This weekend I traveled to Raleigh to see my friend Beth for brunch and to attend the opening of the new NC Museum of Art. Like any good foodie, I did my restaurant research on the front end so we could have the best brunch available in Raleigh. With the help of my new email friend – and food blogger Hayley (check her out here: http://hayleygolightly.wordpress.com) we set our minds and tummies on Poole’s Diner in Downtown Raleigh. With nothing the least bit healthy on the menu we dove in head first. Now hold your Lipitor! We ordered fried chicken, mac and cheese and pimento cheese scrambled eggs to share. We barely made a dent but still felt lethargic for the rest of the day. When I arrived home I scavenged for the closest vegetable and was lucky to find leftover zucchini in the fridge.
Inspired by the seasonal vegetable I was served a couple of weekends ago at Dos Perros in Downtown Durham (you would think I don’t live in Greensboro anymore!), I put together a spicy Mexican zucchini stew. I loved the unexpected heat of this side dish (served along side grouper) and the fact that they didn’t over cook the zucchini. With a dairy detox on my mind (really? pimento cheese eggs and mac and cheese in one meal?), I set out to replicate this dish. I used both fresh jalapeno and Savory Spice Shop (check out their new Food Network Show) Mild Green New Mexican Chili Powder to layer the heat. This was the perfect fix. I served the stew over a simple couscous cooked in chicken broth with toasted pine nuts.
Mexican Stewed Zucchini
- 1 half Spanish onion, chopped
- 1 half jalapeno, seeded and minced (add more for extra heat)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 zucchini, chopped in 1 inch cubes
- 1 can diced tomatoes with onion and chili
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon Green Chili Powder (more or less)
- salt & pepper
- olive oil
Assembly: Heat a splash or two of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add onion, garlic and jalapeno. Cook until garlic is cooked and onion is translucent. Add zucchini and cook about 5 minutes or until starting to brown. Sprinkle with cumin and chili powder. Add the tomatoes and stew until the zucchini is cooked to your liking (I personally can’t stand it overcooked!). Season with salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning to your liking! Serve as a side dish or on top of rice or cous cous.