So it seems like my drink of choice last week should have been a Royal Mai Tai based on the Mad Men season premiere that opened at The Royal Hawaiian hotel. I have to admit that I totally love that hotel, in spite of the less than exotic location of Waikiki beach. It actually just makes me think of The Brady Bunch and the infamous tiki doll. Love that ep.
But I digress. I am working my way through the Mad Men cocktail list and tonight will be enjoying a French 75, supposedly the creation of Henry from Henry's Bar in Paris during the First World War. It can be served on the rocks or strained into a Champagne flute. I like to serve salty snacks any time I serve Champagne or a Champagne cocktail so you might want to try these zucchini fritters, especially later this summer when you can't seem to get rid of all of the zucchini that comes your way. WWDD? (What Would Don Do?) Smoke a cigarette and drink...alot.
3 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds), coarsely shredded
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped dill
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped mint
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 medium cucumber—peeled, halved, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 cup Greek-style plain yogurt
1. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the zucchini into a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon salt, toss and let stand for 5 minutes. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible (press into the sides of a mesh strainer) and transfer the zucchini to a large bowl. Stir in the eggs, flour, chopped dill, parsley, mint, feta, and pepper. Mix to combine.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until the oil sizzles when you drop a small amount of zucchini mixture into the pan. Carefully drop about 2 tablespoons zucchini mixture into the pan. Repeat, spacing the fritters a few inches apart.
3. Cook the fritters until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium. Turn the fritters, and continue cooking until golden, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer the fritters to a plate; set aside on a warm place. Cook the remaining zucchini mixture, adding more oil to pan if necessary. Garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon wedges, if desired. Serve.
OPTIONAL: In a food processor, coarsely puree the chopped cucumber. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the yogurt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of mint and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the fritters.
1 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 ounces gin
4 ounces chilled Champagne
1. Combine the first three ingredients into an ice-filled martini shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a Champagne flute. Top with Champagne, and garnish with a lemon peel.