OKAY, YOU'RE willing to admit it. You planted at least two hills too many zucchini plants. The dog won't eat it. The neighbors cringe and skittle indoors when they see you walking down the street with a brown paper bag in your arms. Your Aunt Martha begs off piteously with "Oh, thank you, dear, but not more, please! You just gave me 14 zucchini on Thursday." And your boss is no longer amused with baseball-bat sized squash in his "in" basket.
So what can you do with the stuff, besides frying it with tomatoes and onions?
Why not get out the old Mr. Potato set, and let the children play with Mr. Zucchini instead?
Or, Select your largest squash -- the one that grew to obscene proportions while you were touring Busch Gardens. "Plant it," vine-side down, in a large dirt-filled pot. Stick toothpicks in strategic places. Pretend its a cactus and use it for a Wild West party centerpiece.
Carve zucchini boats, but not for holding vegetables en casserole. Retreat to the bathroom and play.
Forget the heat by resting each afternoon with cooled zucchini rounds over each eye. Count sheep -- they hate squash.
Take a zucchini to the beach for each member of the family. Distrubute paring knives and announce a zucchini carving contest. The best "Jaws" shark look-alike wins the prize -- a zucchini free plate at dinner.
If, after all this, you still have zucchini left you might as well resign yourself to eating it. But it need not be burdensome. Zucchini lends itself well to a variety of recipes, from Chinese-style dinners to quick and easy skillet flings that disguise leftover meat. You don't have to be stuck with your standard zucchini recipes, any more than you have to be stuck with zucchini. After all, it was your decision to plant it, right?
Steak zucchini is a quick company meal, served with rice and a salad. Try the zucchini skillet supper when you have a bit of leftover ham or other cooked meat, and want to stretch it. It is equally nice with noodles or rice. c
Zucchini foo yung is a new twist for an old American recipe. Serve it with rice if you're making the Chinese-ish version of the dish, or with spaghetti, believe it or not, if you choose to add tomato sauce and a dash of parmesan cheese.
Sesame zucchini adds a novel taste to the best "standard" way of quickly preparing zucchini. Unsweet zucchini bread is just that, and is for you if you like cornbread and are tired of sweet, cinnamon-flavored zucchini bread.
The zucchini and eggplant casserole is a wonderful vegetarian main dish even if you're not a vegetarian. Add or subtract the bacon bits on top, depending on philosophy.
The baked zucchini omelette, which can also be prepared in traditional omelette fashion, will amaze your friends and provoke 12-year-olds to cry "Gosh, you're putting zucchini in everything!"
Try them all: you may wish the zucchini season is longer. STEAK ZUCCHINI (5 or 6 servings) 2 pounds of steak 1/2 cup butter or margarine $2 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms 4 medium-size zucchini squash, quartered lengthwise, then diced about 3/4 thick 1 clove garlic, chopped 2 medium onions, sliced 2 bell peppers, sliced thinly 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1/3 cup water Salt, pepper, lemon pepper to taste
Brown steaks quickly in a heavy skillet, using half the margarine. Remove the meat and drippings and set aside. Using the same skillet and the rest of the margarine, saute the mushrooms about 3 minutes. Add the onions, peppers, garlic and zucchini and saute until tender.
Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces, then add it with the drippings to the skillet with the vegetables. Cook over low heat until meat is as done as you like it, then add the soy sauce and cornstarch paste mixture. Stir until well mixed, add seasonings to taste. SESAME ZUCCHINI 1/4 cup salad oil 1 pound zucchini, cut in rounds 1cup onion, chunked 2 tablespoons sesame seeds 1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet and stir-fry zucchini and onion until translucent; about 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in sesame seeds and soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste. ZUCCHINI FOO YUNG 4 medium zucchini, grated coarsely 3 eggs, beaten 1/4 cup flour or 1/2 cup wheat germ 1small clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon salt 1 medium onion, grated 1 cup chicken broth 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Grate the zucchini coarsely into a large bowl. Mix in the eggs, flour or wheat germ, garlic, salt,onion. Fry mixture by tablespoons in hot oiled skillet, turning once when golden brown. Arrange on platter and cover with sauce made by combining chicken broth, soy sauce and cornstarch in a saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened, then pour over egg pancakes. Serve at once with rice.
This is good with bean sprouts added, or topped with tomato sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. adapted from the "More-with-less" Mennonite Cookbook, by Doris Janzen Longacre UNSWEET ZUCCHINI BREAD (6 to 8 servings) 1 box cornbread mix, or your own recipe 1 cup chopped onion 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine 3 cups chopped zucchini 1 cup milk 3 eggs 3/4 cup parmesan cheese enough grated cheddar cheese for top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt margarine in an iron skillet or heavy glass pan put in oven
Mix all other ingredients and pour into heated skillet or pan, whipping in the melted butter slightly. Spread cheddar on top.
Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. This is a moist cornbread. Zucchini and eggplant casserole (4 to 6 servings) 1 1/2 cups chopped onion 1/4 cup butter or margarine 1 pound zucchini diced 1 pound eggplant, peeled and diced 2 large tomatoes, sliced 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 cup coarsely shredded cheddar or Mozzarella cheese 4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Saute onion in margarine until translucent, then add zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes and seasoning. Cook on low heat 5 to 6 minutes, then stir in parsley.
Layer the eggplant-zucchini-onion mixture alternately with the cheese in a buttered, 2-quart casserole. Reserve a small portion of cheese for the top and sprinkle with bacon. Bake uncovered for 1 hour.