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David Ross

eG Cook-Off 58: Hash

136 posts in this topic

Greetings from Denmark - the land of pork. We do hash (it just screams illegal substance to me), or biksemad, as it is called around here, with leftover roast pork, diced spuds and onions. Pickled beetroot on the side, a fried egg on top, ketchup all over, and bob's your uncle. At Christmas, we did leftover roast potatoes and goose. Roast potatoes make the best hash (oh, illegal substance again ;-) )

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My absolute favorite hash is sweet potato and pulled pork barbecue. I cube the sweet potatos, pan-fry them in a non-stick pan in about a quarter-inch of oil, so they make crispy little cubes; drain out the excess oil,throw in the barbecue, add some of my homemade barbecue rub/seasoning or a little pimenton de la vera, let it get crispy, flip, crisp that side, and plate it. And I top it with an over-easy egg.

Chicken hash isn't bad, either, with lots of black pepper and a creamy milk gravy.


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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My favorite hash is this asparagus, potato, & pancetta hash from Deb at Smitten Kitchen. It gets wildly rave reviews every time I make it (and especially when I use homemade pancetta!)

Asparagus Pancetta Hash

I think I usually add a little fresh thyme to it...

Emily

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Just a thought for those that were having trouble using a cast iron pan.

I use my findlay #10 cast iron pan which is very flat and smooth, and a wide bench scraper to scrape up and chop into the hash while cooking. It works amazingly well. Another option would be to buy a 3 inch wide putty knife at a hardware store. I had seen both used at diners to do flat top potates or hash and once I had tried it I haven't gone back to a spatula since.


"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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Just a thought for those that were having trouble using a cast iron pan.

I use my findlay #10 cast iron pan which is very flat and smooth, and a wide bench scraper to scrape up and chop into the hash while cooking. It works amazingly well. Another option would be to buy a 3 inch wide putty knife at a hardware store. I had seen both used at diners to do flat top potates or hash and once I had tried it I haven't gone back to a spatula since.

That's great advice--and probably a lot easier than my method. I use a plate that will fit just within the inner circumference of the skillet and then flip the skillet/hash over. Sort of the upside-down move. Then I add new oil and gently slide the hash back into the skillet, browned side up, to crisp the underside. It works, but it's tricky--especially when you're flipping a pretty heavy piece of cast iron..

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I use my findlay #10 cast iron pan which is very flat and smooth, and a wide bench scraper to scrape up and chop into the hash while cooking. It works amazingly well. Another option would be to buy a 3 inch wide putty knife at a hardware store. I had seen both used at diners to do flat top potates or hash and once I had tried it I haven't gone back to a spatula since.

I'm partial to this left-handed LamsonSharp fish spatula/turner, which has a sharp edge perfect for scraping up those tasty bits.

As for the hash itself, will be weighing in a bit down the road when I have leftover pastrami.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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For "Hash #2," I started with a recipe for "Best Oven Hash" from the 1976 edition of the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook, (the classic over the years that has the red-checked cover enclosing pages bound with a three ring binder).

While the ingredients were the simple fixins of a hash--corned beef, potatoes, onion, parsley, worcestershire sauce--I totally changed my techniques from Hash #1. The beef was braised not roasted, the potatoes baked not boiled, and the ingredients were chopped/shredded in the food processor rather than diced by hand.

There was one ingredient in the recipe that mystified me--evaporated milk. I haven't used that stuff in years and the only reason I could think of using it in the hash would be to act as the "binder" to bring the meat and potatoes together, (similar to the brown gravy in Hash #1). I'd found hash recipes using cream, but not evaporated milk.

Again, simple ingredients but this time the focus was on technique-

Hash Cook-Off 040.JPG

I used a commercial corned beef. (I'll make my own corned beef in a few weeks in preparation for my annual St. Patrick's Day Rueben Sandwich). I braised the beef in Guiness Stout for about 8 hours. I knew the Guiness would give the beef a lot of flavor, and a bit of tang, but would it work in a hash with potatoes?

