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Alaska has a unique growing climate because it provides long hours of daylight with significantly cooler temperatures than the Lower 48 (as if I had to remind anyone). What this means for vegetables is that things can get big without going bad. I’ve seen heat on farms in the Lower 48 split carrots, bolt lettuce, make radishes too spicy to eat, and crank out big, hollow, mealy zucchini. The greatest thing about Alaska zucchini is that even when they get big, they stay firm and solid. Even the seeds don’t get too big. This makes them perfect for stuffing, especially with the great selection of ground meats we’ve got at the market. So here’s my favorite recipe for stuffed zucchini, with many thanks to an awesome host mom in Argentina.
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2 large zucchini
1 cup cooked rice
1 pound ground beef or pork (seasoned)
1/2 cup grated cheese (your preference)
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 cube vegetable bullion
Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring regularly. Use a fork to whisk the cornstarch with about 1 tablespoon of water in a separate cup until smooth. Add the corn starch and bullion to the milk, stirring continuously until it forms a thick sauce. Remove from heat. Cook the ground meat in a large pan with oil. Mix the rice with the cooked meat. Boil the zucchini until it is easily pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Cut them in half lengthwise and remove the middle. Mix the parts you’ve removed with the cooked meat, rice, cheese, and 3/4 of the white sauce. Place the zucchini on a cookie sheet and stuff with the rice and meat mixture. Pour the remaining white sauce over the top. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
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