Squash Casserole

Life can be funny sometimes.  Every year the Thanksgiving menu never changes.  There was the occasional occasion where someone in the family said,

This is getting boring.  Time to change things up.

So a new dish gets introduced.  Everyone proclaims how delicious the new dish is but somehow the new dish is never to be seen again at Thanksgiving.  It took us a while to figure out but finally we figured out that boring was good.  And I’m not saying this squash casserole is boring.  You just have a tendency to forget how good it is.

So here’s to Thanksgiving with the same menu, the same people and one hell of a squash casserole.

  • 2 lbs yellow squash, rough sliced to 1/2 inch thickness
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion, sliced
  • 3/4 C cracker crumbs
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 C cheddar cheese, shredded
  1. Place the squash in a sauce pot with about an inch of water.  Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat, and steam until just cooked through.  Drain, mash with a potato masher to a rough mash and set aside to cool.
  2. In a separate pan, saute the onion in butter until soft.
  3. Grease an oblong baking dish big enough to hold the squash (butter is better).
  4. Combine the eggs, 1 cup of the cheese, cracker crumbs, onions, and squash.  Mix well and place into the baking dish.
  5. Cover with the remaining cheese.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes until the cheese is browned and the sides are bubbly.
  6. Let the casserole sit for 10-15 minutes to firm up.  Serve warm.

 

The other day we got some squash from our relatives to be in Claremore, OK.  The instant The Boss saw these beautiful vegetables she said,

Make squash casserole.  Grill chicken.  Make a salad.

Yes Dear.

Notes – butter is better.  More butter is more better.  Salt and pepper to taste, but you really don’t need much of either.  Use cheddar to your personal taste.  I like sharp cheddar.  But I used what was already open in the fridge and I cannot tell you the sharpness.  Cracker crumbs – some Southerners swear by Ritz crackers.  I used plain saltines and they worked just fine.

Credits – Aunt Kathy.

Scallion Fried Rice (add Rotisserie Chicken for #5 in the Series One Rotisserie Chicken – 50 Meals)

Scallion Fried Rice

4-6 fresh scallions (green onions)
2 eggs
Salt and black pepper, to taste
3 T canola cooking oil
3 cups cooked rice (leftover and cold American Basmati)
2 tsp sesame oil

  1. Slice and separate white and green parts of scallions.
  2. Heat cooking oil in a nonstick wok over heat.  Coat pan with the hot oil by twirling.
  3. Add white parts of the scallions and saute about 1 minute.
  4. Add rice and stir-fry while breaking up the clumps until rice is heated through.  Add more canola oil to prevent sticking, if needed.
  5. Turn heat down to medium-high.  Push the rice to the sides of the wok, creating a well in the center.  Crack in the eggs and stir constantly while not allowing the egg to completely set up.  Gradually incorporate the rice until the egg is blended in well with the rice.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Add sesame oil. Garnish with the remaining green tops of the scallions.

 

There have to be as many versions of Fried Rice as there are cooks.  Everyone has their favorite recipe and somewhere along the Path I started making this simple fried rice.  This rice makes an excellent side dish and can be made ahead of time and gently reheated.  The original versions I remember from my childhood had bits of dried Chinese sausage or char siu in the dish.  I’ve also encountered versions made with tiny bits of ham or bacon.  Here I present the ovo-lacto veggie version.

Tips – The rice needs to be cold, preferably leftover from the previous day.  Make fried rice with hot or warm rice and you will make a Giant Clump Fried Rice Ball.  Any white rice will do fine; we prefer the taste of American Basmati.  Better yet, use Texmati American Basmati.  I’ve tried other rices and it’s just not the same.  Now if you want to make a meal out of this fried rice, add some diced Rotisserie Chicken and you have Chicken Fried Rice.

That was easy.

Update 08.23.14

Two eggs, not one.  I’ve also changed the Tips to reflect the type of rice I use.