Monday, March 02, 2009

Eeny, Meeny, Zucchini, Panini

There are a lot of days that I just don't know what to cook. My fridge, freezer, and pantry are overstocked, but nothing will jump at me from their depths. Nothing will scream at me to be prepared and enjoyed. I am hungry, but don't have a clue what I am hungry for. It is like a game of Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe to chose what's for dinner.

On one of those recent days, I had been busy working at home all day and followed it up with a late afternoon dental appointment. Sitting in the chair in my little paper bib waiting for the dentist, I was doing a mental inventory of the groceries stuffed into my fridge and remembered purchasing some zucchini. Mmm. Zucchini Oven Fries would be good. They would be excellent with Paninis. Yum. What a great pairing. Ding. Ding. We have a winner.

Or, rather, I had a winner until I sent a text to Hubby announcing the menu. He wasn't feeling it. He wanted something else, but didn't know what. I was back at square one. Ugh.

I think that I gave up that night and let Hubby create some concoction with leftover Chipotle Pork. I know that I didn't starve, but whatever we had for dinner wasn't memorable, and certainly wasn't crispy with Parmesan on the outside while moist and tender on the inside Zucchini Oven Fries or layers of deli meat and melted, cheesy goodness inside the crunch of a perfectly grilled Panini. A craving had developed, and there was no need for Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe the next night. I had to have Zucchini Oven Fries and Our Favorite Paninis On My Plate.

Zucchini Oven Fries

1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
(I usually combine plain bread crumbs with garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning, all to taste.)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
(Honestly, the green can does work well for this, even though I prefer fresh grated.)
4-5 small zucchini
1 beaten egg

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Trim zucchini and cut in half lengthwise, then slice into 1/4 inch wide sticks resembling french fries.
Combine bread crumbs and grated cheese in a shallow bowl.
Beat egg in a 2nd shallow bowl and dip zucchini fries into egg, then into crumb mixture.
Place on baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray.
Bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and tender. (Serves 4)

Our Favorite Paninis

8 slices sourdough bread
2 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 slices provolone (or mozzarella) cheese
4 slices cheddar cheese
1/2 lb deli turkey
1/2 lb deli ham
1/2 lb sandwich pepperoni
1/2 lb Genoa salami
pepperoncini peppers, cut

Preheat the panini grill.
Combine mayo and mustard together and spread on each slice of bread.
Layer remaining ingredients on each of 4 slices of the bread.
Start with Swiss cheese, then ham, cheddar cheese, then turkey, provolone (or mozzarella) cheese, then salami and pepperoni, and finally peppers before topping with remaining 4 slices of bread.
Brush the outside of each sandwich with butter and grill until crispy on the outside and melty on the inside. (Serves 4)


  1. Wow, I could eat that every day. I miss my George Foreman for paninis!

  2. These zucchini fries look awesome. I'm going to give them a try. Thanks!

  3. I love fried zucchini but don't like fried foods (or I should say - they don't like me). Thanks for baked version. I'm anxious to try it!

  4. holy crap. you don't know how much i love fried zucchini but i never eat it because fried and i aren't friends anymore.

    thank you for the recipe!

    and thank you for following my Urbanity blog so I could find your blog!

  5. Love the zucchini fries. Matt has made them twice in the last few weeks. Thank you again for posting it.

  6. Wow, this was amazing. I had it with the Garlic Shrimp you posted, and the two made for a wonderful meal! Thanks a ton!

  7. Er, I suppose I ought specify that it was the fries I had. But the panini looks amazing too!


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