I hate it when people say, “Oh, we’re just eating at home…” as if that were something to apologize for. I believe that the most important meals are prepared and eaten in one’s own home. When you thoughtfully create food for those you love, you are adding something to the world around you and giving it the fuel it needs to be a better place. I think every home chef holds to the belief that a good meal could change the world. Choosing local ingredients, getting fresh food from neighboring farms, slowing down and actually cooking your own meals for your family – these are all things that decide the way we eat and therefore, how we live.
It is important to give yourself good ingredients to work with, but then you have to enlist your senses to help you create meals that truly please you to eat them. What kinds of foods do you *honestly* like? What scents tempt you? What textures are able to involve you in a meal rather than just give you something to put in your belly? WHat flavors entice you? These are all things to be thought of when you get out your frying pan and mixing bowl. You have to be thoughtful, a little fearless, a little daring and make good food happen.
Something that I hear all too often is, “Oh, I don’t like such and such.” Even I have my list (short though it is) of things I’ve convinced myself I don’t like. Instead of making such final judgments, maybe we should be more open, work on it a bit more, try a new approach. Turn the food upside down and look at it like that for a little while.
This week I decided to do just that with a food that I, as well as many people I’ve known have said they didn’t like – Goat cheese. I love goats – I admire the fact that they can provide us with dairy products, meat, fiber, plus they’re personable critters to boot, I just have never been able to truly enjoy a slice of goat cheese that wasn’t feta mixed in some strongly flavored salad. We have a couple of goat farms in the area that make a variety of artisan cheeses and sell them at the farm stand down the road, so I picked up a creamy white wedge of semi-hard cheese, headed home and began experimenting.
This is the recipe I ended up with. Talk about a senses-pleasing, world-changing dish!
Sensational Goat Cheese and Summer Squash Fritters
For this recipe you will need:
1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
2 cups of shredded zucchini and/or yellow crooked neck squash
1/2 cup of shredded, semi-hard goat cheese
2 beaten eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon herbal seasoning of your choice – I used a basic Italian blend.
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
olive oil for frying
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir until everything is well blended. It is going to be somewhat of a damp mix. This can be made ahead the night or morning before you plan on cooking them, if you want. Once everything is mixed together, put a frying pan on medium-high heat and once it’s thoroughly hot, add some olive oil. Spoon the fritters into the hot pan and flatten them a bit with a spatula. Cook the fritters for three to five minutes before flipping them. They should be dark golden brown. Fry them on their backs for another few minutes and then they’re done and ready to enjoy.
The zucchini is plentiful this time of year and mild enough to let the cheese’s flavor really shine through, all the while providing a strong sort of ‘foundation’ – they aren’t overly cheesy, aren’t overly ‘squashy’, just delicious. My husband and I ate the whole batch over the course of a day, and I do believe I will be making them again soon.
Don’t give up on a food you don’t think you like. Take up the challenge and *make* it something you enjoy.
Perhaps the world you will end up changing is your own…