Hello again, yes I am back from summer camp and have time to cook again. Summer produce means mouth happiness. We truly hope you enjoy these up coming recipes.
If you have a garden you know how a zucchini can hide under a leaf and bam, it is huge and you think too tough to eat; And I am talking about the two footers….. NOT….. These are perfect size to stuff, eat, freeze and/or save for later. From a foot and a half to two feet you can enjoy the zuch….
Just wash and cut lengthwise. It could be tough and hard to do, I will take a small hammer, yes hammer….. And tap the big knife to penetrate the tough skin. If it is not perfectly straight or even no big deal. Lay the opened zuch flesh side up. Take a spoon and gently remove the seeds, if you have a grapefruit spoon it is more efficient. Dig down just enough to remove them, trying not to get into the flesh. This should create a boat shape. Several ways you can proceed from here:
- Heat your oven to 350 and place the whole halve upside down on a baking sheet, place in the oven and add some water. They do not have to be covered or even up the sides, but enough water to create a steam affect while baking, you can cover with foil if you want. The other way is to cut the zuchs in half, putting four pieces in a pan, or doing two at a time this works if you do not have a large enough pan or the zucchini is too large. Bake for 30 minutes.
While the squash is cooking you can make three different types of fillers: cheese, ground beef, ground turkey.
- Cheese is super easy: grate your favorite cheeses, jack, Colby, cheddar, Swiss, Munster, American all work well. When the squash comes out of the oven pour off water and flip the squash so the flesh is up. Score the squash…..cut small slices into the flesh kind of deep, but not all the way through. Put slices of butter, no more than half a cube, into the boat area of the squash and let it melt. Now take your cheeses and sprinkle it all over the squash filling the cavity. The amount depends on your cheese needs…..however I would not use more than a cup of each type and blending at least two different kinds. Return squash to oven add a small amount of water to the cookie sheet and bake another 30 minutes.
Both meat types are prepared the same way: using 1 pound of ground beef or ground turkey.
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 small can tomato sauce
1/2 chopped onion
1/2 chopped bell pepper
1 clove of garlic smashed and minced
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup grated parmisian cheese, shaker cheese works fine
1/2 teaspoon salt
While squash is baking, brown your meat add salt, then add onion, pepper and garlic. Cook about five minutes, Add herbs stir well then add tomato sauce. This should not be too juicy. But not too dry either. If it is just add a small amount of water. When squash has cooked the 30 minutes remove and drain the remaining water off and flip over the squash, flesh side up. Score or cut small areas in squash flesh, not too deep. I add a little olive oil and brush it over the squash or you can use a piece of wax paper or even your fingers to coat it. Fill with prepared meat, piling high is okay. Sprinkle cheese on top and place back on the cookie sheet add a small amount of water to cookie sheet and bake for thirty more minutes.
If you use quarters, I put a piece of foil on the open end of the squash so the meat does not fall out while baking.
Freezing extra squash, after stuffing do not cook the second go round, just wrap tightly with foil then plastic wrap and foil again. This way when you can peel the two outside layers off and bake in the foil. Once thawed I would bake 350 for 40 minutes.
As always…. We hope you enjoy it.