Sunday, July 5, 2009

Stuffed Eight or Cue Ball Zucchini

I was thrilled to see these at the Farmer's Market this week. I purchased one at the market last month. After getting home and doing some searching about how to prepare, I realized I should have gotten two of them. They're perfect for stuffing!!!

Stuffed Eight Ball Zucchini

2 Eight or Cue Ball Zucchini
1 clove garlic
1 shallot
1 1/2 cups couscous (prepared)
1 can rotel tomatoes
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesean cheese
Salt and Pepper

Cut the tops of about 1" from the top. Save the top if you would like your eight ball to have a lid.

Scoop out the insides, making sure to leave a wall on the sides. I used a melon baller and a regular spoon. Steam the zucchini 8 minutes, until slightly softened.

Chop the zucchini, I used a Pampered Chef Mix n Chop and it worked perfectly.

Heat a skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil. Saute garlic and shallot about 2 minutes (don't overcook). Add the chopped zucchini and saute 3 -4 minutes. Stir in breadcrumbs, parmesean and about 1/2 of the can of tomatoes (no juice). If mixture seems to dry, add a little of the liquid from the rotel peppers. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 400. Place zucchini in glass baking dish. Using a spoon or scoop, carefully fill the zucchini with the stuffing mixture. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown and hot. Cover with tops for serving, if desired.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Grilled Chicken with Cherry Sauce

I picked up a pint of cherries at the Farmers Market on Saturday. Not really enough for a pie or cobbler. I decided to try a cherry sauce for grilled chicken.

So these cherries have pits!! My kitchen is full of gadgets but not a cherry pitter. Normally when I see how you can take an ordinary item and make something else useful out of it, I always think what a great idea but never seem have a need for it. Who knew a paper clip would made a great cherry pitter?
This is my adaptation of several recipes for cherry sauce and cherry barbeque sauce. You could use this sauce on pork or even fish. It's slightly sweet with a little tang.

Cherry Sauce
1/3 cup apple juice
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tbs orange juice
¼ tsp grated orange rind
2¼ cups pitted quartered sweet cherries (about 1 pound)
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp water

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cherries and bring to a boil over medium low heat. Cook 10 - 15 minutes, stirring often. Strain the mixture and return to the pan. Combine the cornstarch and water. Stir into the sauce and bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.

Brush on chicken breasts during the last few minutes of cooking. Watch carefully, since the sauce is sweet, it will burn easily.