Friday, September 17, 2010

Feta and Zucchini Fritters with Herbed Greek Yogurt

I love a good challenge. Aside from an excess of caffeine or sugar, nothing gives me more energy than being presented with an obstacle that I must some how figure out or conquer. It’s part of why I’m so obsessed with the Bar Method – I love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I get through a particularly hard portion of class without blacking out or crumbling to the ground amidst shrieks of agony.

It’s a huge adrenaline rush.

Once I stop feeling like I’m going to throw up.

When I’m not getting high on masochistic forms of exercise, I also love the less painful challenge of recreating restaurant dishes at home. (It’s easier on my joints.) As soon as I bite into something that tickles my taste buds, my mind begins dissecting the dish and spinning ideas about how I can compose it myself. Most recently, this dissecting and spinning occurred at Momed, the modern Mediterranean restaurant I dined at with Esi from Dishing Up Delights last Friday night.

We loved the zucchini and feta fritters served with a tangy yogurt sauce that we shared as a starter, and both agreed that they could easily be replicated at home. I took it as a challenge and left the restaurant feeling like a woman on a mission – I had to attempt said replication immediately.

As in the next day.

Using a recipe that I found on Simply Recipes as a guide, I came up with a version of Momed’s zucchini and feta fritters that I actually enjoyed better than the original. Partially because I didn’t have to share and could eat all three fritters myself, partially because I didn’t slightly burn mine, and a lot because I had conquered a cooking challenge.

And I didn’t even need to feel like I was going to throw up after.

Zucchini and Feta Fritters with Herbed Greek Yogurt
Adapted from Simply Recipes
Yield: 6 large fritters

1 lb of zucchini (about 2 medium sized), coarsely grated
Sea salt
Ground black pepper
1 large egg
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons feta cheese
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Salt the grated zucchini with 1 teaspoon of salt. Place zucchini in a colander over the sink to let drain for 10-15 minutes. Squeeze any additional liquid out (patties will stay together better with less moisture), and then dump into a large bowl.

Whisk in the egg, then add the flour, chives, feta, and ¼ teaspoon ground pepper. Mix to combine well. Form into 6 patties – batter will be loose, but they will stay together once cooked.

Heat large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add splash of olive oil to lightly coat the pan, then add the patties. Cook, turning once, until browned (4-6 minutes on each side).

Serve with herbed Greek yogurt (recipe below). Can be eaten as an appetizer or an accompaniment to salmon (I, clearly, choose to do the latter).

Herbed Greek Yogurt

¼ cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani fat-free)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced
2 teaspoons chives, minced
1 large (or 2 small) garlic clove, roasted
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Roast garlic in oven safe dish until tender – approximately 15-20 minutes. Mash roasted garlic with salt in small bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients. Whisk together with a fork, adding additional liquid (water) as needed. Chill until ready to serve.


Esi said...

Said replication happened before I even digested the fritters from the night before. I may have to try these before all the summer squash is gone.

stuffycheaks said...

hmm wonder if i can make it w/o feta cheese. maybe add a bit of marscapone instead? I know,I'm weird

Fritos and Foie Gras said...

YUM!!! That yogurt sauce looks like it would be amazing over fish too...i HAVE to try this baby out! Why is anything with Greek yogurt automatically delish!?

Ashley said...

mmmmm... this makes me anxious for hanukkah. zucchini latkes :)

Anna A. said...

Mmmm wow I LOVE this, TALF! I think I might just try whipping this one in the next week. Sending you zuchinni zen vibes from P town!

The Duo Dishes said...

Love the sauce too. It'd be just perfect with lamb as well. Nice work!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

You know what this reminds me of? And what I've been thinking about constantly lately, but am too lazy to actually make? The carrot and zucchini pancakes at Clark's. I used to love those. Until I lived in those apartments above it junior year. We had the grossest mice problem and I just couldn't eat there after that.

Diana said...

Esi - Hehe, I work quickly. Highly recommend making these! I've been seeing tons of squash at the Farmer's Market still so you should be good for a few more weeks!

Stephanie - You can definitely skip the cheese -- the original recipe from Simply recipes doesn't even call for feta. I just added it to make it like Momed's version. Really not necessary at all.

Fritos and Foie Gras - Because Greek yogurt is... awesome. ;) And yes, the sauce was amaaaazing with the salmon. I smothered it with the leftovers.

Ashley - You should make them for E the next time you are together!

Anna - You'd love - can't wait to hear what you think!

Chrystal & Amir - It would go great with lamb!

WC - I never had those! I used to get the chocolate chip ones until I discovered their omelettes. Then it was game over.