And we’re back again to zucchini! 🙂 One of the best wedding presents we were given was a rice cooker. While this recipe can easily be done without one (and I’ve included those instructions below), I find it much easier because, again, I’m lazy. Toss it all in and leave it alone. Plus, it can stay in there on warm for a while. The ratio is two cups of water to one cup of rice.
I used chicken stock with the rice, but you can easily use vegetable stock or even plain water if you like. I also upped the amount of cheese (because CHEESE!) from the original recipe that I found. This turned out pretty good!
Cheesy Zuchinni Rice
Shred the zuchinni - either in a food processor or with a mandolin. Zuchinni contains a lot of water, so to help with this, lay out your shredded zuchinni on some paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for bit and then blot well with paper towels as much as necessary to get rid of the excess water.
Before beginning: decide how you want to cook rice. If you use the rice cooker, do this first, using the stock instead of water. If not, just follow the directions below.
In a large saute pan, melt butter.
Toss in garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes
Stir in rice and broth and bring to boil. Cover and allow to cook for 15- minutes or so, when rice is done.
Toss in already cooked rice.
Toss in zucchini, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and turn off heat. Cover and let sit for a few minutes to allow cheese to melt.
This is pretty simple to do and to change up as your taste desires.
Quick breads are great – no need to fuss with yeast or rising! More dense than regular yeast bread, but super tasty and filling! This particular recipe calls for the addition of savory ingredients, but the basic recipe is the same. You can pretty much add whatever you like, compensating for anything that has extra moisture in it.
The original recipe that I found on Pinterest called for less bacon and chunks of cheddar. I much prefer more bacon (always) and prefer using shredded cheddar to get a more thorough flavor throughout the bread.
Irish Soda Bread
Preheat oven to 400. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with a little bit of flour
Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, pepper, and sugar. Stir together.
Add in cheddar cheese, bacon, and green onion. and mix.
Add in buttermilk and mix.
Sprinkle a bit of flour onto a solid surface and knead the dough until it holds together well, about 2 minutes.
Form into loaf and place on prepared baking sheet. Using a serrated knife, slice crossways into the top of the loaf.
Cook for 25 minutes. You'll know it's done when it is light brown in color and sounds hollow when you tap on it.
I love zucchini, which is saying a lot since I don’t like many veggies. Something that my taste buds have changed their mind about over the years. This is why I recommend trying things you may not have like the taste of previously. I do it about every 7-10 years.
Anyway, I like finding new ways to cook it. This is one that looked interesting and it involved cheese, so why not? Adding cheese to most things makes it tastier. However, I can tell you that this particular recipe needs tweaking. I added more cheese, because cheese, but if you prefer less, cut down the amount of cheddar by half.
Zuchini Au Gratin
Slice zucchini - about 1/4 inch
Blanch zucchini - see notes below.
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent.
Add milk, paprika, garlic powder, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and 1 cup of cheddar cheese.
Stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and add egg.
Pat dry the zucchini one more time. Lay zucchini out in dish.
Pour cheese mixture over zucchini.
Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese and fontina over the top.
Crumble up crackers and sprinkle on top.
Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Take foil off and broil for 5 minutes to brown top.
To blanch: Set up an ice bath in a bowl big enough for your colander to fit into. Boil enough water that will cover all your zucchini. Once water is boiling, toss in zucchini for one minute. Drain into colander and plunge into an ice bath to stop them from cooking more. Lay out zucchini on paper towels and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.