Zucchini Goat Cheese Patties

zucchini patties 2

Avui faig país. Fa ja més d’un any que tinc un blog de cuina amb formatge en un país gastronòmicament molt ric (i en molts altres aspectes també, què coi!) i em dedico a fer receptes amb Emmentals, Bries, Cheddars i Parmesans. I no és que no estiguin bé, de fet són deliciosos, però i un bon tall d’Urgèlia? I un mató de Montserrat? I un Recuit de Fonteta? I un Tupí d’Ossera?

Avui reivindico el formatge de km 0, perquè ens les donem de patriotes i ens posem l’estelada fins i tot a les calces però després anem al Caprabo i comprem formatges de tot arreu menys de casa nostra. I mentrestant el nostre patrimoni formatger queda reduït a vendre’s en firetes d’artesans de pobles perduts.

Doncs no, menys postureig nacionalista, menys creure’ns més catalans perquè tenim mil i un gadgets amb estelades i rucs que hem comprat al tot a cent xinès de la cantonada, que fa estelades com podria fer banderes d’illes de la polinèsia, i més recolzar els nostres productes i els nostres productors. Si volem aixecar un país, posem-nos-hi de veritat, collons!

(Com que explicar tot això a la recepta en anglès per al públic internacional és una mica complicat, us dic que el que allà és goat cheese és en realitat un formatge tendre de cabra de Montbrú, uns formatgers del Moianès. Suau però amb molta personalitat, així amb un punt àcid, boníssim).

zucchini patties prep 2

One year ago, on May the Cheese Be With You: Chips del Diamant

Zucchini Goat Cheese Patties

Servings: 12-14 patties (depending on the size)

Prep time: about 40 min

You will need:

  • 2 medium zucchini, shreaded
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dill
  • 1/2 crumbled goat cheese (or feta, if you prefer)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour (or corn starch)
  • 1/2 teasppon baking power
  • about 1 cup bread crumbs (enough quantity to thicken the paste)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

This will be a lot like making your own hamburguers, but with zucchini instead of meat. You’ll see.

First of all, put the shreaded zucchini into a strainer, toss with the salt and let it stand for about 10 minutes. After this time, the zucchinis will have let go the major part of their water. (If right after reading this sentence a little anoying voice inside your head is singing Frozen’s “Let it go”, don’t worry, I have exactly the same problem as you). So, squeeze the zucchini until as dry as possible and set aside.

zucchini patties prep 1

Beat the eggs in a large bowl (large enough to contain all the other ingredients). Mix in the dried zucchini, onion, cheese, garlic and black pepper, then add the flour and baking powder and stir until well incorporated.

zucchini patties prep 4

Now you’ll probably have some too-liquid-to-be-patty-shaped mixture, so add bread crumbs and stir until thick enough to form little patties (but don’t add too much bread crumbs or you’ll obtain some nice zucchini and goat cheese rocks when cooked).

Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Form patties of about 1,5 tablespoons of mixture each and fry them unil golden brown on both sides (I’m not saying you have to fry them one at a time, but don’t overfill the pan or you’ll end by having one huge zucchini patty to share with the entire family). Let them dry a little on a paper towel-lined plate and that’s it.

zucchini patties prep 3

You can used them either as a starter or as a side dish for salmon, for example, as I did, or you can even turn them into some nice vegetarian hamburgers.

zucchini patties 1

Enjoy! 🙂

Annie

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 5

“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” -Federico Fellini

So, pasta. Specifically, gnocchi. I love that stuff. They’re like pasta, but better than pasta. They’re like riotous balls of glorious Italian sunshine. They’re endlessly versatile. You can make them out of cheese.

Gnocchi are the food of the gods. Forget nectar and ambrosia. When no one was looking, or while the Spartans and the Athenians and the Persians where killing each other, or while the Greeks were hiding in their wooden horse at the gates of Troy, or while – well, you get the picture – while their worshippers were busy elsewhere, the gods were stuffing their faces with gnocchi. No, seriously, I’ve been reading into it. Prometheus was chained to that stone not for stealing fire, but for stealing the secret recipe for gnocchi. There’s been a massive mistranslation throughout history. Not fire – gnocchi.

