Sunday, July 26, 2009

baked, not fried, stuff with cheese

I was supposed to sustitute in the Nursery at church this morning, but the doctor told me that God understands if you're sick and I'm not supposed to do anything today, which is a real load off. No parenting for me! I choose not to define a shower as "anything," since I still have some camping residue.

Remember when I made zucchini parm last week? It was realrealgood. Here's what you do: open the mandoline you bought for yourself for your husband to give you for your birthday next week. You can use a knife or food processor, but if you're working with the cudgel-sized zukes so common in July you're going to wish you had a mandoline.
Slice the zucchini into uniform slices (I told you you would want a mandoline) and saute them--in batches, if necessary to avoid crowding--until they soften. Spread a few ladlefuls of pasta sauce on the bottom of your baking pan. Then dip the moist (eww) slices into panko crumbs and cover the bottom of the pan, overlapping the slices. When you finish the layer of breaded zucchini slices, cover them with a layer of fresh mozzarella slices. See:
Then spoon some more pasta sauce over it and do another layer of breaded zucchini slices.
One more layer of mozzarella, then pasta sauce, then a buttload of parmesan on top.
Cover with foil and bake at 350* for about half an hour, just to heat it through, then brown it with the cover off for fifteen minutes and it will look like this.
Everyone in your family will adore it except your ingrate son who hates everything you cook. That's not true--he likes a few things I cook. He's very fond of my biscuits. But this is the child who will stop eating ice cream if he feels full. I told you, he's a CRAZY PERSON.

He did deign to eat the dragon tongue beans after we promised that they tasted just like normal green beans.
They don't keep their color after cooking--they bleach to a muddy yellow color--but who cares? They're gorgeous anyway, and so easy to see on the plants! They are my new BFF.

Zucchini Parmigiana
(standard disclaimer: measurements are approximate)
1 huge zucchini or multiple smaller ones
olive oil for sauteing
1 quart of pasta sauce, purchased or homemade (Bertolli's Olive Oil and Garlic is delicious and you will get no judgment from me--the ingredient list is short and real, and sometimes you need the pasta sauce rightnow)
roughly 1-1 1/2 pounds of mozzarella (I bought--yes, bought! shut up, it was a hard week--the two-pack of fresh mozzarella from Costco that is very reasonably priced, but I bet you could shred normal mozzarella and do just fine)
2-3 C parmesan

Dump the pasta sauce into a pan to warm. Stir in about1/2 C of shredded parmesan.

Slice your zucchini, then saute the slices until they are soft. Dredge them in panko crumbs, pressing down to help the crumbs adhere (I axed the deep-frying, and the eggwash isn't really necessary). Spread a thin layer of pasta sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Layer on the zucchini slices, overlapping them. Cover the zucchini layer with a layer of mozzarella cheese. If you're using fresh mozzarella, use a wire cheese cutter to cut thin slices. Spread on a layer of pasta sauce, then repeat with zucchini, cheese, and another layer of pasta sauce. Then top the whole thing with a whole ton of shredded parmesan--I'm sure I used at least a cup or two.

Cover with foil and bake at 350* for thirty minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another fifteen minutes. Scrumptious. I was really a pig about this dish and ate most of the leftovers myself.


All8 said...

Who knew zucchini could looks so yummy?! I hope that your magic pills work like a dream. Strep throat is awful.

Your Dragon Beans look so beautiful. I wonder if you lightly steamed them, if they'd retain at least some of the colorful markings.


yummy...I am going to make it tues. nite...looks great!!! glad your feeling better:)