Saturday, September 19, 2015

Zucchini with a hint of Rachael Ray

I tried a new recipe, one given to me by my friend Kickingitwithmycrohnies via text message.

It went like this:

Yum, indeed!

My friend is super smart with food and recipes. As evident by her text, she's kind of a ninja at winging it in the kitchen. And as evident by the title of her blog, she's kind of had to be. I can't imagine a Crohn's diagnosis and the kind of guts it takes to fight every day. Yeah, I made a Crohn's joke. She will laugh.

So armed with her best explanation, I winged it and came up with a dinner for one that was pretty great! I under-seasoned which was a rookie mistake. Lesson learned.

Dining solo isn't my favorite thing. In 2007 I moved (back) to Louisiana, my home state and ate alone often. I truly believe it does something to your spirit to eat alone too much. And I think other people can tell. In a completely unsolicited (I swear!) moment, a friend said to me, "You've eaten too many meals alone lately."

It's also never a good sign when the woman in the Whataburger drive-thru recognizes you and lauds you as one of her favorite customers. That's when you know it's time to find a dinner date.

I didn't grow up in a house where I was taught to cook, much less wing it. Whenever my dad prepared his amazing meals, I just sat on the counter and talked his ear off, too wrapped up in my own gossip to bother learning any of the things he was doing. I did learn that he does one heck of a Julia Child impression.

So in my 30's I can't even credit my own dad with teaching me how to cook. All my thanks goes to Rachael Ray and the gang over at Food Network, without whom I might have no idea how to hollow out zucchini.

Here's how I did it:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Saute half an onion and one clove of garlic until onions are translucent
  • Add 3/4 lb of ground beef and brown (salt and pepper to taste)
  • Remove from heat and drain
  • While mixture cools enough to handle, slice two zucchini in half
  • Hollow out with a spoon, removing the flesh and seeds
  • Mix half a cup of sour cream and half a cup of shredded cheddar into the meat mixture until it is a consistency you like (test for seasoning!)
  • Spoon into the zucchini and sprinkle with breadcrumbs (and extra cheese if you'd like)
  • Bake filled zucchini for 20 minutes

***Mine weren't browning as much as I'd like, so I kicked on the broiler and let that do the work for about two minutes.  I also served with a tiny scoop of sour cream on the side for extra sass!

Bon Apetit!

Also, if you're a Rachael Ray fan like I am, check out this Wall Street Journal article for a look inside her actual kitchen! And PS, her cabinets are almost the same color as mine!

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