I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

January 24, 2011

Zucchini Puffs

A Call To Arms...

As any of you dear Readers who might have a vegetable garden know, if you plant more than just one zucchini seedling you will eventually regret it.. I mean to say, the zucchinis will decide to fruit prolifically, abundantly and with complete disregard for whether you have sufficient, or can stomach any more or not.

This year I -rather cleverly- staggered my plantings. Each going in a week or so after each other. I hoped by this approach to outwit the wily courgette and not give them a chance to control the garden. I am ashamed to admit, they outsmarted me...again.
Personally, I blame the rather slow start to summer and then the flooding rains that somehow stunted or kept the first plants in stasis allowing them to mature together with the later planted ones. Either that or they are smarter than I thought.

At first they beguile you with blossoms, imagine them stuffed with goats cheese, battered and fried to crisp perfection. 'Oh no' you cry 'don't pick them all' leaving just a few to grow larger. Do Not Turn Your Back! Not for a moment. The instant you do, the plant gives a mighty push and the little baby vegetable morphs into marrow mightiness that defies all explanation. Lurking under the leaves, or behind the tomatoes, just biding it's time.....

Another cunning weapon in this vegetables arsenal is it's amazing ability to divide and conquer. Just a glimmer of cooked courgette can turn a delightful family meal into a scene from Gerry Springer or give children and occasionally husbands, an instant illness that subsides only with the removal of the offending article. In fact, after such a meal it is not uncommon to find that it has somehow managed to escape the confines of the kitchen and spread to other places around the house. Some well known hiding places are behind the fridge, under napkins, in the dogs dish, or even in pockets. As your family would undoubtedly never waste good food, the only explanation is the zucchini spreading it's web of woe as far as possible.

Indeed the insidiousness of this vegetable is incredible. I believe in the battle of survival between zucchini and man, the only way to victory is to eat as much of it as we can possibly manage. I have compiled a recipe below that, if cooked correctly, may counteract the evil affects of the courgette and render it palatable, perhaps delicious. Take heart, there will be more to follow as we pick, stuff, fry, fritter, slice and bake our way to triumph!

Turkish Style Zucchini Puffs

2 large zucchinis
2 eggs
2 cups of SR gluten free flour
About a cup to cup and a half of lactose free milk- or some such
100 grm pkt Parmesan cheese- parmesan cheese has practically no lactose, but only do what's right for your body. You can leave it out, or grate some other cheese-like substance into it if you prefer
Garlic- as much as you like, I'd use a good spoonful
Half a bunch of dill, if you don't like that use mint instead
Zest of a lemon
Juice of a lemon

Oil for deep frying

Heat oil in deep fryer or on stove

Grate or shred the zucchini

Make a batter with the flour, eggs, cheese and most of the milk.

Add in everything else, mix well, and see if you need any more milk. I find that gluten free flours are fickle, and each brand has different requirements. The batter needs to be thick enough to stay together as a clump in the oil

Scoop spoonfuls of mix into the hot oil, turning once to make sure they're evenly browned

Drain on a cake rack over a pan for drips. If you just pile up the puffs they will steam and go soggy. This is the best way to keep them crisp. It's also the best way to reheat them in the oven.

For those of you who are afraid of deep frying, or those of us who no longer have a gall bladder to process extra oils, I found that you can also bake these in muffin pans for about 25mins. They aren't as textually pleasing without the crunchy edges, but still yummy.

Serve with a tzatikki or garlicky yoghurt dipping sauce.

So tell me, dear Readers, will you answer the call to arms and commit to consuming copious quantities of cunning courgettes?


  1. drooooooooooool.
    there's no chance i will make these. i am too afraid to deep fry.
    high chance 3rd degree burns and all..

