Sunday, August 16, 2009

Zucchini Overload? 11 Ideas and Recipes to Get You Through Zucchini Time

by Monica Resinger
http://homemakersjournal.com

It's that time of year when it seems you don't have enough friends and family to give zucchini to. I have come to love zucchini time because over the years I have gathered quite a few ideas and recipes. Here are eleven ideas and recipes to help you through zucchini overload time.

1. Freeze it. Shred it, measure it into the correct measurement for your favorite zucchini bread, then freeze in a freezer bag. When you want fresh zucchini bread this winter, all you have to do is thaw a bag out and add it to the recipe.

2. Freeze zucchini bread. Make zucchini bread loaves (see recipe below) and freeze them for later. These are handy for bringing to potlucks or giving as Christmas gifts.

3. Add to... You can shred zucchini and add it to spaghetti sauce and meat loaf. This adds nutrition and bulk.

4. Deep-fry it. Make your favorite beer-batter for making fish and chips, dip slices of zucchini in it and deep fry for a delicious treat. Dip in ranch or barbecue sauce.

5. Fry in butter. Dip zucchini slices into egg wash, then flour, then fry in butter and season with salt.

6. Eat it fresh. Cut it up and dip it in your favorite vegetable dip such as ranch.

7. Stir-fry it. Zucchini is excellent stir-fry material. Add it to your next stir-fry, or stir-fry it all by itself. Heat a wok or large frying pan on high heat, add a little oil and stir-fry until crisp-tender. Add stir-fry sauce or eat it plain, either way is good.

RECIPES

8. Zucchini Bread

3 cups shredded zucchini (about 3 medium)
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans that are 9x5x3 inches. Mix zucchini, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pans. Bake 50 - 60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves and remove from pans.

9. Zucchini Relish

2 cups chopped zucchini (about 3 medium)
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
2 tablespoons salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ground mustard

Combine zucchini and onion. Sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water. Let stand 2 hours. Drain; rinse and drain thoroughly. Combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Add vegetables; simmer 10 minutes. Pack hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling- water canner.

10. Chicken Zucchini Parmigiana

1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
seasoning salt to taste
1 large or 2 medium zucchini, sliced
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil

In a large, heavy skillet saute chicken breast and garlic in oil about 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle with seasoning salt to taste. Remove from skillet; set aside. Add zucchini to skillet, sprinkle with seasoning salt to taste and cook and stir 5 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender. Push to sides of skillet. Arrange chicken in middle of skillet. Top chicken with cheese, tomato sauce and herbs. Cover, cook 3 minutes or until cheese melts and sauce is hot.

11. Black-Bottom Zucchini Bars

1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup baking cocoa

In a mixing bowl, combine oil, sugar, egg and vanilla until. Blend in the zucchini. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to zucchini mixture and mix well. Divide batter in half. Add cocoa to half; spread into a greased 13x9x2-in. baking pan. Pour remaining batter on top and spread out evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until bars test done. Cool. As you can see, zucchini is very versatile. I hope you'll come to appreciate it as much as I have.

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