This filling could be used in a variety of applications. It would be a fine enchilada filling, were it not summer and much too hot for me to even consider turning on the oven. It would be excellent in empanadas, baked or fried. For now, however, it’s been relegated to quesadillas, as that’s what I could manage. But these were some seriously awesome quesadillas, folks.
Quesadillas are usually a quick, low-stress sort of thing. One of my favorite applications of quesadilla theory is to zap some spinach while the quesadillas are cooking in the pan and then stuff it in there with the melted cheese and a little salsa. It takes about five minutes, start to finish. Not these, oh, these are an undertaking compared to that.
Zucchini needs to not be watery in order to be good, and the salting process, which is the longest part of this recipe, is also what makes it successful.
Once this filling was prepared, I fried up some corn tortillas, shredded a bunch of pepper jack cheese, stuffed the tortillas full of zucchini filling and cheese and pan-toasted them briefly. Wonderful.
6 zucchini, shredded (use the food processor, for crying out loud)
Canola oil for the pan
1 large onion, slivered
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 chipotle pepper, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 ears corn
Place the shredded zucchini in a colander and season well with salt in order to draw out moisture. Place in the sink or over a large bowl; set aside. In a large sauté pan, heat the canola oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onions to the pan; reduce heat to between medium and medium-high. Sauté the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are somewhat browned. While the onions are cooking, bring enough water to barely cover the corn to boil in a medium saucepan. Salt the water when it comes to a boil and add the corn. Cook for five minutes, turning at least once. Remove and place in a large bowl to cool momentarily. When the onions are browned, remove them to a small bowl, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Squeeze as much moisture as possible from the reserved zucchini with your hands. When it is as dry as is practical, heat a small amount of canola oil in the large sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the garlic, chipotle pepper and jalapeno pepper to the pan, and allow to sizzle for a few seconds. Add the zucchini, and toss gently occasionally until heated through.
While the zucchini is cooking, cut the corn off the cob into the large bowl, season with salt and pepper, and set aside. Once the zucchini is hot, add the reserved onions and corn and toss gently. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.