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Lamb stuffed round zucchinis

6:59 PM EDT, August 26, 2013

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(Courtesy of Jenny Perez)

6 to 8 medium sized round zucchinis (You can use regular zucchinis just cut them in half and hollow out the center.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the zucchinis. Cut the tops about one quarter inch thick. Using a melon baller or small spoon to hollow out the center, leaving a shell one quarter inch thick. Chop the center and reserve. Place the sliced-off tops and the zucchinis on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and massage to coat the zucchinis. Cover well with foil wrap and bake for 25 minutes. Set aside.

Tomato sauce
3 medium very ripe tomatoes finely chopped
1 medium white onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/2 tsp of pink salt
3 tbsp of olive oil
Pinch of cinnamon
Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a non-stick pan, then sauté onion along with the salt for 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Add minced garlic and saute about one more minute, being careful not to brown the garlic. Add the chopped tomatoes and let it simmer until the sauce becomes a little bit thick. Add the pinch of cinnamon and set aside.

Lamb mixture
1 pound of ground lamb (no antibiotics or hormones if possible)
Reserved chopped center from zucchinis
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (Dry is OK.)
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of smoked paprika
1/2 tsp of pink salt
1/2 tsp of black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
In the same pan you used for the tomato sauce crumble the ground lamb and season with spices and cook over medium heat until the meat is well browned. Add half of the chopped reserve zucchini centers and let it cooked. Tilt pan to see if there is any extra fat, and remove with a spoon. Add the tomato sauce and simmer until mixed well. Taste and add more spices or salt if needed. Turn off the heat and let cool. (It doesn't have to be completely cool.)
Spoon the lamb mixture into zucchini cups. Bake for another 20 minutes at 375 degrees (with out the foil wrap) and serve.

Notes:
This dish can be refrigerated for a few days and it will taste better. Try not to do the last step if you are planning to have it at a latter time or day.
Top zucchinis with either feta, parmesan, or mozzarella cheese before you finish them in the oven. I would only recommend a little bit because you want all of the ingredients to shine.
You can also add in your lamb mixture eggplant, peppers, spinach, rice, quinoa, or any other herb flavor you choose. Specially if the mixture is too wet.
If you have leftover lamb you can freeze it for a quick dinner later on.