Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Stuffed Zucchini with Garlic, Paprika, and Cheese Crustinis

My mom forwarded me one of those cliche email forwards that talks about the specialness of being a mom.  It was actually quite touching and made me laugh a few times with memories from my teenage years, specifically, learning how to drive.  Shortly after getting my learner's permit I was out with my mom practicing in the Dodge Caravan and took a corner a little fast.  We went rolling around the corner on two wheels.  I found it funny.  She, was petrified.  Now that I have my own daughter, and another making an appearance very soon, I realize how terrifying it can be at times to be a parent.  Will they make good decisions?  Can I trust their friends?  Who is watching over them when I am not there?  Will everyone be kind to them?  Will they be kind to others?  Will they eat their vegetables? exercise? take care of themselves?  The list goes on and on and on.  The scary part is that most of the time I am not in control of any of these things, and neither is my husband.  All we as parents can do is try to model the way, teach them values and morals, and hope for the best.  I made this recipe tonight in hopes that we might get a vegetable and some meat down our toddler.  No luck.  Instead she ate plain bread, a few bites of mac and cheese, and some applesauce.  When I offered her some of our food she told me she didn't like it, but maybe she will when she gets bigger.  I guess we have something to look forward to in the teen years. If she keeps this up long enough it really will balance out all the new driver/first date/you did what? experiences.     
Stuffed Zucchini (adapted from a recipe that came with a bottle of Smoking Loon merlot!)

4 medium zucchinis (mine were small so I used six)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 Cup onions, chopped
1 Cup ground turkey
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 Cup fresh bread crumbs
6 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper, to taste

Boil zucchini about 10 minutes, then cut in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the pulp.  Set shell aside and chop pulp.  Heat butter and oil in a skillet, cook onions and ground turkey.  Add zucchini pulp and garlic, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Drain.  Into this mixture, add the egg, bread crumbs, 2 teaspoons of Parmesan cheese, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon this into hollowed zucchini shells, mounding tops slightly.  Place into a shallow, oiled baking dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese and dribble a few drops of olive oil over each shell.  Cover dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  Remove foil, bake an additional 10 minutes to brown.  Serve and enjoy.  Serves 4-6 people.

Garlic, Paprika, and Cheese Crustinis
8 slices of nice sourdough bread (or whatever your preference is)
butter or olive oil
garlic powder
Parmesan cheese
dried parsley

Lay bread slices on a baking sheet and butter one side of each slice (or brush with olive oil).  Sprinkle each slice with remaining ingredients.  Put in the oven with the zucchini for the last 10 minutes of cooking.  Brown under the broiler for a minute or two if needed. 

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