Friday, May 27, 2011

Fried Zucchini with Cheese-Filled "Meat"balls and Tomato-Basil Onions

Ok - so I'll be honest here; this did not turn out as good as I expected. It tasted good, sure, but could have used more spice, and the cheese in the meatballs ended up to be superfluous. Nevertheless, I'd had this in mind for a few days, and all-in-all it was fun, and surprisingly easy to make. Give it a try, and I encourage you to tweak where you see fit...

- 1 small Zucchini, sliced in rounds
- 4 cloves Garlic, sliced thin
- Olive Oil

- 1/4 tube GimmeLean Veggie Sausage
- 1/4 package SmartGround Crumbles
- Worcester Sauce
- Spices (Garlic Powder, Thyme, Pepper)
- Soft/Spreadable Cheese (any type)

- 1 small Vidalia Onion, sliced thin
- 2 small vine Tomatos, sliced thin
- 2 pieces Pickled Okra, sliced thin
- Fresh Basil, minced
- White Wine
- Spices (Onion Powder, Italian Seasoning, Black Pepper)
- Hot Sauce

In a large skillet, brown sliced Garlic in Olive Oil, then add Zucchini and brown till crispy on both sides, being careful not to burn your Garlic. Remove from pan and put on a paper towel to drain oil.
In another pan, saute Onions till translcent, then add Tomatos and Okra, then Wine. Season with your Spices and Hot Sauce, and let simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, then stir in your minced Basil.
Mix Crumbles into Veggie Sausage with your hands, then add Worcester Sauce and Spices, mix, and then form into six to eight small patties. On four of the patties put a small piece of the Cheese, then top with another patty, and form into a ball. Brown the "Meat"balls on each side and then serve them over the fried Zucchini and top them with the Tomato-Basil Onions. Enjoy with some extra Hot Sauce, grated Pecorino Romano, and a big glass of Red Wine.

variations: next time, I would proably make one big, cheese-filled patty instead of dividing into "meat"balls, or simply make the "meat'balls without cheese. While the flavors here are simple and highlight the fresh ingredients, some crushed red pepper would kick things up a bit, and if you don't have pickled okra you can use capers. Also, feel free to substitute ground beef for the fake stuff.

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