Tag Archives: Yellow Squash

“Chopped” my version

I’m a big fan of the Food Network show “Chopped.”   It’s always fun watching professional chefs open the mystery basket and proceed to make a meal out of such diverse ingredients like, oh gee, dried limes, butterscotch candies, french fries, lamb.  I guess lamb isn’t that weird, but when you have weird ingredients to go with it, and have to get it on the table, and not only looking good, but tasting great, well, my hat’s off to those cooks.   I’ve learned so much about different foodstuffs that we would never, ever see in our little town.    And totally in awe that they can make an appetizer, entree or dessert and do it so quickly, with very few missteps in the time allotted.

However, I have my version of Chopped, nearly every week.   When we plan our meals at the Senior Center, we try to use whatever Farmshare items have been brought in the previous week.  (Our weekly/biweekly stuff comes in just as we’re serving lunch most weeks).    In one memorable week we got cases of cream, heavy cream, which I proceeded to make butter out of, and because I froze a lot of it, we’ve continued to have fresh butter available every week for months now.  Plus of course the custard sauce, (Creme Anglaise) and other decadent goodies I make from the cream.   Which I love to do, let’s face it, I’m a frustrated baker, and love to make goodies.   This week I had some fun with whipped cream and hot chocolate mix.   And am kicking myself, I didn’t get a picture.  But let me describe it for you.   I made a yellow cake, from a mix, then Ginnie poked holes in the cake, poured cherry jello over it and placed it in the cooler.   I whipped up some cream and added a little sugar and then pulled out some hot chocolate mix we had in the pantry, added about 1/2 cup of the mix to the whipped cream and dolloped some of that on the cake.   Cherry and chocolate go so well together, and we used some of our Farmshare cream.   When I went to check on the dessert table, there were none left.

We’ve gotten zucchini and yellow squash in the past,  acorn squash, tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant and various juices, milks, etc.     We do put out the food for our seniors to take, and believe me they do take advantage of it.   But we get to use some of the foodstuffs as well.   I’ve learned so many new cabbage dishes, and have introduced some of my favorite recipes to our lunch patrons as well.   I made some Rødkål a couple of weeks ago, plus I’ve made Squash Medley a few times.

I learned cabbage isn’t just for coleslaw and cabbage rolls.  Well, I already knew that, but I’ve learned many new ways of preparing cabbage as well.

And it’s just plain fun trying to come up with ideas on how to use some of the veggies we get.  And another thing we have in common with Chopped, we have a time limit, we have to have the meal ready by noon.  Which can mean that the last hour or so can get a little crazy making sure that all the various elements are ready on time.

This week we had Fried Tilapia, Hush Puppies, Shepherd’s Pie, Turnip Greens, Coleslaw, and Biscuits for lunch.     Robin and Ginnie did the fish and hush puppies, I kept an eye on the Turnip Greens, made the Shepherds Pie as well as having baked the three cakes earlier.   And we’re still trying to figure out what to make for next week.   So, I’ll keep you updated with that one.

Squash Medley and more….

I love this dish, so much so I’ve introduced it to the Seniors as one of the dishes I make from the bounty of squash we’re given as part of Farmshare.  I’ve made it a few times, and each time it is eaten and appreciated.   (this week I actually got a taste of it, giggle, it’s usually gone by the time lunch is over).    One of the best things about this recipe is the fact you can make it with whatever variety of summer squash you have available.  This week we had a bunch of yellow crookneck squash given to us, and even though they were a little ‘tired’, we still were able to use them.   So, since I scored on a good deal for mushrooms, and we had some lovely onions, I decided to go ahead and make what I call Squash Medley.   I usually like a mixture of zucchini and yellow squash for this, but if you only have one kind, go ahead and make it.   Here’s the quantity I made this week, but you can cut it down very easily.   And I’ll tell you how much of each at the end of the big recipe.Image

 20 small Yellow Crookneck squash, cut into small strips.    I like to julienne them, as I think it looks better, and they cook fast that way. 

2 lbs. Fresh Mushrooms, cut into slices

6 Sweet Onions, cut into strips. 

Olive Oil for sauteeing the vegetables.

4-6 teaspoons Toasted Sesame Seed Oil (add at the end)

Saute the mushrooms in about a teaspoon of olive oil, just til they are cooked, no need to brown them, put aside.

Saute the onions in a little olive oil, just until they are done, and are translucent.   Set aside with the mushrooms. Add  a little more oil, and then start to saute the squash, in small batches, you don’t need to over crowd the pan, you want them to be sauteed, not fried.   As each pan is finished add it to the mushrooms and onions.   When all the squash is sauteed, then toss them with the onions and mushrooms.   To finish it off, drizzle the sesame seed oil over the entire dish and toss gently again.  Serve right away.   This is also great mixed with some cooked linguine or pasta.   

*Now for the home cook.   This is so easy, just saute 8 oz. mushrooms, 1 onion, one each, zucchini (the small ones), and yellow crookneck squash. Then, drizzle with a half teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil, or to taste, and if you like, mix in some cooked pasta at the end.   And Voila!  you have a wonderful side dish or main dish even.   I’ve added chicken strips to this dish as well.   And if you notice, no seasonings other than the Sesame Seed Oil, you don’t need salt for this.  So it’s also great for anyone watching their salt intake. 


Now for the rest of the dishes we served.   We had Mojo Pork,which is pork marinated in  a Mojo Criollo sauce, served that with Yellow Rice and Black Beans.  


We also had our Cabbage, Smoked Sausage and Potato boil.   We still haven’t figured out what to call it, but it is so good. Image


I made some Glazed Carrots, Image

and can’t forget Dot’s Deviled Eggs,


they’re always a hit, plus fresh sliced tomatoes out of our little garden.    And of course Biscuits with our own Home Made Butter.     Plus the desserts of course.  Which I neglected to get a picture of. 

So, there you have it, one more week of great food served to people who deserve the best we can offer.