Friday, July 18, 2008

Stuffed 8 Ball Zucchini

If you scroll down to my previous post, you will see some round zucchini in the picture of the abundance of zucchini blessings from G's garden. Here finally are the directions and a "sort-of" recipe for preparing these great zucchini. If you don't grow them yourself, we have found that they are available at the local farmer's market events.
First you need to make a stuffing for them. I make this with whatever I have on hand. It never turns out the same twice! Basically this is what you need and what you do:

2 or 3 slices of onion, diced
1/2 t. minced garlic from jar (you could use fresh if you like)
1 to 2 cups cubed leftover meat (today I used leftover London Broil; last time it was chicken)

Spray a saute pan with pan spray and make turn around the pan with some olive oil. Saute the onion a bit, then add in the meat. Then add the following:

2 small (5 inch) zucchini quartered lengthwise & diced (I used 1 green and 1 yellow)

Stir till combined and add in:

1 -2 C. cooked rice or some stuffing cubes (you could even use pre-cooked pasta)

Today I used leftover Basmati rice. Then add:

1/2 C. store bought refrigerated garlic salsa. (here you could adlib with your own or even a small can of chopped tomatoes....or 1/2 of a larger can)

The salsa was my idea so that I wouldn't have to worry about flavour, but you may also want to add salt, pepper and herbs here to your taste. If you are using pasta, you could make the stuffing more flavourful with pasta sauce at this point. I've also made a cup or so of broth to use as the liquid ingredient. If you keep stock on hand like Rachael Ray, that's perfect.

Stir well and set aside. Your stuffing should be moist like turkey stuffing is at Thanksgiving. If it's too dry, add more moisture. If it's too sloppy add more rice, pasta or stuffing cubes.

Now wash your 8 balls and cut the stem off and a thin slice off the bottom so the halves will sit flat. Next you are going to cut your 8 balls in half as shown below:

When you've halved them you will see the seeds and where you should cut around the center with a small paring knife at an angle to hollow the center out. I usually cut around at an angle with the paring knife and then across the circle several times. Then I switch to digging the seeds out with the large end of a melon baller.
Here's what your halves should look like.

Now use a 1/2 cup measuring cup and fill the halves with your stuffing, pressing it firmly down and mounding it a little. Place the filled 8 balls in a deep casserole with a lid. Here's what today's looked like after stuffing. G let these 8 balls get larger than a softball so I had to squeeze their sides to make them fit in this casserole.
Cover and place in your microwave. Cook on high for 10 min. If you don't have a lid for your deep casserole or dish, you could use saran wrap, but I wouldn't recommend letting it touch your food. Important: If you don't cover these during cooking, they will cook unevenly. If your microwave doesn't have a turntable, turn your casserole after 5 minutes.Here you see what the stuffed 8 balls look like after they come out of the microwave. Placing a half slice of cheese on top when they are hot is optional but delicious! You are only limited in the number you can make by the size of your pan and the volume of the stuffing you make!

After Note: G didn't like this version as well as others I've made. He finally admitted he prefers me to use the stuffing cubes instead of the rice. He said there was too much rice, but I don't think he would have noticed that as much if the seasonings had been better. Sometimes you win; sometimes you don't!


1 comment:

Lil said...

These look yummy! I Love recipes that are ballpark recipes and I can add this and that. =)