For the past 5 years, my list of “New Year Resolutions” always began with the statement: “No cookbooks this year.”   I usually managed to stick with it for a few months,  until about March, which was no small feat considering that January and February constitute  almost 60 days!

This year I felt particularly strong, but fate played a cruel trick against my good intentions. One morning I was minding my own business when an alert popped up “You’ve got new mail,”  with the words “Congratulations” and “winner” in the subject line, but this time it wasn’t spam… 😉

Believe it or not, I won a cookbook!  Last November Carol, from Alinea at Home, launched a fundraiser for “Share Our Strength”, and six of her lucky readers were rewarded with a cookbook – including me (a hopeless cookbook-addict!).

My prize was “Live to Cook,” by Michael Symon, the hugely popular chef from Cleveland, written together with Michael Ruhlman. I’d already heard a lot of praise for the book, and I could hardly wait to enjoy it!

Carol’s note,  “You will love to cook from it!” was right on.  This cookbook is instantly exciting, because it’s more than a collection of recipes.    Michael shares his “food memories,” the experiences that helped him become the chef he is today. Cooking seasonally and using the best ingredients is just the beginning.  Every recipe has a story behind it, often family tales, but also plenty about his professional career.   Basically, it’s my favorite kind of cookbook.

Of course, I made something  right away! His zucchini fritters caught my attention because  I had both zucchini and feta cheese in the fridge. They were simple to prepare and delicious!

(adapted from Michael Symmon’s Live to Cook)

2 medium zucchini
1 tsp kosher salt
1 + 1/2 Tbs fresh dill, finely minced
1 large green onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg
3 Tbs all purpose flour
canola oil

Cut off the ends of the zucchini and grate them using the large holes of a grater, right over a kitchen towel. Sprinkle the kosher salt on top, twist the towel around it, and place it inside a bowl while you prepare the rest of the ingredients (a lot of liquid will drain from the zucchini).

Place the feta cheese in another bowl, add the dill, garlic, green onion, black pepper and the lemon zest. Squeeze the zucchini by twisting the towel around it over the sink until all liquid is released. Add the zucchini to the bowl, mix well, and add the egg and flour, mixing until fully combined.

Heat enough oil in a frying pan to reach 1/4 inch height. Form small fritters using 1/4 cup measure (or eye-ball it). Cook the first side until brown before flipping the fritters over. Drain on paper towels.

Transfer the fritters to a serving platter. Garnish with yogurt sauce if you want (I omitted this step and served them plain), surrounded by small grape tomatoes and fresh dill).


To print the recipe, click here

Comments: I often dislike frying because of the splatters (I’ve never met a splatter screen that I like) and the leftover oil.   But, this recipe (just like the mandioca frita) is worth the trouble.  The fritters were delicate and flavorful alongside grilled salmon and plain white rice.  It was a weeknight meal made special by Michael Symon…



2 abobrinhas  média
1 colher de cha’ de sal
1 + 1 / 2 colheres de sopa de endro fresco, picado
1 cebolinha, cortada em fatias finas
1 colher de chá de alho picado
1/4 de colher de cha’ de pimenta do reino moida
1/2 xicara de queijo feta em pedacinhos
raspas de 1 limão
1 ovo
3 colheres de sopa de farinha de trigo
óleo vegetal para fritura

Corte as extremidades das abobrinhas e rale  sobre um pano de prato. Polvilhe com o sal, envolva com o pano, e coloque em uma tigela  enquanto você prepara o resto dos ingredientes (uma boa quantidade de liquido vai escorrer da abobrinha).

Coloque o queijo feta em outra tigela, acrescente o endro, alho, cebolinha, pimenta do reino e as raspas de limão. Esprema bem a abobrinha torcendo o pano, ate’ que todo o liquido seja eliminado.  Adicione a abobrinha na tigela, misture bem e acrescente o ovo e a farinha, mexendo até ficar bem incorporado.

Aqueça  óleo em uma frigideira;  forme pequenos bolinhos com cerca de 1/4 de xicara da mistura de abobrinha, ou com a quantidade que voce preferir.  Cozinhe o primeiro lado até que fique bem dourado  antes de fritar o segundo lado. Escorra em papel absorvente.

Transfira os bolinhos para o prato em que serao servidos.  Sirva com molho de iogurte se quiser;  eu preferi omitir o molho, e servi rodeado de tomates-cereja e raminhos de endro.


  1. Pingback: MICHAEL SYMON'S “LIVE TO COOK” « Bewitching Kitchen | cooktoday

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