Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Friday, December 10, 2010

When the chips are down (timewise) in December, Zucchini Oven Chips answer the side-dish dilemma

Oh, those sides, those sides. All my pre-December cooking and freezing has paid off in terms of giving me a free pass for preparing entrees during Never-Enough-Time month. But what about those dishes to accompany our meals? I'm always on the hunt for easy things to drum up to give my meals a boost.

Last night was a search for a quick and healthy accompaniment to Thick and Chunky Tomato Spaghetti Sauce (from my cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden). In the fall I had made and frozen several batches of this sauce; I'm now the beneficiary of all this advance work. From my files I found a help originally furnished by Cooking Light magazine; the recipe was for Zucchini Oven Chips. Now that's an unusual thought. On hand I had a couple of small zucchini that earlier I had meant to use in a salad that didn't materialize. Zucchini Oven Chips would be a terrific partner for my spaghetti sauce and would look like I slaved all day in the kitchen.

The zucchini is chopped up into slices (Hubby, who had been driven from his home office by workers finishing a remodel in that room, was happy to help slice them up for me.) After dipping them in a little milk I dredged them in a mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and seasonings. I layered the slices in a single layer on a pan that had been coated with cooking spray.

With almost no effort at all these turned out delightful and were perfect to go along with the spaghetti. They were crisp and flavorful and gave the same impact as if I had dipped them a batter and pan-fried them (which would have made them less healthy, of course). Hubby wouldn't be able to help himself and would just have to top them with a little ketchup, but to me this finished recipe represented Mission Accomplished. December, I'm still standing!

Zucchini Oven Chips

1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs (I used crumbs from whole-wheat bread)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt (I used salt-free seasoning)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons milk
zucchini slices (about 2 small zucchini, cut up)

In medium bowl combine first five ingredients. Place milk in separate bowl. Dip slices in milk; dredge in crumb mixture. Place slices on pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until zucchini is browned and crisp. Serves 4.

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