One of the great things about getting a CSA box is that it gets harder and harder to justify eating bad food. With a fridge full of locally grown organic vegetables, can you really justify that trip to Micky D’s? Yes, you absolutely can, it’s just harder now. Tonight we had a little experiment into recreating fast food with our summer squash and the results were delicious. Normally when I try to bake things that are normally fried, like french fries, they end up soggy and tasteless. These squash fries were amazing and crisp. My very picky husband and toddler even approved. Plus you can make them in the amount of time it takes to grill the burgers. The recipe is simple.
About a cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs
About half a cup of Parmesan cheese
2 egg whites
2-3 good sized summer squash – we used zucchini and patty pan squash for this recipe but any soft skinned summer squash would work. Slice the squash in half then cut into wedges approximately the size of french fries
Preheat oven to 425. Either spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray or line it with parchment or a Silpat liner. In one dish combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan. Put the egg whites in a second dish and beat them lightly with a fork to break them up a bit. Dip each piece of squash in the egg whites then the crumb mixture. Lay out in a single layer on the cookie sheet. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes. This is the trick – this is the key to getting them crispy. Remove them from the oven, crank up your oven’s broiler to full power. Flip the fries over so they’ll cook both sides. Stick the pan back in the oven under the broiler for about 3 or 4 minutes or until the fries are golden brown and delicious. These are great with a shake of malt vinegar, dipped in ketchup like regular fries, or just all on their own. It’s a really simple and incredibly tasty way to shave a substantial number of calories off your burgers and fries.
Now about those burgers! A couple years ago a good friend gave me the perfect burger recipe and it has never failed me.
2 lb chuck beef
1 lb sirloin beef
About a teaspoon each of garlic powder and onion powder
About a tablespoon each of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce
Combine everything. Your hands are the best tool for the job. Divide into 8-10 firmly packed patties, about 1/3 pound each. Grill immediately or freeze. We freeze all but the two we eat the night we make them. The best way to freeze them is to lay four at a time on a piece of parchment paper. Stack the groups and the whole things should fit neatly into a gallon sized freezer bag. When you need some, just pull them off the parchment, defrost briefly in the microwave, and grill. Instant burgers!