Recipes

Elote Stuffed Zucchini

Elote Stuffed Zucchini  |  Lemon & Mocha

Another elote dish?! I know, I know, I just can’t get enough of it during the summer! Elote, also known as Mexican street corn, is fresh, zesty, creamy, cheesy and everything you want in a summertime snack.

Elote Stuffed Zucchini  |  Lemon & Mocha

To recap, here on Lemon & Mocha I have recipes for Elote Wonton Bites, Elote Pizza, Elote Hot Dogs and Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad. Now add in this dinner-worthy Elote Stuffed Zucchini. Zucchini and corn are already a classic summer pairing so it all made sense to hook them up together in this new elote twist.

Elote Stuffed Zucchini  |  Lemon & Mocha

In addition to the traditional lime, chili powder, salt and cotija cheese, which is a crumbly Mexican cheese, I’ve added in ground chicken to make the meal a little heartier as well as some shredded mozzarella to make it extra cheesy. As always, feel free to increase the cheese quantities if you are a cheese fanatic.

Elote Stuffed Zucchini  |  Lemon & Mocha

Of course, the best part, as with all elote dishes, is the toppings that get put on after the dish is done. For these stuffed zucchinis, we’re adding plenty of salty crumbled cotija and a generous drizzle of a quick lime mayo after they come out of the oven. Yum!

Elote Stuffed Zucchini  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you’re looking for something to make with the extra zucchini flesh since we’re scooping out the inside of the zucchini to make these you could follow my lead and make this Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread. I just grated up the little melon-balled zucchini chunks even though they were partially cooked and the bread still came out as moist, chocolatey and delicious as always. Elote Stuffed Zucchini for dinner and Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread for dessert? Yes, please!

Elote Stuffed Zucchini  |  Lemon & Mocha

Elote Stuffed Zucchini
 
Yield: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
for the zucchini
  • 4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • ½ pound ground chicken
  • 1 15-ounce can corn, no salt added (about 1½ cups corn kernels) drained
  • ⅔ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ small red onion, finely diced
  • Zest from 1 lime
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Cotija cheese, for topping (see note)
for the lime mayo
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch chili powder
Directions
for the zucchini
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray 13x9” pan with cooking spray. Lay the zucchini halves, cut side down, in the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. While the zucchini is baking, sauté the ground chicken. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the ground chicken, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until cooked through, breaking up as needed. Remove from the heat and add to a large mixing bowl. In the mixing bowl with the chicken, add the corn, mozzarella cheese, red onion, lime zest and juice, cilantro, smoked paprika and salt. Stir until combined.
  3. Carefully flip over the zucchini halves so they are cut side up. I move a few at a time to a cutting board. Use a melon baller to scoop out the inside of the zucchini, leaving a ¼” border. Place the zucchini back into the pan, cut side up, then fill with the chicken and corn mixture. Add ½ cup water to the bottom of the pan, cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. When the elote stuffed zucchini come out of the oven, carefully remove them from the pan to plates or a serving dish. Serve hot, topped with plenty of crumbled cotija cheese and a generous drizzle of the lime mayo.
for the lime mayo
  1. Combine the mayonnaise, lime juice, remaining ¼ teaspoon of smoked paprika, ground cumin and chili powder in a small bowl. Pour into a squeeze bottle if you have one.
Notes
If you can’t find cotija cheese, substitute queso fresco. If you can’t find either, use feta cheese.

 

Lemon Artichoke Shrimp Scampi in a Foil Packet

Lemon Artichoke Shrimp Scampi in a Foil Packet  |  Lemon & Mocha

Remember when I said I had exciting dinner recipes to share with you all? Well get psyched to start cooking because this is one of those recipes! In fact it was so good that I bumped it way up in the schedule just so you could have access to it sooner. This Lemon Artichoke Shrimp Scampi in a Foil Packet is fresh, zesty, garlicky and just the right amount buttery.

Lemon Artichoke Shrimp Scampi in a Foil Packet  |  Lemon & Mocha

Like last week’s Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil, this dish is on the table in under thirty minutes making it perfect for weeknight mealtime. Also like last week’s dinner recipe, it tastes gourmet enough for company. Even better is that all the cook time is either on your grill or in the oven giving you plenty of time to hang out with your guests or relax with your feet up and a glass of wine until dinner is ready!

Lemon Artichoke Shrimp Scampi in a Foil Packet  |  Lemon & Mocha

I pulled this recipe from one of my food binders. It was a random side-column weeknight recipe in an issue of the Food Network Magazine from a couple years ago. Normally I skip over these recipes, but I’m so glad I saved it! Never would I have thought it would be so delicious. Now I’m really motivated to continue cooking through my food binders to see what other hidden gems have been sitting in there for all these years!

