Thursday, September 18, 2008

Zucchini Rinehart

Officially, it is "Southwestern Stir-Fried Zucchini Rinehart". No connection to the famous and much beloved Rinehart dynasty of Michigan (as far as I can tell). This is a great way to use the zucchini that is so plentiful this time of year. Grady didn't even plant any in our garden this year, but we are getting a few each week in our CSA. I've had this recipe for a while and can't remember if one of those famous Rinehart chefs sent it to me. But, it has Epicurious at the top, so I think that's where I got it.

I made the zucchini to serve with a pork chop and cabbage recipe. I would not suggest this was an ideal combination for a meal, but it was OK. The main goal was using some of the many vegetables we have on hand from garden and CSA share. Earlier today, I went through the fridge and made a list of all the vegetables we have on hand. Then, went on a hunt for things to use them that might be different from some of our stand-by dishes. The pork chop recipe's purpose was to use up cabbage. And it turned out to be, not only low fat, but also delicious. I think the key was the balsamic vinegar. You can find it at the Epicurious site: Pork Chops with Red Cabbage

Southwestern Stir-Fried Zucchini Rinehart
2 poblano chiles
1 large red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves
6 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice, or to taste

Roast and peel poblano and bell pepper. Mince garlic cloves and cut zucchini into 2-inch-long spears. Chop cilantro. Cut poblanos and bell pepper into 2- by 1/4-inch strips.

Heat a dry small skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and toast cumin seeds, stirring constantly, until fragrant and several shades darker, being careful not to burn them. With a mortar and pestle coarsely grind cumin seeds.

In a 12-inch skillet heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook garlic, stirring, until softened, about a few seconds. Add zucchini and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add poblano and bell pepper strips and cumin and cook, stirring constantly, until zucchini is crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add lime or lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve zucchini sprinkled with cilantro. Gourmet. June, 1998

Note: I did not roast the peppers, so, when cooking, I put them in the pan first and gave them a little extra time in the stir-fry process and it was just fine. I also added some sliced local onions just because I have a bunch of them.

The pork chops are grown in Oregon. Everything else, except for poblano, oil and spices, came from garden and our farm share. It was a very tasty dinner and got us one step closer to using up our wealth of local produce. Not altogether a totally nugatory effort.

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