Monday, June 11, 2012

Zucchini Week- Day 2: Stuffed Zucchini

Today's recipe has been a favorite in our house for a very long time. It actually was one of the first recipes that I could successfully complete!  I may not have been the best cook when we first got married, but I have come a LONG way! Appropriately, it is a recipe from Rachael Ray. Although she has a horrendous man-voice, I give her credit for teaching me how to cook. It is also appropriate that it is a meat-less recipe.  In my early cooking days, I was completely freaked out by raw meat and the inevitable meat juice that came with it. Therefore, most of my cooking was vegetarian to the hubby's dismay.  But this one got his approval since the stuffing tastes like sausage. I always look forward to zucchini season each year so I can make this recipe since it is yum-o as Rachael would say!

Mama Elsa's Stuffed Zucchini from Rachael Ray
6 5 inches zucchini (1 1/2 pounds total) 
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), 3 turns of the pan, plus more for drizzling 
5 garlic cloves, 1 crushed and 4 finely chopped 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (a couple of pinches) 
1 medium onion, finely chopped 
1 diced tomatoes (15 ounces), drained and juice reserved 
Salt and freshly ground pepper 
1/4 cup dry white wine (a glug) 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces 
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs (3 generous handfuls) 
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (a couple of generous handfuls) 
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (a generous handful) 
10 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Halve the zucchini lengthwise and hollow them out with a small scoop or spoon. Drizzle the zucchini boats with a little EVOO and place them in the middle of the oven to roast (they will be ready when you take the stuffing off the heat). 

Chop the zucchini centers. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of EVOO (2 turns of the pan), the crushed garlic clove, the red pepper flakes, the onion and the chopped zucchini. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the zucchini begins to caramelize. Finely chop the tomatoes and add them to the stuffing. Stir until heated through. Season with salt and pepper and deglaze the pan with the glug of white wine. Cook until the wine evaporates, then stir in the reserved tomato juice. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the tomato juice slowly cook off as well. 

While the stuffing cooks, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of EVOO (1 turn of the pan) and the butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the chopped garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the bread crumbs and lightly toast them, about 2 minutes. Add the cheese, parsley and lots of fresh pepper and remove from the heat. When the liquid has almost cooked out of the stuffing, stir in the bread crumb mixture and the basil and remove it from the heat. 

Remove the zucchini from the oven and fill each with a mound of stuffing. Place the boats back in the oven and bake for 5 minutes to crisp the bread crumbs. 



No comments:

Post a Comment