Recently I have been using a fairly new product to the public market and I just love it.  It is called Balsamic GLAZE and seems to be available in most grocery stores in their specialty aisle in a plastic bottle.  I have in the past made my own by simply simmering down regular Balsamic vinegar until it has reduced by half and has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.  I have poured the glaze on mozzarella and tomatoes with basil, over plain broiled chicken or fish and in the following recipe I put together using zucchini.


5-6-small zucchini, no more than an inch in diameter
Approximately 3-Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
3-4-Tablespoons Balsamic Glaze

Slice the zucchini and shallot as thinly as possible. I use a mandolin or hand held slicer.  If you cannot find small zucchini, half and seed any larger ones before slicing.  In a large skillet heat olive oil and add the zucchini and shallot.  Sauté on high heat for approximately 6-7 minutes stirring frequently.  Lower heat and continue to cook until all the zucchini has softened.  Remove from heat and add Balsamic Glaze.  Serves 4

This dish can be made ahead and is good served hot or cold and of course the proportions can be increased.  This is great served on a crusty piece of bread with additional glaze.
I found this recipe years ago and it is still one of my favorites.  I love to serve it on a buffet with a spiral-sliced ham or roast pork tenderloin.  It also works well with roasted chicken.  Start with a mild curry powder and I promise you will love it.  I have frozen leftovers and although the texture is not the same the taste is great.  It actually taste better made ahead and reheated.  You cannot overcook this; it just seems to improve with each reheating.  You can vary the fruits used if you prefer more of one than another.


29 ounce can sliced peaches, drained
29 ounce can sliced pears, drained
20 ounce can pineapple chunks, drained
15 ounce can apricot halves, drained
1/4 cup (small jar) maraschino cherries, drained
1 cup raisins
1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
2 to 3 tablespoons curry powder, you can add more curry after you bake the fruit if you feel you need more.

Drain all the fruit well, mix together and put in a buttered baking dish, pour melted butter on top and bake at 350° degrees for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Serve warm.  Makes 8-10 servings.  You can half the recipe but it would be better to make the whole amount and freezing half.  When you are rushed one night, bring home a pre-cooked chicken and defrost the leftover curried fruit in the microwave and serve.

Give this a try when you have leftover rice, or make it just for this recipe.  Make sure you drain the beans and corn well.  Fresh salsa also has a lot of liquid that should be drained.  If you have an avocado hanging around, slice it on top of the baked casserole.


2 Cups cooked rice (approximately 1 Cup raw)
1-15 ounce can Del Monte “Fiesta” corn, which includes chopped green and red peppers along with the corn
1-15 ounce can black beans
1/4-teaspoon EACH of garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper
1 Cup fresh salsa
2 Cups shredded cheddar or jack cheese (approximately 8 ounces)

Drain the cans of corn and black beans well, mix with the cooked rice and all the spices.  Pour into casserole dish, approximately 2 quarts.  Drain the fresh salsa and spread on top of the rice and bean mixture.  Top with the grated cheese.

Bake in a 375° preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese is totally melted.  This casserole reheats well and is great as a leftover.

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Dear Pat:  Wanted to let you know I tried the zucchini recipe and it is now my favorite way to eat zucchini.  No one could even quess what the vegetable was it looked so different and tasted so great. Thank you, Joan L. Sea Cliff, NY