After waking to Peter Sagal’s voice of NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me, I knew that it was going to be a good day. I love laughing first thing in the morning–gives you such good energy! We said goodbye to Peter and Carl, got fresh, and headed out to Austin’s downtown farmer’s market, located on the corner of 5th and Guadalupe.
Another love of mine: being a food nerd! I am addicted to food markets; they remind me of elementary school field trips for some odd reason. He-he! I am as giddy as a schoolgirl, walking around and asking questions about the different foods and techniques others use. For instance, today I met a new veggie friend: Magenta Spreen. I didn’t buy any (that will have to wait until next Saturday) but apparently it tastes similar to spinach (yet another food-crush that I have). On top of all the fresh veggies and fruits, the downtown market also boasts fresh butchered meaty treats like venison breakfast sausage, bison, duck, wild hog, quail, and many others. I have never felt more proud to be a carnivore, browsing the meat selection! I ended up bagging three mini zucchinis, a red onion, and three beets. After all, I didn’t want to go overkill on my first visit! I’ll definitely be heading back next Saturday. Keep reading to see what I did with those beautiful zukes!
After the market, Erik and I were feeling a little light-headed due to the heat and the rumbling in our bellies, so we headed to South First to eat at Torchy’s Tacos. Torchy’s are everywhere–I believe there are about eight alone in Austin. The one on South First is closest to us, which is why we went there. I ordered the Breakfast Migas ($2.50–scrambled eggs, green chiles, avocado, pico de gallo, cheese on a corn tortilla) and Erik had the Green Chile Pork ($3.25–slow-roasted pork with green chiles, queso fresco, cilantro, lime on a corn tortilla). Total cost was under $9 for the two of us–what a deal! The food was delicious and just enough to fill that empty hunger hole. No worries, we’ll definitely be back to try more of their taco variations.
After eating and relaxing under one of the shelters in 105-degree weather for a moment, we bolted home to jump into our neighborhood pool, which, unfortunately, felt like a jacuuzi. But, hey! We were in water and not just frying in the hot sun, so it was cool. We also met some new strangers and swapped stories; they were from Montana and New York. Good conversation with good people=good times.
OK, Okay, I’ll tell you what I did with those zukes. I saw Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) make these zucchini pancakes on her Back to Basics Food Network show. Gah! I really love her!
- 2 medium zucchini (about 3/4 pound)
- 2 tablespoons grated red onion
- 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
- 6 to 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Unsalted butter and vegetable oil
- New add: 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1-2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes (to spice things up!)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Grate the zucchini into a bowl using the large grating side of a box grater. Immediately stir in the onion and eggs. Stir in 6 tablespoons of the flour, the baking powder, salt, and pepper. (If the batter gets too thin from the liquid in the zucchini, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour.)
Heat a large (10 to 12-inch) saute pan over medium heat and melt 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon oil together in the pan. When the butter is hot but not smoking, lower the heat to medium-low and drop heaping soup spoons of batter into the pan. Cook the pancakes about 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place the pancakes on a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven. Wipe out the pan with a dry paper towel, add more butter and oil to the pan, and continue to fry the pancakes until all the batter is used. The pancakes can stay warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Serve hot.
**FYI: I didn’t worry about putting them in the oven to keep hot–the pancakes cooked fairly quickly, plus I was cooking this tasty, healthy Oven-FriedChicken in there. (I follow the oven-fried chicken recipe pretty closely; however, I usually tend to coat with just plain Panko breadcrumbs.)***P.S. These zucchini pancakes rocked my taste buds! Erik thought they were going to be disgusting, but he ended up eating like 6 of them! If you don’t know what to do with your zukes or if they are just going bad, please try this recipe–you won’t regret it!
Thank goodness for Saturdays–the day of rest! Erik and I were grateful for the small respite from the job hunt. Hope y’all are having a relaxing weekend, too!