I let the meat rest and chill overnight in the fridge. Instead of dicing the meat this time, I used my double-bladed food processor to shred and chop the meat. The trick is to make sure you use very short, 3-4 second, pulses. Anything more will turn it into corned beef mush

Hash Cook-Off 042.JPG

Instead of boiling the potatoes, this time I roasted them in a 375 oven. These were big #1 Russet "baking potatoes" and so they took 1 1/2 hours. Baking the potatoes gives them a fuller, roasted flavor over boiled potatoes. I typically prepare potatoes this way in a dish called "Pommes de Terre Macaire." It's basically a baked potato that you chill overnight, then scoop out the flesh and saute it in butter. After the potatoes come out of the oven I let them sit to room temperature then into the fridge. Don't peel them, don't wrap them in plastic. Just let them sit overnight in the fridge to tighten up.

Again, instead of dicing the potato I processed them quickly in the food processor just to a shredded/minced stage. I typically don't use a food processor for any potato dish as it spins too fast and turns the starch in the potato to glue.

Hash Cook-Off 045.JPG

Here's the potato and corned beef mixed with minced onion, salt, pepper, parsley, a good dose of Worcestershire, and a 5oz. can of evaporated milk-

Hash Cook-Off 053.JPG

Because evaporated milk has about 60% of the water removed, it brought the hash together without being too runny. The hash was creamy in texture, but in the end you couldn't really discern any milk or dairy flavor.

This time I used a non-stick skillet rather than cast iron. And instead of lard for the oil, I used salted butter. I packed the hash into a 3" ring mold that's about 1 1/2" high and placed the ring mold on top of the melted butter in the skillet. It only took about 4-5 minutes per side to get the hash crispy and golden brown using the smaller size over the "whole skillet" hash #1.

While the hash was cooking I poached the eggs, again in the huge stockpot. I had made some hollandaise ahead of time and kept it warm over a pot of simmering water.

The final verdict on Hash #2? Excellent. The texture was more creamy and soft, yet you could still pickup individual bites of meat and potato. The Guiness added lots of flavor to the meat, and the hash would have been flat without the Worcestershire. Sauteeing in the ring mold was much easier to control when flipping the hash, and using a non-stick skillet was a breeze and crisped the hash much quicker than the cast iron skillet.

Of course, a poached egg seems to be required when serving hash because the runny yolk breaks into that crispy hash and creates another flavor element. Hollandaise isn't required, but that really sent Hash #2 over the top. I got requests from friends and family in Portland, Sacramento and Las Vegas for Corned Beef Hash when they saw the photos.

Hash Cook-Off 059.JPG

Hash Cook-Off 062.JPG

Anyone else out there use cream or evaporated milk in their hash?

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Anyone else out there use cream or evaporated milk in their hash?

This is really my only experience with hash. 'Creamy Chicken Hash' which I got from a Good Housekeeping cookbook. Dead simple. Diced potato, seasoned and sauteed in oil. Then some cream, which is reduced and some diced cooked chicken added after the heat is turned off just to warm through.

It's good by itself, but strikes me as a sort of 'mother dish' to which many twists could be applied.

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I like the suggestions of adding trout or smoked fish as the meat element in a hash. You could stretch the boundaries of hash to include crab cakes. I follow the rules of the Pacific Northwest and exclusively use Dungeness crab bound by a bit of homemade mayonnaise and fresh bread crumbs, nothing else is typically included. But the addition of potato would of course make it a hash--and it would be delicious. Don't cod cakes and fish cakes include potatoes?

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So I was thinking about how, while I admitted the idea of other kinds of hash like salmon or chicken or anything else, that it just didn't feel right. I associate hash with dark meat, like beef or duck. As a wise man once said, my thinking about this case has become very uptight.

In the course of this thought process, I started to run through other possibilities and many presented themselves. But this one stood out: ham and peppers hash.

