As much as I love to cook, there are times when I don't really want a full sit down meal. I want to make something little, nibble at it, and maybe have another little snick-snack later if the mood strikes me. Last night was one of those nights. I went on a delightful and rather impromptu date with two friends to ride the Duquesne incline and appreciate the warm weather before the onslaught of rain headed for Pittsburgh this weekend. Seriously, the way the local news programs are talking about this and potential snow thaw runoff, you'd be tempted to construct an ark. No? Just me? Shhh.
Since my get-home-from-work-and-immediately-run-out-the-door snack was a few Girl Scout cookies, I figured I should sneak a vegetable of sorts into my evening somehow. I had a lone zucchini sitting in my fridge and hey, that's good for many things! I didn't have the patience (hey, the puck was dropping in 15 minutes for the Pens game) or supplies to whip up a summery squash pizza. A quick look through my cabinets and refrigerator had me grabbing two important kitchen staples: Parmesan cheese and seasoned bread crumbs. Never underestimate what you can do with what you already have.
Baked Zucchini Chips
1 zucchini, rinsed
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
(if you have unseasoned bread crumbs, try adding garlic and onion powders, dried parsley, black pepper and/or paprika... but the Italian mixture is so readily available and versatile, go for it)
1 egg white
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 450 F. Slice zucchini as thinly as possible (the thinner the slices, the crispier the chips). Place slices on a dish or paper towel for at least 10 minutes to let moisture drain out of the slices. If using plain bread crumbs, mix those with other dry ingredients in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg white until foamy. Set aside.
Dip each slice of zucchini into the egg white mixture, let excess drip and coat in the bread crumb mixture. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 7 minutes, remove baking sheet and flip zucchini chips to other side. Bake for another 7 minutes. Check crispness of chips. Return to oven for another 5 minutes or as long as desired. Remove baking sheet to cooling rack and grate Parmesan cheese over chips for a little gourmet touch. Serve immediately.