Monday, October 8, 2012

Stuffed Zucchini

I walked out to my garden the other day (before it froze) and no matter how good you keep checking your zucchini, there are always some that hide and get away from you. I like to pick mine when they are still on the smaller side, like you find in the grocery store, but I had about 3 that were twice the size that I usually like them to get. I thought I would try making some Stuffed Zucchini. I had made some last year and Jim didn't like the recipe I used, so I looked up other recipes and then ended up doing my own thing. This is what I came up with... It was yummy and yes my hubby liked this recipe. It takes a little time, I cooked my zucchini a few minutes before stuffing to get some of the water out. Enjoy!
Stuffed Zucchini
3 large Zucchini, cut in half with the middle and seeds scooped out (save this)
1 pound hot sausage
1/2 pound ground beef
1 green Bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
2 tomatoes, diced 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 Tablespoon chopped, fresh basil) 1 egg 1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 to 2 cups grated Mozzarella Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice your zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the middle (making a canoe) You can also cut them in half or thirds for better serving sizes. Place on a cookie sheet that you line with parchment paper, scooped side up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes.
After it's cooked, remove from oven and blot the moisture with a paper towel. Set aside.
While the zucchini is cooking, chop up the middle of the zucchini; then saute in a medium frying pan that has been drizzled with olive oil over medium heat for about 5 to 8 minutes, this will remove the extra moisture out of the filling. Set this aside to cool.
In a larger skillet, cook the sausage, hamburger, onion, bell pepper, and garlic over medium heat until the meat is browned and the onion is translucent. Then add the tomatoes and basil;  cook about 5 more minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg, then pour into your slightly cooled zucchini filling and stir briskly so the egg doesn't cook. Next, add the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese to this mixture; stir to combine. Then add this mixture to the meat mixture and stir to combine. (The breadcrumbs help soak up the juice from the tomato and help bind everything together.) This is what my filling looked like...
Add Salt and Pepper to taste to the meat at this point. Then scoop the filling into your zucchini boats, heaping it as full as possible so all your meat mixture is used. Sprinkle each with grated Mozzarella cheese and bake in the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes... something about zucchini, it holds the heat and it's really hot when coming out of the oven and you don't want to burn your mouth!!! Serve with a steamed veggies and crusty french bread! yum!!!

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