So I started by browning some potatoes. I used russet, because I bought a bag of them that I plan to fry into potato chips tossed with Old Bay for the Superbowl tomorrow. (I live in the midwest, but grew up in PA where Herr's rules, and you can get the best potato chips: Herr's Old Bay chips). In any case, I like russets too. While I like the creamier, more fine-grained texture of less starchy potatoes, the russets have great flavor and have a meaty texture that works great in hash.

I've never had a problem browning potatoes in my cast iron skillet, but I use perhaps a generous amount of fat and this skillet is well seasoned. I would have used pre-cooked potatoes, because I agree that they are the best, but I didn't have any precooked. So here they are, cooking and browning at once in the cast iron:

hash 1.JPG

After I browned the potatoes a bit in butter, I added half a medium onion and salted. I browned the onions about half way, then I added slices of green and red bell pepper and seasoned a little to maintain seasoning equilibrium. I added the peppers later because while I wanted them to soften, I didn't want them to turn to mush. I wanted some texture left to the vegetable. After they started to cook, I added some diced smoked ham:

hash 2.JPG

At this point, I cooked a bit more until every thing was beginning to meld. Then I added some paprika (a decent amount in this case, maybe upwards of a teaspoon but I didn't measure). The key is to make sure not to cook the ham too much. Overcooked ham can become tough. I poached an egg to top, and garnished with some chives:

hash 3.JPG

And it was good. Of course it was, because ham, potatoes, and eggs are a pairing written into the fabric of our universe. And peppers are a great counterpoint to all three, and join forces with the smoke of the ham to tie the whole thing together.


nunc est bibendum...

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The final verdict on Hash #2? Excellent.

Wow David that's some impressive hash. I might have to give this a try. Looks like you took that recipe and spun some straw into gold there.


nunc est bibendum...

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The final verdict on Hash #2? Excellent.

Wow David that's some impressive hash. I might have to give this a try. Looks like you took that recipe and spun some straw into gold there.

Thanks. I was just winging it, which sometimes leads to an exceptional dish. I just had this sense when I saw the corned beef and potatoes mixed together that this was going to turn out delicious. And when I corn my own beef in March I think it will be even better!

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Anyone else out there use cream or evaporated milk in their hash?

This is really my only experience with hash. 'Creamy Chicken Hash' which I got from a Good Housekeeping cookbook. Dead simple. Diced potato, seasoned and sauteed in oil. Then some cream, which is reduced and some diced cooked chicken added after the heat is turned off just to warm through.

It's good by itself, but strikes me as a sort of 'mother dish' to which many twists could be applied.

Same here. Cream.

I'm having trouble getting my head around the food processor shredded ingredient version of hash. The resulting texture is all wrong, and frankly it looks less than appealing. Hash is a derivative of "hacher" for a reason!



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My absolute favorite hash is sweet potato and pulled pork barbecue. I cube the sweet potatos, pan-fry them in a non-stick pan in about a quarter-inch of oil, so they make crispy little cubes; drain out the excess oil,throw in the barbecue, add some of my homemade barbecue rub/seasoning or a little pimenton de la vera, let it get crispy, flip, crisp that side, and plate it. And I top it with an over-easy egg.

Chicken hash isn't bad, either, with lots of black pepper and a creamy milk gravy.

This sounds wonderful and different.

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Anyone else out there use cream or evaporated milk in their hash?

This is really my only experience with hash. 'Creamy Chicken Hash' which I got from a Good Housekeeping cookbook. Dead simple. Diced potato, seasoned and sauteed in oil. Then some cream, which is reduced and some diced cooked chicken added after the heat is turned off just to warm through.

It's good by itself, but strikes me as a sort of 'mother dish' to which many twists could be applied.

Same here. Cream.

I'm having trouble getting my head around the food processor shredded ingredient version of hash. The resulting texture is all wrong, and frankly it looks less than appealing. Hash is a derivative of "hacher" for a reason!

