Thursday, October 16, 2008

Garden Emergency

This is not eye-bleedingly wonderful. It's just nice. Really nice.
I have an ambitious yellow crookneck squash plant, and I'm tired of thinking up recipes for using it. We've sauteed it over a charcoal grill. We've made soup. We've pickled it (good!).
The other day I dreamed up a simple, simplistic recipe for squash pudding. Not sweet; you know me.
Something fluffy, fragrant, kinda pure. When you have lots of squash to eat, you shouldn't be looking for recipes that dilute the squash. Eat the squash.
Here's what I'm proud about: I made up a recipe, without consulting cookbooks at all. I invented a grated squash "bake" that I really liked.
This is not a recipe blog, so sorry.
But! Grate and salt some yellow summer squash (you might need to remove the seeds if it has grown really large). Squeeze out the liquid if you like; I probably shouldn't have. Saute some diced onion and fresh mild chiles. Chop the kernels off an ear of corn. Mix a beaten egg with a spoonful or two of sour cream. Toss this all together with a handful of grated cheese and a little dried chile pepper if you like. This is the best part: Toast a little bread, lightly. Chop it into pieces, smallish. Mix this into the mix.
Then bake it in a buttered dish at 350ºF (always 350), until it's done. Forty-five minutes.
The bread chunks prop up the rest of the mixture, so you have a light, savory mess, kinda bread pudding; kinda not.
Not eye-bleedingly good, but I was wild about it.


dancingmorgan mouse said...

That's one to add to my files for this season. As for what to do with it, have you tried fritters? How about cooking it with potatoes, lentils, snipped up snags and some stock, a sort of braise? And then there's the grating it up, mixing with a little ricotta (or fetta), salt, parmesan, garlic and tossing it through some pasta.
You've probably guessed we've had a glut or 2!

Dagny said...

Hmmmm. Similar flavors to the squash blossom soup -- minus the flowers.

Elizabeth said...

At last! Someone else who leaves the oven at 350 degrees. It's the magic number. And my favorite way to eat crookneck squash is and always will be as my grandmother made it - sauteed slowly with onions and a lot of butter.

kudzu said...

This emergency dish sounds just like the soothing food I need after today's recaps, backs and forths and building stacks of crapola we'll be dealing with until the election.

Elizabeth and I must have had the same grandmother. Ladies kept frozen "squash casseroles" ready as funeral food (taken to the home of the bereaved). After my father's death my mother swore she never wanted to see another one.

Anita (Married... with dinner) said...

do you have Mollie Katzen's "Still Life with Menu"? there's a fabulous yellow squash soup recipe in there that I like a lot... and I don't really like squash.

el said...

Yum! Carbalicious!

Have you considered making some kind of bread with your excess? You know, not the sweet kind. That's where most of my plentiful summer squash ends up. Or fritters, like Morgan says; I put curry in mine, sometimes with corn too.

Choosy Beggar Tina said...

You have such beautiful pictures, and that squash bake sounds DEElightful. I like anything that's reminiscent of bread pudding so I'm slightly biased, but DANG that looks tasty.

(and any new way to use squash and zucchini in the summer is welcome!)

cook eat FRET said...

i'd have loved this too
simple, straight forward and tres american.

Alecto said...

Yum. I have some of those in the garden. After an entire season of rotting off the flower I have three or four that might amount to something. Tuesday I harvest. Yum.

Ilva said...

That bread touch just makes the dish! I love this! xx

cookiecrumb said...

Morgan: Ooh, all your ideas sound so good, especially the pasta. I guess you're experienced.

Dagny: You can make it as Southwesty as you like, or not at all.

Elizabeth: It finally dawned on me. 350 always works, for everything but bread (and it probably works for bread too).
Butter! Can't go wrong there.

Kudzu: I send you a soothing cyberhug.
Uh-oh. I "invented" funeral food. (But good!)

Anita: No, I don't have that book. How funny that you would even try it if you don't like squash. Thanks.

El: See, I was sorta thinking of something bread-like. I even considered stirring in a bit of flour until I thought of the largish breadcrumbs. I love the idea of fritters.

Tina: I think we extinguished the squash plant! I think it's all over for the season. But it's so nice to go through the summer not fearing the dang thing.
BTW, the corn kernels absolutely MADE the dish.

ceF: Oh, tres americaine, oui. We even cooked it in a corny old Corningware casserole, the kind with blue flowers on the side.

Alecto: You had a poor harvest? I had a bunch of rotters, too. Strange year.

Ilva: Hello, darling. Yes, the bread was a special touch. You are correct; it added lift to the mix.

KathyF said...

Oh, I would give anything for some yellow squash! It is one vegetable I cannot get here, although I have seen yellow zucchini. That's no substitute, though.

Enjoy some extra squash for me.

cookiecrumb said...

Kathy: I have belatedly come to the conclusion that yellow squash is not the same as zucchini. It's firmer, sunnier. I'm sorry. Can I send you seeds?

tammy said...

Think it'll work for winter squash?

cookiecrumb said...

Tammy: I think it would work. It would be a bit heavier, and sweeter (duh). But I'm made something akin to latkes from grated winter squash with fair success... Yeah, do it.