I mentioned this to my friend Becca and she claimed she didn't like squash. She has tried to cook it in ways I have never heard of mashed/steamed.
I promised to teach her the SOUTHERN way of cooking squash. ;)
-The first thing I do is get the oil hot. I usually use a frying pan but couldn't resist the urge to use my le creuset dutch oven. I love cast iron, it heats much more evenly. I pour about 1/2" of Canola oil in the bottom and put on Med heat. It will take about 10 minutes to warm up.
-Dipping: 1 container of milk or half and half. I don't normally have a lot of milk in the house but I keep half and half because it keeps a lot longer and can be used in soups, gravy, roux, etc. I also think the heaviness of it helps the batter stick.
1 container of self-rising corn meal. I can't remember where I bought this bag...probably the farmer's market but it is milled up the road from me in Kittrell, NC.
I knew those pampered chef things would come in handy one day!
-Next you want to slice the squash. Make sure you share the ends with the cat, dog, and chickens. lol My mom really likes them paper thin...they get crispy and resemble potato chips. I like both thick and thin. I like the crisp of the thin but I really like the flavor of the squash when you get a thick one. Try both to decide what you like.
-Now get a plate and line it with 4-5 paper towels. This is where you will put the squash as you bring it out of the oil.
-Check the oil. You don't want an explosion of sizzle when you test a drop of HH.
- One piece at a time take the squash out of the HH and coat thoroughly with the corn meal. Once coated shake off any excess and gently place in oil. (once this batch is in start soaking the next batch in the HH)
- Cook the squash 4-5 min on each side. You will want to leave it on the first side until you see the edges starting to turn brown. When using cast iron remember to use only wooden/plastic utensils.
-Once the squash is a nice golden brown all over place it on the paper towels and salt to taste. You will need SOME salt. I use fine sea salt. Enjoy when they have cooled some.
- Double what you are going to need...they are addictive and I end up eating them as soon as they cool.
In fact, growing up, I don't think mom EVER got fried squash or okra to the table....we were VERY good at teaming up. One would distract the other 2 would grab and dash and then we would share. She couldn't yell at us too bad...she would snack on them too!
-If you aren't sure you will like squash you should try to cook it now when the squash doesn't have such a strong flavor. I liked the ones tonight but they are nothing like the ones out of my garden. I end up cutting this winter squash thinner because the flavor was so bland. In the summer I like thicker slices so I can taste the squash flavor.
Another great way to add a veggie to the meal is with broiled squash. You'll need squash, zucchini, and onions.
-Cut/cube veggies into bite sized pieces.
-Put in oven safe pan. I normally line my small roasting pan with aluminum foil. Pour enough Olive Oil on to coat all the veggies.
-Sprinkle about 1/2 palm of coarse sea salt over all of them.
-Put under broiler for 10-12 minutes or until brown.