January 20, 2007

And the List Goes On - 81 Through 85

81. The Meyer Lemon. A very sweet and juicy fruit with tangerine and floral undertones. It has a soft, edible skin and is excellent to cook with.

82. Smitten Kitchen blog. She is a wonderful writer and I would enjoy this blog for that reason alone, but then you add the great recipes and photos...makes it irresistible!

83. Le Stomajo Restaurant in Valras Plage, France. Yes, the name is a bit odd, but this is why: S for Stéphane; TO for Tony; MA for Malik; JO for Joël, the four creator's names. They have an excellent 13.50 € menu for lunch or dinner, including weekends and offer beautiful seafood platters à la carte. Last time we went I enjoyed a savory cake of hazelnuts and comté cheese with sautéed wild mushrooms followed by quenelles Lyonnaises, and a sublime crème brûlée for dessert. A wonderful value for 13.50 €!

9, rue du Lieutenant Panis
34350 Valras Plage
+33 (0)

84. The Peanut Buster Parfait from Dairy Queen. This has always been my favorite splurge in a fast food place. It's got the sweet, cold ice cream, warm hot fudge and the salty peanuts. A sublime trio!

85. Stuffed Zucchini. I like to use the cute, little round zucchini for this dish but you can use the long variety as well. Try to buy them young, when the flesh is still sweet and dense. This is just one idea, you could omit the bacon to make a vegetarian version or add cooked rice or ground meat. Basically, they are great to experiment with and offer numerous possibilities.

Stuffed Round Zucchini
makes 6

6 small, round zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a bit more for drizzling
1/2 pound lardons (thickly cut bacon cut into dice)
4 shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons fresh thyme or rosemary, or both, minced
zest and juice from 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the top off each and reserve. Scoop out the flesh, leaving about 1/2 inch of shell, and chop up the flesh.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until lightly browned. Add the shallots, garlic and zucchini flesh and cook until soft, another couple of minutes.
Pour the hot mixture into a bowl and mix in the herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Fill each shell with the mixture. Put into a lightly oiled baking dish and top with the reserved tops. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over each zucchini.
Bake until tender, about 45 minutes.

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