1Small Red Onion – small dice(or ½ large red onion. Roughly 1 Cup)
2Clovesof Garlic – minced
1Jalapeno – seeds and stems partially or fully removed and diced
1Chipotle in Adobo plus 1 tsp sauce - minced
Scant ½ tsp Cayenne
1Ear of Corn – cooked, Kernels removed (About 1 Cup) (can substitute canned corn if fresh corn is unavailable)
1CupBlack Beans – drained and rinsed
2CupsChicken – cooked and diced or shredded
1Roasted Red Bell Pepper – diced(can substitute unroasted red bell pepper if desired)
2Scallions, white and green parts – sliced
2tspCilantro – minced
1/3CupPico de Gallo(can substitute salsa or fresh diced tomatoes)
½+ 1/3 Cup Mexican Cheese – shredded, divided
Cojita Cheese – crumbled(optional garnish)
Cilantro - minced(optional garnish)
Scallions – sliced(optional garnish)
Tomatoes – diced, can substitute salsa (optional garnish)
Black Olives(optional garnish)
Lime Wedges(optional garnish)
Hot Sauce(optional garnish)
Avocado Cilantro Crema:
¼CupMexican Crema(can substitute mayonnaise)
1Avocado - diced
Bunch of Cilantro – roughly chopped(about 1 TBS)
1cloveof Garlic – roughly chopped
1TBSJuice of Lime
Heaping ¾ tsp Salt
Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 tsp of Oil to pan. Add onion, jalapeno and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
Add garlic, spices, tomato paste, chipotle and sauce; sauté 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant.
Stir to combine and remove from heat. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with PAM or other nonstick cooking spray.
Place a large pot, filled 3/4th of the way with water, over high heat on the stove. Add 2 tsp of Salt. Bring to a boil.
While water is coming to a boil, cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a melon baller, spoon, or tablespoon measure to hallow out the inside of the zucchini, to form a ‘boat’. Leave a ¼’’ boarder on the inside of the zucchini. Set aside.
Add remaining ingredients (but only ½ cup of the Mexican cheese) to the large mixing bowl with the cooled onion mixture. Stir well to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Stir again.
Gently lower hallowed out zucchini into boiling water and boil for 1 minute. Remove from water and transfer to ice bath for 2-5 minutes to stop cooking. Remove and gently shake off excess water. Place blanched zucchini boats on prepared baking sheet.
Using a large spoon, stuff the blanched zucchini boats with the tex-mex mixture. *You want to heapingly stuff the boats, they should be almost to the point of looking overfilled.*
Bake the zucchini boats for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and top with remaining 1/3 cup Mexican cheese.
Place back in the oven and continue to bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Garnish with Avocado crema and desired additional toppings. Serve.
1. Zucchini Boats can be prepared through step 10 a day in advance. After baking 15 minutes, do not top with cheese. Allow boats to cool at room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. The next day top with cheese and continue baking according to directions. 2. Avocado Crema will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Transfer to a tuber ware and press a piece of plastic wrap down on top of crema before securing with top of container.3. You will have left over Tex-Mex mix depending on the size of your zucchini and how amply you stuff them. Suggestions for using the leftover mix: on a salad, as a dip, nacho topping, quesadilla filling, topping for a baked potato, stuffed in large pasta shells or rolled as an enchilada filling.