Crispy zucchini fries

Crispy zucchini fries 

There was a food I used to love when we would go out to eat, and it was always deep fried.  No, not french fries, not onion rings, but the great zucchini fries.  I cannot think of a time when I didn't love those wonderful green sticks, all crispy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside.  They were always served with a side of marinara sauce.  Oh the sweet joy these beautiful sticks gave me. What pleasures I took in eating them one by one, enjoying every little bite!
I pretty much gave up on having them again, and would just eat my zucchini mushy and boring, or spiralized and OK.  But it wouldn't replace those yummy sticks of green crunchiness.  No, it would just be one of those foods I would have to write off.  That is until I put my thinking cap on today and took a shot of determination straight from the bottle.  I was going to do this, I was going to make this happen.  
Now, I will be the first to say that they are not 100% of what you get with an egg batter, deep fried zucchini stick from your favorite sports bar.  Some things cannot be duplicated 100%.  But that doesn't mean they are not just as good.  You have crunch, you have batter, you have soft insides just screaming to be crammed into your mouth and chewed up.  
Now, I served these crispy bad boys with a side of my delicious marinara sauce.  Its right here on my blog.  If you have not made it, you should.  That stuff could be put on a floor tile and it would taste good.  So to pair it up with crispy golden zucchini fries, well, it just makes the most sense.  
OK, enough of my erotic food review, and on to the simple recipe.

Preheat your oven to 425*.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone pad.

3/4 c rice flour (I used white, you could use brown)
1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning (found in the spice aisle, pretty cheap)
1T garlic powder
1T onion powder
1/4 tsp. chipotle powder (add more if you like it spicy)
1/2 tsp. salt (optional, but really helps)
1/4 tsp. black pepper (or white, you choose)
3/4 c unflavored non dairy milk (I used cashew, soy would be great too)
4-5 medium sized zucchinis,washed, ends cut off, cut in half and then into fries (I cut each half into three slices for fry size wedges.  
1c cornmeal (pour into a 1 gallon zip top bag or a small brown paper bag)

In a medium bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Add the zucchini fries and with your hands get them all well coated.  Once they are all coated, work in batches and remove from batter, letting excess drip off, and add to the cornmeal.  Close the bag, shake really well, and remove to baking sheet.  Make sure you are lining them up all neat and pretty, so they are not touching each other.  Do this until all the fries are done. 
Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes (always checking because everyone has a different oven that may be somewhat temperamental).  After 20 minutes, remove and turn.  Take your time and be delicate.  Place back in the oven and cook another 20 minutes, or until golden brown and very crispy.  
Remove from oven and serve with your favorite side dip (like my marinara or dill mustard sauce).  
Most of all, enjoy them, and adjust the seasonings and times to suite your tastes.  :) 


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