Good points Linda--but I have to respectfully disagree. As I mentioned in my post, when using the food processor method, it's important to only pulse the meat and potatoes for a few seconds at a time so the hash doesn't turn into a paste. Does the mix look unappetizing in the photo? Maybe to some, but I wanted to demonstrate the difference in the textures over the "diced" hash.

In terms of the final side-by-side taste test of the two, Hash #2, (aka the food processor shredded/choppe style), was far better than the more traditional Hash #1 that was diced by hand. I preferred the creaminess of Hash #2 and the mouthfeel of the texture of the hash. For nostalgic reasons, the texture of Hash #2 reminded me of the hash I ate with my Grandfather at the Depot Cafe in Twin Falls, Idaho, in the 60's. I doubt the diner cooks at the Depot Cafe used a food processor, but their hash was definately of the shredded variety and not diced.

In the end, of course flavor must prevail and that's why I preferred Hash #2. It sounds like hash, while a dish of many different personalities, is the sort of dish that elicits a lot of personal preferences.

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Of course, a poached egg seems to be required when serving hash because the runny yolk breaks into that crispy hash and creates another flavor element. Hollandaise isn't required, but that really sent Hash #2 over the top. I got requests from friends and family in Portland, Sacramento and Las Vegas for Corned Beef Hash when they saw the photos.

Hash Cook-Off 059.JPG

Hash Cook-Off 062.JPG

Anyone else out there use cream or evaporated milk in their hash?

Dear Sweet Baby Jesus. That's the most magnificent thing I ever saw. How do I get on the friends and family list, so I can put in my request?


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Has anyone ever baked a hash? I've read some recipes where they call for spreading the hash in a casserole dish and baking it. I'm thinking you could bake it until it's hot, then make some indentations in the top and crack in some eggs, then return it to the oven to bake the eggs until set.

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David, I've baked hash as a way to gently reheat a large batch made in advance for a crowd. But the operative word is "reheat." To get hash the way I like it, it needs to be fried up in smaller batches first so that there are some crispy bits throughout. Then I generally put it into a large gratin pan to reheat later and for serving.

I can't speak to the egg question, though. In theory, I don't see why not. I usually reheat the hash at a low temp, not sure if that's the best temp for cooking eggs.



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My first Hash dish was based on traditional recipes and included leftover Holiday prime rib, potatoes and onions. I added some bottled gravy for moisture and seasoned the hash with rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper...

I don't "grok" the the gravy. As you found out, you can't get crispy bits if it's all wet with gravy. I'd either 86 the gravy or add it (heated separately) just before serving/eating.

I also favor the leftover baked potatoes and always bake a couple extra to be used for home fries or hash the next morning. Refrigerating them gives them a nice waxy texture which makes for easy dicing and they still hold their shape in the skillet after frying.


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

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Okay, I'm inspired and I have just the proper leftovers/misc stuff in the fridge to make a perfect case for hash tomorrow. That would be frozen leftover ham from shanks, a few jalapenos, and a couple of potatoes, old enough so that I don't actually remember what kind they are; my guess is they are yukons. Going out and actually purchasing ingredients for hash seems to defeat the purpose.

I'm going to par-boil the potatoes, which I don't believe I've done in the past, and since I am planning to make the hash tomorrow it seems worthwhile to do the potatoes today and refrigerate them overnight. When should I throw in the onion if my potatoes are partially cooked (still firm I'm presuming) and cubed in smallish bite-size pieces? Which needs a head start, the potatoes or the onion if I want an overall crispy result?

And just to throw in another variable, instead of using my cast iron, I'm going to try using my newest Good Will find: a non-stick Sur la Table heavy duty fry pan that looks like it has never been cooked in. This is my first non-stick pan ever, and although the idea of buying a used non-stick pan is sort of revolting, this one looked so clean I sprang for it. And it was cheap. We'll see if I can produce a sufficiently crispy hash with this pan and pre-cooked potatoes. With eggs and some simple slaw this will be dinner.

