Squash is a summer vegetable that many people like, including me!. Its versatility enables the cook to use it in some common ways, as well as some new and unique ways. If you happen to be growing squash or have received some from a grower, one easy way to preserve squash is by freezing it. Wash the squash under running water then slice into rounds about 1/4-inch thick. Place the rounds in freezer bags, label them, then freeze. When ready to cook, just open a bag of the squash and place in a saucepan with water filling the pan about halfway. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat, let it cook until fork-tender. It may be then used in recipes calling for cooked squash.
I have two recipes using fresh squash, one of which you may find hard to believe. The first one is for a "Classic Squash Casserole." This one goes back to the 1960's and is very easy on the budget to make, since you may already have all the ingredients on hand. The special lady that this recipe came from put a footnote on the recipe, stating how great the dish is. And I have to say it's the truth! Even those who may not even care much for squash may enjoy it prepared this way.
The second recipe is the one you may find quite interesting, in that you serve this as a dessert! The recipe is for "Squash Pudding," and strange as it may sound, it's a good dessert. You may not think you'd like squash as something you'd have for a dessert, but don't knock it until you've tried it! This is a baked pudding, covered with meringue, so it's a light dessert, yet it has an interesting flavor.
Something that would be good to serve with this "Squash Casserole" is a meatloaf and I shared a "Creole Meatloaf" sometime ago. To get this recipe, just click on this link:
So, set aside some squash to make this classic casserole and some to try something new and daring for dessert!
CLASSIC SQUASH CASSEROLE
- 2 cups cooked squash
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2 cups crushed saltine crackers
Mash the cooked squash, adding the other ingredients and mixing well. Turn into a greased 9-inch baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes. Very good served hot or cold. Yield: 6 servings.
- 3 cups cooked and finely mashed squash
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 stick butter, melted
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or butter extract
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 cup sugar
Combine mashed squash, flour and sugar. Stir in the melted butter, well-beaten egg yolks, milk, vanilla or butter extract, and both spices. Turn mixture into a greased 9-inch baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until firm in the center. Prepare meringue by beating the egg whites, gradually adding 1/4 cup sugar, beating until sugar is dissolved and meringue stands in stiff peaks. Remove pudding from oven and top with meringue, spreading to the edges of the dish. Return to oven and bake until brown, about 15 minutes. Yield: 6-8 servings.