ZUCCHINI BOATS

ZUCCHINI BOATS

 

1 very large (12-15”) or 2 medium size zucchinis (8-10”)

1 large onion, chopped

¼ cup ketchup

1 Tbs. A1 sauce

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbs. prepared horseradish

2 eggs, beaten

2 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves, removed from stems and rough chopped

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1½ tsp. salt

1 ½ tsp. ground black pepper

11/2 lbs. ground beef (80/20)

1 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs

4 slices bread, torn into bite size pieces (I like to use the butt ends that no one wants to eat otherwise or any slightly stale bread works too!)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups of shredded cheese (Cheddar, Swiss, or Monterey Jack)

20 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

 

 

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil (the water should be deep enough to cover the length of the zucchini).  Slice zucchini (s) in half lengthwise and immerse in the boiling water.  Let cook until tender when poked with a fork, about 15-20 minutes depending on the size.  Remove from water and let cool and drain, cut side down on paper towels.

 

When cool, use a spoon to scoop out the pulp from each zucchini half, leaving enough inside so the shell keeps its shape.  Drain the pulp and press with paper towels to remove most of the moisture.  Chop pulp into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl.  Add the onion, ketchup, A1, Dijon, Worcestershire, horseradish, eggs, thyme, parsley, ½ tsp. of salt, and 1 tsp. of black pepper to the squash and mix well. 

 

Add the corn, ground beef, bread crumbs, bread pieces, Parmesan, and 1 ½ cups of the shredded cheese to the bowl and massage everything together until well combined.

 

Press paper towels into each zucchini shell to absorb any excess moisture and season with remaining salt and pepper.  Split the stuffing mixture into 2 or 4 parts, depending on the number of zucchinis you've used and evenly distribute each portion into one of the halves, pressing and shaping it in the shell.  Press tomato halves into the top of each zucchini, cut side down.

 

Bake at 375° for 45 minutes-1hour, or until the meat stuffing is cooked through and hot in the center (timing will depend on how many zucchinis and how large they are - hence how thick the meat stuffing is).  Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.  Return to oven and let cook 5 minutes more until cheese is melted and lightly browned. 

You can also make this recipe with smaller zucchini of course, but just be careful when scooping out the pulp as the little guys are more tender and the shell can rip easily when pre-cooked!

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