My Grandpa Jack was a plumber, steamfitter, and armchair theologian. He sat in a rocking chair, a most masculine nicotine-stained piece of furniture, or hunched over the kitchen table, dunking zwiebek cookies in instant coffee. I remember him reading the Bible and taking notes with his calloused, clean but not unstained hands. He was a large man, a working class Democrat from the German-Italian ghetto, who played the saxophone and danced every Saturday night of his youth at a place called Pleasure Beach. That is where he met my Grandma Josephine. He swung her up perpendicular one night and then he left for The War. In his garage he kept a phonograph, some screws and bolts in Maxwell House jars nailed to the wall, and a cast iron pot, which he used for Sunday dinner. The color of that work shed never changed, even after the house was re-sided for the 21st century. He planted beans, cucumbers, peppers, and zucchini in the garden until his mind was nearly gone, and always let me twist off the ripe tomatoes from their fragrant stalks. Now is the time of year when zucchini are at their most abundant and I remember my grandfather by cooking from the Summer garden. These tasty fritters make a perfect weekday dinner, served with a salad and a cool glass of Vinho Verde.
- 1 large zucchini, ends trimmed
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- Kosher salt and ground pepper
- 1 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha
Step 1: Grate zucchini into a small bowl and squeeze out the liquid. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Step 2: In a large skillet cook onions and peppers in a teaspoon of vegetable oil until translucent. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Combine zucchini, onion, pepper, cheese, egg, and bread crumbs. Form into patties.
Step 4: Fry fritters in olive oil on medium-high heat, about three minutes a side. Drain on paper towels or brown paper bag.
Step 5: Combine sour cream and Sriracha and serve as a dipping sauce with the zucchini fritters.