OK, I may or may not have made up that last bit.

But they’re seriously good.

And this recipe is seriously easy. And you end up with crispy-soft gnocchi, a creamy sauce, and even vegetables, to keep the health-nut in you happy.

Life doesn’t get much better than this.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Strawberry-Almond-Brie Salad

Other Parmesan recipes: Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Parmesan Potato Wedges, Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna, Parmesan Poppy Seed Twists, Date Bacon Parmesan Salad, Parmesan Lollipops, Rosemary Parmesan Butter

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 7

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi

Servings: 4

Prep time: 30 minutes

You will need:

  • 1/2lb, or 300gr, fresh gnocchi
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 4oz, or 100gr corn
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons Parmesan
  • basil, fresh or dried, to taste
  • olive oil, for cooking
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the gnocchi and leave unstirred for about 4 minutes, until the bottom is nicely browned and crispy. Toss the gnocchi and continue cooking until browned all around. Set aside.

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 3

In another skilled, cook the zucchini and corn, stirring occasionally until soft and lightly browned.

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 2

While the vegetables are cooking, beat the Parmesan cheese into the cream until well combined.

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 4

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi

Remove the vegetables from the heat and stir in the cream and cheese mixture. Finally, add the gnocchi to the vegetable skilled, season with salt, pepper and basil to taste, and serve hot from the pan.

Enjoy!

Clara

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 6

Cream of Zucchini Soup

Cream of Zucchini Soup 5

Allow me to tell you the tale of my kitchen.

When we first moved here with the boyfriend, it was more out of convenience than because of the apartment itself. That being said, the location is probably unbeatable. The apartment, on the other hand, is a shoe box. It is all of 40m2 (a little over 400ft2).

The kitchen is practically non-existent. We literally had to move the fridge and the pantry into the living room to even have any working surfaces to speak of.

So it all comes down to this: Working in my miniature down town, old town, rough part of town kitchen is usually a display of culinary virtuosity. Balancing, dodging, fitting things in the most unlikely places (think tetris), endlessly reorganizing the fridge, freezer and pantry, kitty cats trying to get in on the action… It’s exhausting. It also leaves the entire apartment looking as if a bomb had just gone off. Or as if a herd of rhinos had stampeded by. Or as if the biggest football hooligans ever had come here for their after party.

I guess you get the picture.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because Christmas is rolling around faster than anticipated (takes me by surprise every time 😉 ), and Christmas means overfilled kitchens, and overfilled kitchens is not a good thing when you hardly have a kitchen to start with.

So today’s recipe is simple, and the pictures are few and terrible. I apologize. I do. There simply is no more space to take nice pictures with interesting perspectives (all those close-ups are to avoid intruding produce and dishware from making an appearance). You’ll have to bear with me until the holiday season is over (which won’t be until January 6th in Barcelona) and things have gone back to normal.

I can promise you, though, that this little unassuming soup is a thing of beauty. It’s one of the first recipes I ever came up with, and it has been tried and tested to no end. It works, and it’s good. And it’s comforting and warming and – hold on to your pants – healthy!

So go ahead and give it a try.

P.S.: If you like creamy soups, don’t miss out on our Gorgonzola Soup!

Cream of Zucchini Soup 4

Cream of Zucchini Soup

Servings: 5 to 6

Prep time: 15 minutes prep time, 20 minutes cooking time

You will need:

  • 3 medium or 2 large zucchini, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced, optional
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 12 La Vache qui rit light cheese wedges (about 200gr)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cream of Zucchini Soup 1

If using onion, start by lightly browning it in a pan with some olive oil. When it becomes translucent, add the zucchini and give it a good toss. Again, this step is optional, and the soup will taste great whether you add onion or not.

Meanwhile, bring the chicken or vegetable stock to a boil, then throw in the zucchini (and onion). Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes, but really depending on how big you made your zucchini pieces.

Cream of Zucchini Soup 2

When the zucchini is tender, stir in the cheese wedges until almost completely melted.

Purée.

