"Piehole" in Midwestern means "mouth," as in "Shut your piehole." Preferably we shut it on some tasty home cooking. We love to grow, market, buy, cook, bake and grill so we can feed our faces, chow down, pig out, scarf & whatnot. I'm a born Midwestern home cook posting foods and recipes that show up in front of me, because like all Midwesterners I eat what's put in front of me. Pull up a chair. What can I get you?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Best Zucchini Recipe

This side dish looks and tastes so good you'll be sneaking bites out of the pan before it gets to the table. I used orange and red bell pepper. This strangely sexy dish makes a great side but also a wonderful pasta or pizza topping. Chili oil can be homemade by putting several whole dried red chili peppers into a bottle of olive oil.

Chinese Charred Peppers and Zucchini

2 cups of zucchini, chopped into large dice
1-1/2 to 2 cups of red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 tablepoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chili oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Chop zucchini in chunks and place in a bowl with a half-teaspoon of salt; toss. Let this mixture sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Then rinse, drain and pat dry. It's important that it not be wet.

In the meantime, make the sauce by mixing the soy sauce, wine vinegar, a 1/2 teaspoon of  the chili oil, and sugar in a small bowl.

Heat 1/2 teaspoon of the chili oil in a skillet on medium-high heat until it smokes. Dump the zucchini and pepper chunks into the pan, stir, spread them around and cook for 5 minutes, stirring and pressing down with a spatula now and then so most pieces get scorched a nice brown. If it's going too fast, turn down the heat. Then turn off the heat. Stand back and pour the sauce over the vegetables. It will bubble and simmer until it's absorbed. Good eaten warm or at room temperature.

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