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ceejamon
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Ceejamon's Zucchini Boats

Here's a fun side dish I like to do on occasion. I call them zucchini boats. They're simple, tasty, and are good for dinner parties.

What you'll need:
Zucchini (try to get straight ones)
Small tomatoes
Panko bread crumbs
Fontina, Havarti, or your favorite melting cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper



Beer not required, but always advised.

The amounts depend on how many you're feeding, of course. You can bet on 1 - 1.5 medium zucchinis per person.

Start by cutting the ends off your zucchini and slicing them in half length-wise.



Next, using a peeler, take a thin strip off the "bottom" of your boats. This gives the bottom a nice flat bottom so they sit better on the plate.



Next, use the tip of a small spoon to remove some of the seeds and make a small channel down the middle of the zucchini.



Pour some olive oil in a bowl and add to it a pinch of kosher salt and several grinds of black pepper. Mix it up.



Brush the zucchini with the seasoned oil.



Cut your tomatoes into small enough pieces to fit into your channel. Normally, I just use cherry tomatoes cut in half. I had some leftover campari tomatoes, though, so that's what I'm using here. I did a few with big pieces and a few with small pieces. Top with a sprinkling of panko bread crumbs.



Bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Then, top with cheese and put them back in the oven until it's melted (5-10 minutes).

Here's the finished product:



Serve them immediately while they're good and hot. I often do these along with a simple mushroom risotto and call it dinner. Tonight they're paired with pan-grilled pork chops and some leftover focaccia.



Alternately, you can replace the tomatoes with just about anything. I've been known to dice up random leftover veggies to pack into the channel (red onion and bell pepper FTW). Give 'em a shot and let me know what you think.
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:59 PM ceejamon is offline  
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Mr. Reynolds
 
Damn those look really good I'm going to have to try these out.

Do you think they would turn out good grilled or just one big melted mess?
Old 05-09-2009, 08:13 PM Mr. Reynolds is offline  
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horsepowerjunkie5000
 
dang those look tasty!

also

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Reynolds View Post
Do you think they would turn out good grilled or just one big melted mess?
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:19 PM horsepowerjunkie5000 is offline  
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zoopnazi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Reynolds View Post
Damn those look really good I'm going to have to try these out.

Do you think they would turn out good grilled or just one big melted mess?

they'd work for sure
zucchini grills very nicely, just be careful with the cheese
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:23 PM zoopnazi is offline  
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I will try this, sir.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:58 PM Lolololololol is offline  
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Looks good.

I grill alot of zuchhini, just cut them in half - salt & pepper, slap a slab of mild blue cheese on them and wrap em in foil, pop them on the grill. Easiest side for steak ever..

I think I'll try grilling these next time.
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Old 05-10-2009, 06:29 AM GMF is offline  
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ceejamon
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Grilled zucchini are awesome. I've never tried this recipe on the grill, but I'm sure it's great so long as you're careful with the cheese.

For another zucchini recipe that's great on the grill, check out my zucchini rolls: http://www.genmay.com/showthread.php?p=22679286
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Old 05-10-2009, 07:27 AM ceejamon is offline  
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Ceej with another delicious looking dish.

For those vegetarians who want a good melting cheese: Les Petites Fermieres (The Little Farm Girls,) a cheese company, claim to use 100% vegetarian ingredients in their cheese (no rennet.) They sell havarti, the only vegetarian havarti I've seen so far. There are other companies that do 100% vegetable rennet/vegetable enzyme, but I've misplaced their names.
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:53 AM MooK is offline  
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Holy cow those look delicious!
Old 05-10-2009, 09:21 AM slappy mcgee is offline  
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fool
 
Looks great, Ceej. Made homemade peanut butter last weekend - per your suggestion in another thread - which was amazing. Just got a mixer on Saturday so hopefully I'll make the cheesecake soon...

Thanks again for your contributions, Ceej!
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Old 05-10-2009, 03:32 PM fool is offline  
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horsepowerjunkie5000
 
grilled some zuccs today, with cheese and other things out of inspiration from this thrad. quite tasty i might say, especially paired with grilled fish
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:26 PM horsepowerjunkie5000 is offline  
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sir tex
 
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Do you have a recipe for that mushroom risotto? I love a good risotto, and that + this would be a great meal to make the gf. I don't even like zucchini that much and these look delicious.
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Old 05-12-2009, 05:38 AM sir tex is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sir tex View Post
Do you have a recipe for that mushroom risotto? I love a good risotto, and that + this would be a great meal to make the gf. I don't even like zucchini that much and these look delicious.

This is my risotto recipe, and any version of risotto I make is a variation of this.

Ceejamon's Standard Risotto Recipe:

1 cup risotto rice (Arborio)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 a large yellow onion, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons butter
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
STUFF (see below)

Heat broth in a saucepan over medium-low heat on a back-burner (don't boil or simmer, just warm it).

Heat a 12" saute pan over medium heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter and heat until butter is melted. Add onions, a heavy pinch of salt, several grinds of black pepper, and the 3 dried herbs. Cook for 4 minutes and add garlic. Cook 4 more minutes or so until onions are translucent. Stir in rice, cooking for about 2 minutes or until juices are absorbed and grains look pearly. Add wine and cook until absorbed.

Begin adding broth 1 ladle at a time, allowing each ladle to be absorbed before adding the next. When broth is absorbed check seasoning and remove from heat.

VARIATIONS:
My red wine parmesan risotto I posted recently is a variation of this using syrah wine instead of white, with some extra butter and parmesan added at the end. The purple color is a turn off for some people, but it's oh so tasty.

My mushroom risotto uses marsala instead of white white, and I stir in parmesan and tons sauteed mushrooms at the end. I just saute the mushrooms in butter the whole time I'm making risotto. Sauteed in brandy is excellent as well.

I've been known to add all kinds of grilled veggies (zucchini, asparagus, red onion, squash, bell pepper, etc.) to a batch of risotto. It's a nice catch-all dish and is great for getting rid of leftovers.
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:52 AM ceejamon is offline  
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That sounds delicious, thanks for posting it. I'll make it this weekend.
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:58 AM sir tex is offline  
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Cannondale
 
Just eating it now for me lunch. Didn't hollow the courgettes out and used peppers, olives, mushrooms and parmesan.

Good with humous and pitta for the veggies among us.
Old 05-14-2009, 04:27 AM Cannondale is offline  
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