Lemon Artichoke Shrimp Scampi in a Foil Packet  |  Lemon & Mocha

These foil packets have artichoke hearts, lemon slices and shrimp all layered together and cooked with garlic, oregano, fresh parsley, olive oil, white wine and a little butter. The best part is after they’re cooked you top them with a crunchy breadcrumb mixture of toasted panko, Italian seasoning, lemon zest, grated Parmesan and more garlic. I served the shrimp over whole wheat cous cous, which is both super quick to make and soaked up all the extra lemony-butter sauce perfectly. I like serving extra veggies with dinner so I steamed some broccoli, too, but that definitely made the portions too big since the packets on their own are pretty shrimp-packed.

Lemon Artichoke Shrimp Scampi in a Foil Packet  |  Lemon & Mocha

I made these foil packets in our big toaster oven so I included the oven instructions in the recipe below. If you’re making them on the grill I included the instructions from the original recipe, although I have not tried these foil packets on the grill so I can’t guarantee the recommended cook time. If you do make them on the grill just follow the instructions to check them after ten minutes to see if the shrimp are cooked through or not. I found in the oven the shrimp took longer than I thought to cook through, which is why I listed seventeen to twenty minutes for the oven cook time. I think it was because they were wrapped up in the packet so it took them longer than if they were just on a baking sheet directly exposed to the heating element. Also, I found the shrimp in the middle of the packet, which means they were under the thickest, folded part of the foil, were the shrimp that were taking the longest to cook. I hope you all try this one soon!

Lemon Artichoke Shrimp Scampi in a Foil Packet  |  Lemon & Mocha

Lemon Artichoke Shrimp Scampi in a Foil Packet
 
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus ½ lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic (1½ cloves minced, ½ clove grated)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 4-5 ounces frozen quartered artichoke hearts, thawed
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ pounds large peeled and deveined shrimp
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • Salt
Directions
  1. If using the grill, preheat to medium-high. If using the oven, preheat to 400 degrees F.
  2. Heat the 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the panko breadcrumbs and cook until toasted and golden, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and put the toasted panko in a small mixing bowl. Add the Italian seasoning, lemon zest, grated garlic and Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  3. Tear off 2 sheets of aluminum foil large enough to fully enclose a single layer of half the shrimp. Divide the artichoke hearts between the 2 foil sheets. Season with a little salt and divide the dried oregano between the 2 foil sheets. Place the lemon slices over top then add 1 tablespoon of butter to each packet. Season the shrimp with salt and then divide between the 2 packets, placing on top of the lemon slices and artichokes. Season with the red pepper flakes, fresh parsley and minced garlic. Drizzle with the dry white wine and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided between the two packets. Fold in the sides of the foil packets then bring the other 2 ends together to fold over and completely seal. There should be a little room left in the packet for heat to circulate.
  4. If grilling, grill until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 10 minutes. If baking, cook in the oven until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 17-20 minutes. Carefully open the packets and sprinkle with the panko mixture before serving.
Notes
If you would prefer to use canned quartered artichoke hearts simply rinse and drain well.

 Recipe from July/August 2017 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Dirt Fudge

Dirt Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy Friday! My week went by extra quickly because Matt and I just got back from a mini vacation in Chicago! Neither of us had been before and it was an awesome food-packed, sites-packed, relaxing whirlwind of a trip. We did so much walking that neither of us can feel our feet and of course we ate all the food. Deep dish pizza, Chicago hot dogs, doughnuts, pierogies, steak; you name it, we probably ate it. Below are just a couple photos from the trip. Maybe one of these days I’ll get around to creating all my travel food posts, but in the meantime let’s talk about this Dirt Fudge.

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Dirt Fudge is chocolate fudge loaded with Oreo cookies and gummy worms. I know, crazy, right?

Dirt Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Normally I only make and think about fudge during Christmastime. In fact, I think before this I had only ever eaten it around the holidays. But smooth and rich chocolate fudge is delicious year-round!

Dirt Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

I wanted to make a version that would seem more summer-appropriate so I took inspiration from this summer’s most popular dessert on the blog – Aunt Elaine’s Dirt Cake.

Dirt Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you want an easy, fun summer treat to make and eat with your kids this summer then this Dirt Fudge is exactly what you need. What is more fun than gummy worms?

Dirt Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Dirt Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Dirt Fudge
 
Yield: 64 pieces
Ingredients
  • 1 ounce Baker's unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • One 12-ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 14-ounce can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 Oreo cookies, crushed, plus more for topping
  • 10 gummy worms
Directions
  1. Line an 8" x 8" pan with wax paper with some overhang so it’s easy to pull the fudge out of the pan. It is easier if you crunch up the wax paper in your hands then smooth out into the pan.
  2. Melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a medium nonstick saucepan over low heat, stirring regularly with a heatproof spatula to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn.
  3. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and stir to combine. Let the mixture get a little warm then pour in half the bag of chocolate chips. Stir to help melt. Once partially melted add the rest of the bag of chocolate chips and stir until fully melted, being sure to scrape the bottom as you stir. Stir in the vanilla extract and remove from the heat. Add the crushed Oreo cookies and stir to combine.
  4. Pour half the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the spatula. Top with the gummy worms then pour over the remaining half of the chocolate mixture, smoothing the top. Top with additional crushed Oreos. Refrigerate until the fudge is set; I usually let mine set overnight. Carefully pull the fudge out of the pan using the wax paper overhang, place on a large cutting board and cut into bite size squares with a clean, sharp knife. I usually cut mine into quarters and then cut each quarter into 16 pieces to get 64 pieces. You will need a sharp knife to cut through the gummy worms.

