27
May
10

a (counter)revolutionary dinner

On Sunday, Rainbow had some adorable little eight-ball zucchinis that I couldn’t resist. Tonight, I baked them with a stuffing of onion, ancho, garlic, cumin seed, breadcrumbs, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, cheddar, and egg.

My method (largely from the Joy of Cooking): Heat the oven to 400F. Slice the tops off the zucchinis and scoop them out, discarding the seeds. Chop the remaining flesh and sweat it in a bowl with some salt. Steam the shells cut side down for five minutes. Meanwhile, soften half an onion and half an ancho, both finely chopped, in some fat. Add one clove minced garlic, 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs, and a pinch of cumin seeds. Let the breadcrumbs toast while you squeeze the excess water from the zucchini flesh. Put the squeezed zucchini and some halved cherry tomatoes in the skillet, too. Cook 3-4 minutes longer. Mix with one egg, lightly beaten, a little more salt, and half a cup of cheddar cheese. Stuff the zucchini shells, then stand them in a baking dish with 1/8 inch water. Bake 30 minutes. The tops will be nicely puffed and brown, no need to broil.

There was stuffing left over, of course. I did what any sensible person would do–I fried it. Oh, and garnished everything with cherry tomato halves. Here’s the result:

J-P says it’s very fifties. I don’t like to think of myself as reactionary (I didn’t even wear an apron!), so I’ve decided instead that the zucchinis look like little grenades. Zucchrenades! Revolutionary!

Serving dessert in cocktail glasses probably didn’t help my case:

They’re cherry bombs, all right? Cherry bombs!

For dessert, I used this recipe from Taste of Beirut, with a lot of substitutions. In the pudding, I used some mascarpone we had lying around instead of Puck cheese spread, and I used maraschino liqueur instead of her suggested flavorings. In the jelly, I used fresh cherries instead of frozen, because we’ve had them at the farmers market here for a few weeks now. Rainbow didn’t have sour cherry nectar, so I used black cherry juice concentrate. I also added a small dollop of the syrup from the fancy maraschino cherries we keep in the fridge, but I didn’t add any further sugar.

It was the first time I’d used agar agar to make a jelly, and now I can tell you that “squares” are at best an awkward substitute for powdered. But they were what I could find, so. They look delicate, don’t they? Like they’ll shatter if you give them the ojo?

Not so. I couldn’t crush the stuff in my hands, nor in the molcajete. Not even in the food processor, neither by itself (video) nor with cherry juice. I finally minced some of the cherry juice-soaked stuff from the food processor and followed the package’s directions to simmer it long enough for it to “melt.” The jelly did set, but there was a steep learning curve.

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4 Responses to “a (counter)revolutionary dinner”


  1. May 28, 2010 at 09:08

    Damn. That’s all pretty impressive looking.

  2. May 31, 2010 at 08:05

    Esther

    I love your fifties zucchini with the cheese oozing out! I cook so much with this vegetable I am in a rut now and this recipe is sparking my imagination!
    Your dessert looks great! Sorry you had a hard time with the agar-agar; especially since it is so easy to use in powder! But the end result was smashing and that’s what counts!


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