Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wild Card: Squash-Giving

As I explained last week, we are getting in a lot of squash and zucchini early. It's hard to believe it's not technically summer yet, but I already harvested twice from our garden.
And that's not all that we picked this week
 Since last week, we were able to get about seven zucchini and six yellow squash. So needless to say, we needed to get cooking. Thankfully two dear friends from home came to visit us. Ashley even brought another zucchini recipe to try: chocolate chip zucchini cookies.
One of the best friends a girl could ask for
One night, we worked up a menu that would use as much as zucchini and squash we could use. This is what we came up with:
- Roast Beef Stew
- Cheesy Squash Casserole
- Zucchini Tots with a Garlic Aioli Sauce
- Zucchini Cookies

In total we used six squashes & more zucchini than I can remember. So we decided to call the night "Squash-Giving." Get it? It's like Thanksgiving? Hilarious, I know. None the less, it turned out great and delicious.
So let's start it off. First the non-squash dish. Our roast beef was a basic slow roast with some water, onion, celery, potatoes, and rosemary with some spices. Oh, and of course, it was made with local, grass fed beef. I'm not the biggest roast fan, but it was good. And we have a semi decent beef broth now.

Back to the squash dishes, there's the awesome cheesy squash casserole:
- 6 yellow squash thinly sliced
- 1 vidalia onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Salt & pepper for seasoning
- 1 sleeve crackers crushed (note: breading does not work)

Saute the squash & onion in a pan. Warning: there's a lot of squash and onion. You will need a big pan.
Really. It's a lot of squash.
Mix everything else but the crackers in a bowl. Add the sauteed squash & onion. Mix together & pour into greased baking pan. Sprinkle crackers over the top. Bake in an oven at 350 degrees for at least 20 minutes or until golden brown on the top.  Enjoy. It's light, buttery, and fabulous.

Then there is the zucchini tots. It's a great recipe, but there wasn't quite enough. But here it is:
- 1 cup zucchini, grated
- 1 egg
- 1/4 yellow onion diced
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs, we used an Italian style
- Salt & pepper for taste

Put the grated zucchini into a dish towel and squeeze out the excess water. We did this for the zucchini cookies, but that's for later.
After you get all that done mix the egg, onion, cheese, bread crumbs, zucchini, salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin pan. Bake in an oven at 400 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until top is browned. For us, there was so little that the bottoms burned a little.

But that's ok because we topped it with a great garlic and basil aioli that I originally use with some baked sweet potato fries:
- 2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves sliced in chiffonade style
- Salt & pepper to the taste
- 3/4 cup mayo
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

First mix the basil, salt & pepper into one bowl. Mix mayo, garlic & lemon juice into another. Then combine. Simple & delicious.

Then there is the dessert: zucchini cookies. This recipe comes from Ashley's lovely mother in law.
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
- 3 cups grated zucchini
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups granola cereal
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (milk chocolate & butterscotch works too)

Cream butter & sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg, vanilla, orange extract & zucchini. Stir in flour, baking soda & salt before adding granola. Then stir in chips. Spoon out mixture on cookie sheet with tin foil. Bake in an oven at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. This recipe makes a lot of cookies.

And if that's not enough, we also made the delicious zucchini rice skillet last night. And there's still alot. of. zucchini.

I think we have a problem.

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