 

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

Look at this sizzling skillet of juicy pork chops and caramelized peaches! Ugh, this meal was so good. Both Matt and I decided we would love to have these Skillet Balsamic Pork Chops with Feta and Basil along with the Summer Peach Greek Quinoa Salad every week this summer.

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

Of course that will never happen since I’m always too busy trying out new recipes, but I’m determined to fit it into our busy meal schedule at least a few more times this summer because I already cannot wait to eat it again.

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

This was my first time cooking bone-in pork chops and I was super impressed with how flavorful and juicy they were being cooked in our cast iron skillet. The pork chops get a nice sear on the stove-top before adding in an easy sauce of balsamic vinegar, honey and oregano that gets thickened as the pork chops cook. Fresh peach slices are added to the skillet and then the whole dish is broiled in the oven so the peaches can get caramelized.

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

Final touches include some salty feta and sweet basil and you have yourself a drool-worthy, company-worthy and easy dinner. I was skeptical of how the finished dish would taste since I had previously tried a peach and chicken dish that I did not care for, but the peach and pork combination is a definite winner.

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet you can use any oven-safe pan instead, or you could sear in a pan then transfer to a baking dish for the broiling portion, but I highly recommend getting yourself a cast iron skillet so you can easily make stove-top to oven dishes like these Skillet Balsamic Pork Chops, this Strawberry Dutch Baby or this Caramelized Onion and Apple Dip. I hope you all enjoy this meal as much as we did!

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil
 
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 bone-in pork chops, about ¾” thick
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 peaches, pitted and sliced
  • ⅓ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • Feta, for topping
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper. When the olive oil is hot, add the pork chops and sear both sides for 3-4 minutes each. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
  2. While the pork is cooking, whisk together the balsamic, honey and oregano. When the pork has 2 minutes left in cooking time, pour the balsamic mixture over the pork. Remove from the heat when the pork has reached 145 degrees F and add the peaches. Broil the skillet for 4-5 minutes or until the peaches are lightly charred. Top with the basil and feta before serving.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral if you purchase something. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!
Recipe slightly adapted from Half Baked Harvest.

Summer Peach Greek Quinoa Salad

Summer Peach Greek Quinoa Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve been sharing a lot of appetizer and dessert recipes lately, but I have a whole bundle of dinner recipes that I cannot wait to post here on Lemon & Mocha. Matt and I have definitely been living the good life with our meals the last couple of weeks! I’ve done a lot of experimenting in the kitchen and I’m sharing the very best ones with you all this month.

Summer Peach Greek Quinoa Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

One of these dishes is this Summer Peach Greek Quinoa Salad. I can’t get enough of fresh fruit all summer long, but one that I look forward to the most are juicy, sweet peaches. Last year summer had passed by and I had only managed to share one peach recipe on the blog – these Raspberry Peach Turnovers with a Fresh Raspberry Glaze. So I immediately started brainstorming peach recipe ideas for this summer.

Summer Peach Greek Quinoa Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have a few peach dessert recipes already here on Lemon & Mocha so my mind went the savory route and I got this idea in my head of a Greek quinoa salad with peaches in it. Of course since I thought of it after peak peach season was over I had to wait until this summer to test out of my creation.

Summer Peach Greek Quinoa Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

The verdict? SO good. The ingredients are simple; quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta and a quick homemade Greek vinaigrette plus the sweet peach twist. This Summer Peach Greek Quinoa Salad doesn’t have to be a dinner dish as you could certainly serve it for lunch or as a side at a barbecue, but Matt and I had it along an incredible pork dish that I’ll be sharing on Wednesday and it was pure perfection!

Summer Peach Greek Quinoa Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

What summer fruit do you look forward to the most?

Summer Peach Greek Quinoa Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Summer Peach Greek Quinoa Salad
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (or 3 cups cooked)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ cup cherry tomatoes, halved (about 12-13)
  • ¼ red onion, minced
  • ½ English cucumber, small diced (about ⅔ cup)
  • 1 fresh peach, pitted and diced
  • ½ cup feta crumbles
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Combine 1 cup uncooked quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool; the quinoa should be cooked and the water should be absorbed.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, dried oregano and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a mixing bowl, toss together the cooked quinoa, tomatoes, onion and cucumber. Add the dressing and toss to combine. Gently stir in the diced peach and feta crumbles. Add more feta if desired.