Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Santa Fe Stuffed Zuchinni

A.K.A. Cinco de Mayo Leftovers RemodelMy mom used to serve leftovers. You know, leftovers. They were exactly like Thursday night's dinner, except duller, colder, and chewier. Luckily, this didn't happen very often; more often than not my family of twelve ate right down to the wood table, like a pack of ravished termites. My favorite nights were, surprisingly, when my mother cleaned out the fridge, purging all the leftovers in one full swoop. She would make us order by number, without knowing which leftover dish the number represented. One of the lucky numbers would be something fresh, new, exciting! like English muffin pizzas. Another number might be three day old Hungarian goulash. It was a game of chance with potentially devastating consequences. Since mom is a 5 foot tall push-over, we could always finagle a little pizza, but it was extra fun if you actually chose the lucky number and really ordered it.

Leftovers at my house are meant to be cleverly disguised, or as I like to put it "remodeled." I eat plain leftovers the next day for lunch, but by dinner I need variety. If you're like me, (which I am), then you have lots of Mexican favorites in the fridge from Cinco de Mayo. Rice, beans, Salsa, Flank Steak.... Use whatever you've got and put it into these fresh zucchini shells. If you've got a microwave, ten minutes, and Mexican leftovers then you've got dinner tonight.

Santa Fe Stuffed Zucchini
Estimated Cost: $4.00
If you don't like zucchini, red or pasilla peppers would make excellent subs.
3 medium zucchini
1/4 cup broth or water
1 and 1/2 cups leftover Mexican rice, or cooked plain rice
1/2 cup leftover homemade salsa, divided
Optional: 3/4 cup leftover fully cooked meat, such as steak, chicken, or shrimp
1 tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese
chopped cilantro, for garnish

Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Place cut side down in baking dish. Pour in broth or water. Cover with plastic and microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes, or until zucchini is bright green and just tender. Scoop out center with spoon, leaving zucchini "shells." Chop the zucchini you removed. In a medium bowl, combine rice, 1/4 cup salsa, and meat, if using. Add the tomatoes and green onions; season to taste with salt and pepper. Stuff the mixture into the zucchini shells. Drizzle with remaining salsa and sprinkle with cheese. Microwave on high for three minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with additional tomato and cilantro if desired.


Anonymous said...

These "leftovers" look delicious! I know what we're having for dinner tommorow night! Thanks for all the great ideas!

Lisa said...

Great idea and I love zuchinni. I will have to try this!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

When I was younger I would only eat zucchini if my mom battered it and fried it. Now I love it anyway I can get it. I haven't made it stuffed yet, but you have inspired me to try it.

Jenny said...

I love using leftovers too. I mean, why waste good ingredients? It's almost a fun challenge to see what new dinner you can come up with!

Your Zuchinni looks terrific, I'd be a happy girl eating those left-overs!!

Babs Renouf said...

I am afraid Prudy, dear, that is not how I remember our lefovers at all, it seemed that some were tastier on the second night out. It takes a clever cook to disguise her work and it takes several years of practice to master the fine art of pre-prepared cuisine. Love, Babs

Michal said...

I'm making this tonight for dinner. Missing you and your blog.:)