Fiesta Zucchini Boats

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Fiesta Zucchini Boats 1


Zucchini is in abundance at this time of the year. What to do with all of it……. Fiesta Zucchini Boat’s….. that’s what to do with it.

Zucchini, or as the French call it, Courgette, is one of the most popular summer veggies. Is there anything you can’t do with zucchini??? Plus it’s low in calories….of course depending how you fix it.

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Choose small to medium-sized zucchini with shiny, bright green skin. The best size for zucchini is 6 to 8 inches length and 2 inches or less in diameter.

Fiesta Zucchini Boats

Avoid overly mature……you know the ones that you look at them and your eyes bug out……….. large courgette will have a spongy textured, and will be loaded with large seeds. These baseball bat sized zucchini are fine for shredding to use in baking recipes, or one of my favorite ways to use the super zuch is to make zucchini relish.
Zucchini pairs well with: basil, bread crumbs, butter, cayenne, cheese, cilantro, cream, dill, eggplant, garlic, lemon, marjoram, mushrooms, olive oil, onions, oregano, parsley, pesto, pine nuts, rosemary, sage, salmon, tarragon, thyme, tomatoes, vinegar, walnuts. It make yummy bread, and baked good, and nothing beats good ol’ fried zucchini.

But alas, I must strive to be different. Mexican food is on the top of Tim and I’s list of most eaten foods. We have Mexican food at least once a week. So, why not make a Fiesta from zucchini ????

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Searching for ideas I saw many stuffed zucchini recipes, I liked the idea of stuffing, but not the traditional……..meatballs…….Mexican meatball, with black beans and fresh corn, and spicy…..cumin and chipotle.

But it would need sauce or a topping….how about both! What could be more delicious than Queso Sauce?

God Bless the people at Kraft for making Velveeta Queso Blanco cheese. Queso sauce/dip is a snap. Cheese, chilies, and a little milk…..microwave a few minutes…..instance Queso Sauce……too easy, and super duper tasty!!!!!

Tomatoes are another summer abundance, so Pico de Gallo was a no brainer for the topping. Fresh, hand picked……I got mine at the Farmers Market……bright red, juicy tomatoes are a celebration of summer. Add sweet onions, zesty jalapeños, fresh cilantro, and a burst of lime……perfect pico!!!!

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So the set up goes like this:

Scoop the insides of the zucchini out to make a boat for the meatballs.
Bake the boats just until tender crisp.
Place your already baked zesty fiesta meatballs into said boats.
Ladle your luscious Queso sauce over the meatballs.
Baked for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Remove from oven and place on serving plate and garnish with your perfect pico.

Fiesta Zucchini Boats are a celebration of summer!!

Fiesta Zucchini Boats
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 medium size zucchini
  • 1 recipe of Mexican Meatballs (see recipe)
  • 1 recipe Queso Sauce ( see recipe)
  • 1 recipe Pic de Gallo ( see recipe)
Instructions
  1. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller or a small spoon scoop out the seeds and flesh to make a “boat” for your meatballs. If the boats do not set level, slice a thin portion off the bottom.
  2. Place in preheat 350* oven for 15 minutes, just until tender crisp.
  3. Remove zucchini from the oven and place cooked Mexican Meatballs in each zucchini boat, four in each.
  4. Ladle Queso Sauce over meatball in the zucchini boats.
  5. Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven, top with Pico de Gallo and serve.

Mexican Meatballs
Serves: 16
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ½ cup corn ( I used fresh cut from an ear of corn, but you can use frozen, thawed also)
  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • ½ cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450* Mix all ingredients. Shape into balls using an ice cream scoop ensures uniform size.
  2. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes depending on the size of your meatballs.

Queso Sauce
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Velvetta Queso Blanco, cut into cubes
  • 1 - 4 ounce can green chilies
  • ¼ cup milk
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a microwave safe dish and cook a minute at a time until cheese is melted. Stir until smooth.

Pico de Gallo
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup tomato, seeded, and diced
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded, deveined, and minced
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Adjust seasonings.

 

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