Monday, October 12, 2009

Dinner & a Movie: Kate's "Fried" Zucchini Chips

My husband and I love watching movies. Whether it is in a dark movie theater, on our couch in our pajamas, or in a lecture hall - we love any kind of movie experience. (To explain the lecture hall - we took several film classes together in college and watched some of the great classics in hard plastic chairs behind a desk.)

During the summer we were delighted to find that a restaurant next to our local movie theater was offering a "dinner and a movie" pre-fix. For a very reasonable rate, a couple can get two entrees, two salads or soups, and two movie tickets. We jumped at this opportunity and have been frequenting these venues most Friday evenings since July. So much so now, that they know us. They don't card us. They know what we order. They ask us what movie we're seeing. They gave us a frequent diner card. And last week when we brought two of our good friends with us, they were so excited that they gave us free dessert!

I love this restaurant's fried zucchini chips. They are a delicious appetizer, however we've learned the hard way that ordering an appetizer on top of the salad and entree, is just too much food. I had been saying for a while that I should make some at home for us to enjoy, and I finally got around to it. I believe that my version is much healthier, as I bake mine instead of frying them. These are really tasty, and while we snacked on them one day before dinner, they would be great to put out at a party as an hors d'oeuvre. We dipped them in pizza sauce, which was a great pairing, but if you want to experiment, I also think ranch dressing or marinara sauce would be a good accompaniment.

Kate's "Fried" Zucchini Chips

1 pound zucchini (about 2)
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
½ cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 eggs, eggs whites only
cooking spray
½ teaspoon oregano
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup pizza sauce (I use Trader Joe’s)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Slice zucchini in ¼ inch-thick rounds. Crack egg whites into a small bowl, discarding egg yolks. In another small bowl, combine Parmigiano-Reggiano, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and oregano. Dip zucchini in egg whites, and then in bread crumb mixture, thoroughly coating zucchini in each. Lay zucchini on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Coat all zucchini with cooking spray.

Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes (until crispy and golden), turning zucchini halfway. Serve with pizza sauce, for dipping.

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