Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mushroom and Ham Stuffed Zucchini

Mushroom and Ham Stuffed Zucchini
Home Cooking

I fall victim to the cooking trap of treating my fridge/pantry like a  home mystery box challenge (Masterchef reference, for those not in the know). I start thinking about what bits and pieces I have that need using up, finding recipes that accomodate them and often buying extra ingredients to bring those recipes together. That sort of defies the whole point but what the hey.

On this occasion, I had a tray of mushrooms that were bothering me. I usually pan-fry mushrooms with zucchini and eat that with goats cheese on toast or in a wrap. In light of my current mood for cooking, I thought I could use those ingredients but in a new way.

Googling for inspiration, I found a couple of references for stuffed zucchini so I decided to give that a crack. With any recipe that involves stuffing something with other things, there's a lot of room for alteration. For someone in my situation, that makes it the perfect platform for using up troublesome ingredients. I had some corn kernals and green chili too so I threw those into the mix.

Mushroom and Ham Stuffed Zucchini
Serves 3-4

  • 3 large zucchinis
  • cup of mushrooms
  • 50g ham, chopped
  • 1/3 cup corn kernals (optional; I used frozen)
  • 1/2 green chili, chopped finely (optional)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • olive oil
  • 1/3 cup mozarella cheese, grated
  • 50g butter, melted
  • rocket and fresh lemon, to serve

1. Boil the zucchinis whole until they're just tender (about 10 minutes). Let them cool down.
2. Meanwhile, stir-fry the mushrooms and ham in some olive oil until the mushrooms are cooked.
3. Add the corn and chili (if using) until everything is warmed throughout.
4. Make the crumble by mixing together the breadcrumbs with lemon zest, cheese and butter.
5. Slice the zucchinis in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides.  These bits can be incorporated into the filling mixture if you like.
6. Preheat the grill so that it's nice and hot. Set the tray towards the top of the oven.
7. Fill the zuccini halves in with the filling mixture. Top with some of the crumble and drizzle the whole thing with olive oil.
8. Grill until the crumble is golden and the cheese has melted.
9. Serve with a fresh rocket salad, with some lemon wedges.

Stuffed vegetables have the benefit of looking fiddly and slightly fancy when they're not that difficult to do. I recommend using a small metal spoon for scooping out the zucchini flesh. Again, I reiterate that you can use anything for the filling really.

My filling didn't have a clear theme (besides 'get rid of igredients that Cora doesn't want in her fridge') but you could go the Italian route and fill with tomato, basil and ricotta or maybe the Mexican route and try some mince with ground cumin and coriander, beans and corn.

The mushroom and ham stuffed zucchini suited with the lemon zest crumble and I thought rocket and fresh lemon was the best accompaniment. If you change the filling, you could try some different tops and sides to match.

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