside. So rainy, rivers of water were surging down our street and so dark, all the lights have been on inside, all day. Nothing sunny about tonight's picnics plans. However, it won't be the first picnic to have a change of plans and menus, right?
I remember stubbornly holding onto those picnic thoughts when we lived in Ohio. It was Memorial Day weekend, our children were 1 and 4 and I was determined that we would do what other Americans were doing elsewhere, cooking out and eating picnic style. It didn't matter that it was still winter-like in Cleveland. No sirree, what's a 30 degree temperature when you want to have picnic fun? It adds a little nip to the occasion for sure! And so, as well as shoveling off the 'barbe, I also dressed myself and the kids in our parkas, lit the grill, cooked outside and my husband hauled the picnic table and benches out and we ate picnic style...mittens and all!
Here is a warm food recipe for a cool weather (or a rainy weather) picnic! It has all the tastes of summer and just a little heat to take the chill out of the day.
1 zucchini or summer squash, shredded
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
Sea salt or kosher salt
1 egg, beaten to blend
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons light beer or club soda
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
In a bowl, combine shredded squash with the flour and a pinch of sea salt. Stir in the egg, baking soda, beer or club soda and basil. Continue stirring until the mixture is the consistency of pancake batter. Heat about 1/4 inch oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop batter by heaping tablespoons into the skillet. Fry on each side about 2-3 minutes or until puffed and golden brown (and no runny insides!) You may need to add a little more oil. Place cooked fritters on a paper towel to drain and keep warm until ready to eat or devour immediately! Serves 4.