The Way Out Here

Yellow squash fritters

By HUNTER HILL
Posted 7/22/20

Like many folks in the current climate, I’ve been spending a lot more time in the kitchen, trying desperately to use up the overabundant items from my garden. The yellow squash seem to have …

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The Way Out Here

Yellow squash fritters

Posted

Like many folks in the current climate, I’ve been spending a lot more time in the kitchen, trying desperately to use up the overabundant items from my garden. The yellow squash seem to have aggressively won out against the zucchini in my garden boxes, although to be honest, planting them in the same box was kind of like arranging two fighters in a cage match. Regardless, since we’ve been harvesting between 10 and 12 squash per day, I needed to put a dent in their numbers. A short search on the old interwebs inspired a good old fashion fritter fry—yellow squash fritters to be exact.

The recipe was simple enough, but there was one major obstacle to my immediate action: I had never fried anything before. My wife, bless her heart, had the experience I so desperately needed to get this little project started, though. I gathered a deep cast-iron skillet and filled it with vegetable oil until it was about a half-inch deep, then set it on medium-high heat to come up to temperature. What temperature? Out came the Google... 350 degrees? Sure, that sounds about right. No higher than 400 degrees seemed to be the consensus for frying in general so as not to burn the oil. Next, I got to work on the batter. First, the yellow squash. I grated what started out as two cups and turned into six before I was able to hit an even cup measurement while using up an entire squash; waste not, want not. Next, I began to grate an onion. I only had one and was unsure if it would be enough. About halfway through, I realized the onion was liquefying and it wasn’t just my tears. What now? Snapping my fingers with epiphany and grabbing a few bucks from my nightstand, I strolled across the street to my neighbor’s farm stand and purchased a pair of onions. (Don’t worry, the wife was watching my hot oil.)

Back to the cutting board, I opted for chopping the onions rather than grating them and the results were far more gratifying. Three cups of those and I was done processing vegetables. Then I added three eggs, three teaspoons of salt and pepper and a little more than three tablespoons of flour before mixing the watery results together.

Then came the intimidating part: the frying.

I employed the use of our cookie dough scoops to evenly dose the batter into small sizzling piles in the oil, as was demonstrated by my wife who showed an admirable lack of fear of the hot oil. As the frothy white bubbles boiled up around the batter, you could see the mass slowly turning golden brown. Soon my wife instructed that it was time to turn them over, which I accomplished with a set of tongs. A moment later on the other side and she declared them done. She arranged a tray covered in paper towels upon which I delivered the crispy pods of squash. Eager to take a bite, my logical fear of that hot oil kept me at bay for only so long before I had to rip a piece off to sample. Crunchy on the outside, moist and fluffy on the inside, they were an instant success in my limited fry-cooking experience and had me instantly thinking of other crispy delicacies I could make from our garden surplus.

You may wish to use another kind of oil for a healthy alternative, but the recipe is irresistibly simple and sure to be a hit with kids in this summer heat. There may be no county fair this year, but with food like this, who needs a fair when you have a garden? And by the way, if anyone sees my mother, I told her I ate nothing but vegetables for dinner. Don’t spill the beans about frying them!

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