Round Zucchini Stuffed with Pork and Chipotle

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Don’t these look great? I made and posted about vegetarian stuffed round zucchini a while ago. When I saw REMCooks’ post Stuffed 8 Ball Zucchini with the round zucchini stuffed with ground meat, I was inspired to create these round zucchini stuffed with pork, REMCooks’ pickled chipotles, and mozzarella.

There are two techniques to cook stuffed zucchini, depending on whether you parcook the zucchini first or not. I decided to parcook the zucchini first, as that would allow me to include the scooped out center of the zucchini in the stuffing (which adds another layer of flavor and reduces waste). As I already knew from making pork burgers with pickled chipotles and cheese, the combination of the pork, chipotle and cheese worked very well. The zucchini makes for a great presentation and it also adds flavor and texture. This recipe is relatively simple if you already have the pickled chipotles (I’ve always had them on hand ever since Richard sent me a sample and afterwards I’ve made my own batch). Here’s what I did.

Ingredients

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For 4 stuffed zucchini, serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as a main course

4 round zucchini

250 grams (.55 lb) ground pork

125 grams (4.5 oz) mozzarella, preferably buffalo, drained and diced

2 pickled chipotle chiles, minced

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp salt

olive oil

Preparation

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Steam the zucchini for 10 minutes.

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Meanwhile, cook the ground pork in a non-stick pan (no oil required as the meat will release its own fat), using two wooden spatulas to break up the meat.

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Keep cooking until the meat starts to ‘sizzle’.

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Turn off the heat. Add the cumin, oregano, coriander, and minced chipotle and stir to incorporate.

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By now the zucchini should be parcooked and cooled off just a little so you can handle them. Cut off the cap and scoop out the interior flesh and seeds.

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Finely chop the zucchini flesh and seeds.

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Heat a bit of olive oil over high heat in a non-stick pan and add the chopped zucchini flesh and seeds.

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Cook over high heat, stirring, until the zucchini doesn’t look liquid anymore.

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Turn off the heat. Add the meat to the zucchini, and stir to mix.

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Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Grease an oven proof dish with some olive oil. Lightly brush the zucchini with olive oil on the outside and season lightly with salt on the inside. Lightly brush the zucchini caps with olive oil as well. Arrange the zucchini in the oven proof dish.

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Stuff the zucchini with half of the meat mixture, pressing down on the meat to get as much in there as you can.

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Add a layer of mozzarella, using half of the cheese.

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Stuff the zucchini with the remaining meat.

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Finish with the remaining cheese.

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Bake at 200ºC/400ºF until the cheese has melted and starts to brown, about 15 minutes.

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Put the caps back on for a nice presentation.

Flashback


Orecchiette are the pasta shape of Puglia, the ‘heel’ of the boot that is the Italian peninsula. Even if you are not as practiced as a nonna from Puglia, you should still be able to make your own orecchiette with a more interesting texture than store-bought. The hardest part is to make those ‘little ears’ as small and thin as a real nonna, but they will be nice all the same.

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8 thoughts on “Round Zucchini Stuffed with Pork and Chipotle

  1. Such a great and everyday dish! My mom use to cook this for me when I was a kid and would serve it with rice. Great way to educate your kid to try out different veggies 😉

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  2. Looks fabulous, Stefan. I especially like the cheese meting down the side of the zucchini. We’re glad you like the pickled chipotles. The add such a nice tough to different dishes.

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  3. Lovely! I have not been able to find the round zucchini here but have made similar with the long ones, especially if I can find them ‘corpulent’ . . .

    Like

  4. Pingback: Deep Fried Corn ‘Ravioli’ Filled With Chili Con Carne | Stefan's Gourmet Blog

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