January 03, 2011

Zucchini with Chili-Orange Glaze

I wanted to make an Asian-flavored vegetable dish to go with my Shrimp Pad Thai.  The grocery had some pretty good zucchini, so I decided I'd use my grill pan to cook up slices of zucchini with a flavorful glaze. 

Coming up with the glaze took me about a minute of thought, if that, since I knew the flavor I wanted and what ingredients would give me that.  The harder part was building up the courage to cook this on my grill pan.   Even though I've seasoned it quite well, the amount of cleaning necessary to rid cast iron of burnt-on sticky-sugary stuff can play havoc on the seasoning layer of a cast-iron pan. 

The zucchini turned out great - firm yet tender, with nice grill marks and great flavor thanks to a tangy-sweet glaze - and it went well with the Shrimp Pad Thai.  And as it turns out, I didn't have to be so worried about my grill pan's seasoning.  Most of the burnt-on stuff flaked off with light pressure from a metal spatula, and the rest cleaned off easily enough by scrubbing it with salt and hot water.  It actually took more work to clean out theTramontina skillet I used to cook up the Pad Thai (though that also cleaned up great). 

Zucchini with Chili-Orange Glaze

yield = 3 servings

3        tablespoons orange marmalade
1        tablespoon tamari
2        teaspoons chili paste
2        small zucchini

Add the orange marmalade, tamari and chili paste to a small bowl.   Stir to combine, then set aside.

Lengthwise, slice away a thin layer of the outer skin on two opposite sides of each zucchini.  Cut each zucchini lengthwise into three long, flat pieces. 
Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. While the pan heats up, season both sides of the zucchini slices with salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange the zucchini slices on the grill pan and cook for about 4 minutes.  Flip the zucchini, cook for about 3 minutes, then brush the zucchini slices with the glaze.  Cook for 2 minutes, then transfer to a serving plate and serve hot.

This dish can be made on an outside grill.  Simply place the zucchini slices over direct, medium-high heat and follow the directions as written. 

Tamari is a stronger-tasting, thicker type of soy sauce.  It has more intense soy flavor and does not include wheat, as often do the typical grade of soy sauce.  If you can't find it, you can use regular soy sauce, but tamari's rich flavor makes it well worth any time and effort put into finding it.

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