  2. Count me in Chef, I'm up for the challenge...., in fact... I'd even go out & buy some courgettes just to try this little baby. I know what you mean about the battle between the zucchini plant & man..., I think I'm even a little bit afraid of 'em - I left a little 3cm zucchini when I was minding the farm & came back the next day & found a torpedo. Nasty business :)

  3. They look wonderful, but...we haven't had a single zucchini. Not one. We planted two plants - one seems to be doing ok, but the other has been plagued with cucumber beetles. And we only ever seem to be getting female flowers. I'm flummoxed, really I am, no idea why we're not now awash with zucchs. Any suggestions? Because I desperately want to make zucchini puffs as well! :)

  4. hahaha, i can very much relate to the zucchini battle! But yet year after year we go back there :) Your puffs look delicious though!

  5. Serioulsy - I am now craving a zucchini puff like there is no tomorroww!!!

    Perhaps a zucchini loaf could also help lessen the abundance (of my fav. vegetable!)

  6. I've heard all about the amazing reproductive powers of zucchinis! Oh hang on, that sounded strange didn't it? :P

  7. Oh yeah I remember those days well when we last planted zucchini. Try planting them in Queensland is all I can say. In the time it takes you to carry one arm load of them into the house, ten more have grown the size of a baseball bat!! I am almost over the trauma now and ready to plant some again.... And your zucchini puffs certainly encourage that flirting with madness thought!

    I had an amazing zucchini soup (hard to believe i know) made by a friend that I have replicated a few times. The basic idea is to slice them up, cook with a little water or stock. Season well, add a spoonful or so of some type of 'curry powder' and then blend the lot to smooth creamyness. Sometimes I get fancy and sweat an onion or leek first, and I usually throw in a clove or two of garlic. It is really simple but surprisingly nice. And it tastes as though it has had cream added to it. Try it my friend and don't tell your family it is zucchini soup. Maybe throw in some ham and pretend that it is pea and ham soup? :)

  8. You can make these with chickpea flour as well for a nice change, add no egg just zuchinni, cpflour, water spices ---- try frying your excess zuchinnis along with a plate of other summer veggies then drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil.

  9. I will def make these!... Thank you and keep them coming!!!!

  10. Well Lovely Readers, it seems this fear and dread - and craving for- zuchinnis is universal. You have some great ideas for dealing with the issue, so let us unite and eat these vegetables into submission!

    It's lovely to see some new comments, and my oh my there have been quite a few facebook visitors to this site too lately. Where are all you guys coming from? Lovely to meet you!

    It's going to be about 35* today, so I plan on keeping quiet and doing some cooking! Hope you can too. xx

  11. Delicious looking puffs! Love the idea.

  12. Zucchini is the gift that keep on giving! In the tiny town I grew up in, one didn't dare leave their car windows down during summer for fear of finding a car load of zucchini when they returned. One good thing about zucchini is that it freezes well. My great-grandma's zucchini bread recipe calls for 2 cups of shredded zucchini, so I just shred any extra, measure it out into freezer bags, and then freeze it for use during the winter.

    I loved reading this blog post. Well written and entertaining. Can't wait to try your recipe! It sounds so yummy. :)

  13. Yes!Yes!! I will join you in the call to arms! Those look absolutely FABULOUS!! My kids would 100% devour those! The both love zucchini fritters but this takes them a step above! Yum!!

  14. I am so lucky because a mate of mine (who BTW is a fantastic cook!) gave me two huge zucchinis today. Thanks for this fantastic recipe - I will definitely be trying it out this week.

  15. Yummy :P :-)
    I should make it this week :-)

  16. yum! i love zucchini. & in fritter form, well, that is just fabulous :) I wish i grew my own too!
    Heidi xo

  17. i have done something very similar to make balls like the zucchini balls from turkish restaurants - it's unbelievably easy to have them taste authentic! mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  18. Awesome. I love deep fried vegetable dishes like tempura or cauliflowers in batter. These look delicious and I will reduce a couple of zucchinis in the garden to become lovely light fried puffs!