Cream of Zucchini Soup 3

Stir in the herbs, then taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Herbed Sweet Potatoes 3

I prefer to make this soup ahead, as some resting time really allows the flavors to blend. The longer it sits, the stronger the flavor, but hey, it’s up to you.

Eat up as it is, or serve with crusty bread or croutons.

Enjoy! 🙂

Clara

Cream of Zucchini Soup 6

Pasta with Vegetables and Ricotta Cheese

Pasta with vegetables and ricotta cheese_2

Avui us he de presentar un altre participant d’aquest blog, que sempre treballa a l’ombra, i que es diu Mala Consciència. Aquella veueta interior que, quan deixes volar la imaginació i comences a pensar plats bons per fer, et diu: “això engreixa molt, vols dir que cal??”. No sé si vosaltres en teniu una, però jo sí, i és com un corcó. I, és clar, ara que tot just acabem de passar el Nadal, viu com una reina instal·lada al teu cervell i intercepta totes les bones idees que venen del teu pobre estómac. Doncs bé, la recepta que avui us proposo és fruit d’un d’aquests múltiples debats interns que s’han produït aquests últims dies.

La història comença quan et dius: “em ve molt de gust un plat de pasta”. I, com era d’esperar, la nostra amiga Consciència ve i et diu: “avui no has de fer cap tipus d’esforç físic, deixa la pasta i menja verdura, que et convé més”. Però tens el dia tossut, i vols pasta. I llavors penses: “calla! Faré pasta amb verdura i estarem tots contents. Però pasta amb verdura així sola quedarà com seca, no? I si hi poséssim crema de llet…?” I ja la tens a sobre una altra vegada dient-te: “crema de llet no!! Que t’has tornat boja? Hi poses verdura perquè sigui menys engreixadora i hi acabes afegint crema de llet??” I et fa ràbia, però saps que té raó: necessites una alternativa a la crema de llet per lligar la verdura i que no quedi tan sola.

I així és com, navegant pel meu blog de pasta preferit, La pasta per als catalans, he trobat aquesta recepta de pasta amb carbassó, tomàquet cherry i ricotta, que m’ha encantat. Sovint associem aquest formatge, semblant al mató, a plats més aviat dolços, però en combinació amb el carbassó i el tomàquet fan una mescla suau i deliciosa, especialment recomanable per a fer menjar una mica de verdura als més petits d’una manera menys traumàtica que el mític puré verd.

Res més, us deixo amb la meva versió d’aquesta recepta. Que vagi de gust!

Pasta with vegetables and ricotta cheese

Servings: 4

Prep time: 30 minutes

You will need:

  • 320g penne rigate
  • 2 medium sized zucchini, diced
  • about 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 200g ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 basil leaves, shredded
  • parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper

diced zucchini

Start by heating the olive oil in a large pan (you will have to fit in the pasta later!) and cook your zucchini on high. As soon as it acquires a nice golden color, add the tomatoes to keep it company.  Cook both the zucchini and the tomatoes until the latter begin to soften. At this point you want to grab a fork and mash your tomatoes mercilessly – this is great stress relief, by the way. Add salt and pepper to taste, then cook on high heat for another 5 minutes. Next turn off your heat source, toss in the basil, cover and let sit. The poor tomatoes need to rest. 

Pasta with vegetables and ricotta cheese_ Prep1

In a separate pan, boil the pasta in plenty of water with salt. When the pasta is almost done, place the ricotta in a bowl and add one ladle-full of pasta water. Beat the water into the cheese until it’s all nice and creamy, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Pasta with vegetables and ricotta cheese_Prep2

Reheat the tomatoes and zucchini. Drain the pasta, then add to the tomato-zucchini-pan.

Pasta with vegetables and ricotta cheese_Prep3

Now add the ricotta to the same pan, stirring for a couple of minutes on high heat. And we’re pretty much done! Serve with some grated Parmesan if you like, but don’t overdo it, or it’ll cover up the ricotta yumminess. Adjust the pepper to your own tastebuds and…

Enjoy!

Pasta with vegetables and ricotta cheese