Monday, September 6, 2010

Z is for Spinach Zucchini Balls

This falls firmly into the category of Foods That Hide the Zucchini. (That sounds way naughtier than I intended, . . . but note that I do not delete it.)

My friend decided to hold a poker party in honor of her birthday. She asked me to bring some zucchini to grill and also a snack.

Enter the Spinach Balls, a time honored family recipe. First shared with us when my favorite aunt married in, it's my go-to when busting out a savory snack for large group sharing.

Spinach Balls + over abundant zucchini = sneaky deliciousness.

What I Did:

1.5 cups baby spinach, chopped (frozen spinach is also totally ok)
1.5 cups of zucchini, grated
1/2 tsp each of:
garlic salt, white pepper, celery salt, chicken bouillon powder, basil

1 stick of butter
3 shallots
1 clove of garlic

2 cups of Stove Top mix
2 large eggs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

0) Preheat oven to 350

1) Add spinach, zucchini and spices to a pot.

2) Add enough water to cover veggies.

3) Bring to a boil and then let cook as you proceed with the other steps, stirring occasionally.

4) Chop shallots and garlic and saute in the butter until they are transparent.

5) Turn off veggies and onion/butter pans and allow them to cool.

6) Combine stuffing mix, eggs and cheese in a bowl.

7) Strain water from veggies. Mix veggies into stuffing mix.

8) Mix butter/onion/garlic mixture into stuffing mix.

9) Shape the mix into large marble-sized balls and place on a baking sheet.

10) Bake for 15 minutes.

How Did It Go:
Awesomely. The balls were gone before anything else, several people at the party asked me for the recipe, and no one seemed aware that there was zucchini involved. Win, win and win. Thanks to Aunt Mary, as always, for this no-fail recipe of tastiness.

What Would I Do Differently:
Nothing to make it better, but I think it's fair to point out that this is a very flexible recipe. More/different onions, different cheese, different spices; I've done all these at various times and it's always worked out (and, as suggested, the zucchini is not an original part of this recipe), so feel free to play and substitute. The only thing you can't stint on is the butter. At least, I don't think you can. I've never tried it. If you do, let me know how it goes.

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