I've been blessed to have amazing cooks in my life but the one whose cooking I appreciate the most is my mother. Call it comfort food, call it home cooking, call it the family meal - whatever it is, it has my heart. There are special things she cooks for us, our own personal requests for our favorites are never denied. A meal prepared by my mother is usually an abundance of vegetable dishes, with a main course of meat (my father is confused if there is no meat - love you, Dad), and perhaps one or two starches.
The last time she made dinner for me she "threw together" a side dish that rocked my culinary world. It was three basic ingredients cooked in one saute pan and maybe one of the reasons that it is so good is that two of them: Vidalia onions and yellow squash or zucchini, are in season right now. The third ingredient is that popular yet controversial staple of the American diet, bacon. Maple flavored bacon to be exact (my favorite).
Here's what she did:
1) Put the pan on medium high heat.
2) Cut the raw bacon in small pieces and cooked them in the pan. You can decide the amount of bacon based on your own preference: if you choose to put a ton of it in there, make sure you drain the grease before you add the rest. Even just a small amount of bacon will give you enough oil to saute the rest of the ingredients.
3) While that went on, she was slicing the yellow squash or zucchini and dicing the Vidalia onions.
4) Although everything can cook together, it's very important to wait until the bacon has become crisp before you throw the onions and squash into the mix. If you don't, the bacon will stay raw looking and everyone will suspect it's uncooked and won't eat dinner at your house anymore.
5) The dish is done when the onions and squash are very soft and almost translucent.
6) Some people will want to add pepper and/or salt to this if they need to enhance the flavor. I don't find it necessary, especially because bacon is already highly salted and the Vidalia onions and maple flavored bacon are sweet.
Although originally created as a quick and easy side dish, I have found this recipe to be a meal in itself. It is great with either yellow squash or zucchini and would be lovely with a mixture of both. Enjoy!