Tuesday, July 12, 2011

So much summer squash.....


I love squash.  This time of year there is such an abundance of yellow squash and zucchini.  The problem is how .... to prepare in different ways so you are bored.
I have included a few recipes here that will encourage you to use that squash that is threatening to take over garden and kitchen.

Fried Squash Blossoms
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon season salt
1/2 cup water
1 egg -- slightly beaten
10 to 15 squash blossoms
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp bread crumbs
Vegetable oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

First, make the batter. Combine the first 5 ingredients, and then stir in the egg and water until smooth. Store in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.

While the batter is chilling, prepare the squash blossoms.
Carefully separate the flower petals without breaking them and remove the pistil in the center. Combine the cheese, mayonnaise, oregano, and breadcrumbs until smooth. Carefully add about a tablespoon of this mixture to each blossom and twist the top of the flower tight.

Heat enough oil in a frying pan - about an inch deep - to accommodate the blossoms. Get the batter out of the fridge and dip each blossom in batter, coating it. Carefully place each batter-covered blossom in the hot oil and fry until golden crisp on both sides. Remove and drain on paper towels, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Enjoy! Serves 3 to 4.

Yellow Squash Muffins
2 lbs. yellow squash (about 8 medium or 5 large)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp and 2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375. Wash squash, trim off ends, cut into slices. Cook in boiling water 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain WELL and mash.

Measure out 2 cups of squash and mix with eggs and butter, set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl, add remaining squash and the squash mixture, stir just until evenly moistened.

Spoon into greased muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on edges (not whole muffin).

This recipe makes 18-24 muffins.

Summer Saute

3 Sliced yellow squash
1 Large sliced Vidalia onion
1 Sliced red pepper (or green, orange, yellow etc)
2 Sliced tomatoes
2 Tbs olive oil
Fresh herbs, your choice
Salt & Pepper

In a large saute pan add the olive oil and heat until it shimmers.  Add vegetables to hot pan add salt and pepper, Stir to coat all vegetables with oil.  Saute until desired doneness and then add your herbs.  My favorites are Italian parsley, chives, and basil.

This is a no fail recipe!  Some cook the vegetables until they are soft and falling apart.  Others like them crisp and tender.  Personally, I go for high heat to get a bit of browning on the squash, onions and peppers and the add the tomatoes during the last 4 -5 minutes of cooking.   Top with fresh herbs and presto a delicious dinner or side dish is ready.

Stuffed Zucchini Squash

4 Medium zucchini boiled until slightly tender and cooled.
1 Medium onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
1 Medium red pepper, chopped
½ Pound of ground beef, veal, or pork
8 Oz. of mushrooms or tofu can be substituted for the meat
2-4 Cups of fresh breadcrumbs (reduce amount by aprox. ½ if using dried breadcrumbs)
1 egg, slightly beaten
¼ to 1 Cup of Parmesan cheese (or shredded cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, etc.)  The amount of cheese is up to you.
2 Tablespoon olive oil
S&P to taste

Halve lengthwise the COOLED zucchini, remove most of the flesh to form a hollow down the center of the squash.  Save the flesh for the stuffing. Place the zucchini in a oiled baking dish.

In a saute pan heat 1 tablespoon (approx.) of the olive oil and saute the onions, meat, (or mushrooms), garlic, zucchini flesh, and S&P.  After the meat has browned or the mushrooms have rendered their liquid and the liquid has reduced remove from the heat.  Let this mixture cool, slightly.  Add the beaten egg and the breadcrumbs, in small quantities until the  mixture comes together and has a “stuffing” like quality.  At this point taste the mixture for seasoning, adjust accordingly.

Stuff into the reserved squash shells, bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.  At this point you can cover and hold them until your dinner time.   Fifteen minutes before service top the zucchini with cheese and reheat in a 400 degree oven until the cheese has melted or slightly browned.

Serves 8

I hope you are aware of the Southern Foodways Alliance, if you are not please check them out.  Below is a link.  This organization is working hard to preserve Southern cultures and foods.  I love them!

Southern Foodways Alliance


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