Crab Stuffed Zucchini

June 9, 2012

Side Dishes, Vegetables


 

Sometimes inspiration hits and you know its is right straight out of the box other times well let’s just say said box should never have been opened.  I have had both over the last few weeks…one a total bomb only to come back with today’s awesomeness. Not sure where the idea came from and sometimes these things take on a life of their own.

While I will cook a ton of things there are some I rarely use just because one or more of the Fam don’t care for them.  Take Beans for example…WikiJan is NOT a fan of beans where as The Husband loves them.  Sadly for The Husband he doesn’t get them often because I can’t stand the smell of them let alone the taste, unless they are in White Chili then its game on!

Well I had forgotten he was not a fan of crab so when I trotted his sample out to him he was less than impressed with my efforts.  I, undeterred as always packaged my samples and headed off to some of my favorite tasters…those who I work with at the big green machine who are forever being told…”Stuff this down your gullet and tell me what you think!”  while I stand there patting my foot and as always The Hungry Neophyte and Kentucky Fried Chick with my offerings. Let’s just say they were received far better by them than The Husband.  I have to admit there is nothing better than watching these people taste test for me…some like my Evvvvvil Twin who if it is in the same universe of a veggie always gives me a bit of the stink eye while I stand there saying “EAT IT!  Don’t ask questions just EAT IT!”  tend to be skeptical then you have those who have lived my cooking madness for the last 4 years who are like baby birds gobbling up what every I tend to be passing out.  They all are such good sports in this process.

Don’t think you will get over by using that apostasy called imitation crab, that pale white fish with little flavor and fake red rind will not do for a WikiJan recipe, too mild, bland and rubbery to stand up to the spices.  While this is not off the charts spicy it does have a cool smokey kick from the chipolte and the brightness from the Lemon zest to pull it back a bit toward a more traditional crab stuffing.  You can use lump or claw meat crab its your choice but which ever you chose be sure to pick though it looking for bits of shell or tendons which might have been missed in the processing.  If you want to use these for finger food just look for baby zucchini which can be found all over at the beginning of the season.

OK on to the good stuff…

 

Crab Stuffed Zucchini

4  6- 8″ Zucchini

1 c Crab

1 Egg

2 Green onions (finely sliced including green parts)

1 Shallot (finely diced)

1/2 c Parmesan (Not the green can stuff!)

1/2 c Creme Fraiche

1/4 c Pine Nuts (toasted)

3/4 c Pancko Bread crumbs

6-8 Cloves Roasted Garlic

1 Lemon (zested and juiced)

1 ts Kosher Salt

1ts Black Pepper

1/4 ts Chipolte Powder

2TB Butter

Optional

2 2-3″ mushrooms

1 TB Olive oil

Slice the zucchini length wise and remove seeds with a mellon baller or spoon. You will want to leave about 1/3 of the flesh when you remove the seeds…think canoe  shaped.

 

This is NOT the way to do it…

After picking though the crab toss it along with 1/2 c panko (reserve 1/4 c), Salt, Pepper, Chipotle, Lemon zest and juice, Pine nuts, Shallot, and green onions.

If you are using Mushrooms, finely diced and saute them until they are browned then toss them into the crab mixture as well.

You will want to leave a large amount of room in the pan to allow for the moisture to cook off with out steaming them instead of sauteing them.

With the side of a knife and a good amount of pressure you are going to mashed the roasted garlic into a pulp. Just take your knife with a firm grip on the handle and with the fingers of your other hand pressing on the flat of the blade and stroke though the garlic as if you were using a pain roller sweeping toward yourself and the sharp edge of the blade away from you.  Then pick it up and stroke though it t  will need to scrap the pulp back together after a few strokes.  Just keep pulling the knife through the garlic until is mashed into oblivion.

In a bowl mix creme fraiche and mashed garlic until smooth add into the crab mixture until completely incorporated.

In a small frying pan melt the butter and add in the remaining 1/4 cup of panko bread crumbs and cook till the crumbs are browned, once browned remove from heat and allow to cool while you are filling the zucchini.

The brown nutty smell is fantastic

Fill all of your zucchini boats with the crab mixture mounding slightly.  Top with the browned panko crumbs. I use a cooling rack to keep them out of any juices that may cook out just to keep the zucchini from getting to waterlogged and mushy.  Bake at 400 for about 45 minutes.  You will want them to still be slightly firm when you remove them from the oven.  Mushy overcooked zucchini will start falling apart on you.

Now go play with your food.

WikiJan

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