Tag Archives: vanilla beans

Reader Questions Answered: Vanilla Beans and Zucchini (Just Not Together)

Gentle Readers, when will The Practical Cook learn to be careful what she asks for? In trying to find the perfect questions to answer, she called her mother. What follows is what passes for conversation between TPC and TPC’sM:

TPC: Do you have any burning cooking questions?

TPCM: Yes, what do I do with a vanilla bean?

TPC: Slice it, scrape it, and use it in frosting. Not to drop hints, but I do have a birthday coming up shortly, and I do adore cream cheese frosting. (Hint Hint).

TPCM: The whole thing?

TPC: Yes, the whole guts of it, but save the hull. Use that for vanilla sugar. Just bury it in a jar of sugar.

Vanilla Bean Buried in a Jar of Sugar, Voila, Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla Bean Buried in a Jar of Sugar, Voila, Vanilla Sugar

TPCM: Do you have a good recipe for zucchini bread, because I think you’ll need one soon.

TPC: What are you saying?

TPCM: How about good recipes for zucchini? How about “how do I hide zucchini?”

TPC: I’m not liking the sounds of this.

TPCM: The zucchini that The Practical Cooks Junior watered did really well this year.

Abrupt disconnection of the call. Be afraid, be very afraid of the zucchini fairy.

Top 3 Ways to Use Zucchini:

1. Fry it. Substitute in zucchini in the fried squash recipe.

Golden-Brown Fried Squash with Soda Cracker Crumbs

Golden-Brown Fried Squash with Soda Cracker Crumbs

2. Stewed with tomatoes. I love zucchini sliced with garlic and tomatoes and oregano, all simmered until it’s a nice stew. Simple, season with salt and pepper.

3. Zucchini casserole. Substitute for squash. Slice, saute with onion, add a can of cream of celery soup, 3/4 a soup can of milk, and stir. Crumble in 1 or 2 pieces of hard, stale bread. (Thanks to Perfect Pregunta for that question!) Simmer until zucchini is soft, season with thyme, salt and pepper.  Top with crushed soda crackers and parmesan cheese, bake at 400 degrees until bubbly.

Squash Casserole with Soda Cracker and Parmesan Topping

Squash Casserole with Soda Cracker and Parmesan Topping

I’ll be locking my doors tonight, and do let me know if you need any zucchini. Something tells me I’ll have it in abundance very shortly.

Post your questions here in the comments section, or Tweet!

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Up next, Marinated Vegetable Salad Recipe. Perfect hot-weather fare!

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Filed under Kitchen Philosophy, On the Table, Recipes