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My first Hash dish was based on traditional recipes and included leftover Holiday prime rib, potatoes and onions. I added some bottled gravy for moisture and seasoned the hash with rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper...

I don't "grok" the the gravy. As you found out, you can't get crispy bits if it's all wet with gravy. I'd either 86 the gravy or add it (heated separately) just before serving/eating.

I also favor the leftover baked potatoes and always bake a couple extra to be used for home fries or hash the next morning. Refrigerating them gives them a nice waxy texture which makes for easy dicing and they still hold their shape in the skillet after frying.

Yeah, I definately won't be glopping up the hash again with gravy. I found that I could make the hash moist through the way I cut it and then added milk, yet still got a crispy crust. I'll keep with that method.

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Okay, I'm inspired and I have just the proper leftovers/misc stuff in the fridge to make a perfect case for hash tomorrow. That would be frozen leftover ham from shanks, a few jalapenos, and a couple of potatoes, old enough so that I don't actually remember what kind they are; my guess is they are yukons. Going out and actually purchasing ingredients for hash seems to defeat the purpose.

I'm going to par-boil the potatoes, which I don't believe I've done in the past, and since I am planning to make the hash tomorrow it seems worthwhile to do the potatoes today and refrigerate them overnight. When should I throw in the onion if my potatoes are partially cooked (still firm I'm presuming) and cubed in smallish bite-size pieces? Which needs a head start, the potatoes or the onion if I want an overall crispy result?

And just to throw in another variable, instead of using my cast iron, I'm going to try using my newest Good Will find: a non-stick Sur la Table heavy duty fry pan that looks like it has never been cooked in. This is my first non-stick pan ever, and although the idea of buying a used non-stick pan is sort of revolting, this one looked so clean I sprang for it. And it was cheap. We'll see if I can produce a sufficiently crispy hash with this pan and pre-cooked potatoes. With eggs and some simple slaw this will be dinner.

Great question about the onion element. For my tastes I included the onion in the corned beef/potato mix and it worked fine. You don't get a caramelized onion taste or texture but it seasons the mixture. On the other hand, when I did the diced meat and potato hash I added the potato first to get it going and then added the onion later. I think if you are looking for a caramelized onion taste and texture you would add the onion first and let it go until it cooks down, remove it from the pan, add the potatoes to crisp and then add the onion back in. I think it all depends on the final flavor you're going for as to when you add the onions.

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Reviewing the photos above, I realize that I have an irrational bias: I assert that hash must not be discrete chunks of stuff (a la Alcuin's version) but rather should be an amalgamation of meat, potato, onion, and so on (a la David Ross's version). One should be able to scoop up a forkful of hash and get a bit of each ingredient; one should not have to skewer items kebab-style.

Thus the role of potatoes as both brick and mortar is crucial: a proper hash has both large-ish, firmer chunks of potato and well-cooked, mashed-up binder flesh as well. If it's just big chunks, it ain't hash.

Anyone share this irrational bias?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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When I think of hash, I think of the stuff served in diners on the east coast, which is definitely more like David's second hash. The others are more like "home fries with stuff added." Not that that's a bad thing, it's just not how I think of hash.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I think it depends, Chris. There's more than one kind of hash, in my opinion. There are hashes that are made with big pieces, and those made with small pieces. Some are dry and held together only loosely, and some are moist and bound. And a range of in-between those four poles.

Here's something I posted in a thread on crisping hash some years ago that may be relevant:

I think it depends on what kind of hash you're going for. Not all hash is supposed to be crispy. I call that a "dry hash" -- which says something not only about the final texture but also the way it's made.

Anyway, in my experience, the variables that need to be controlled in order to make a crispy hash are: high heat, don't crowd the pan, use a low-sided frypan so water has a chance to quickly evaporate (this is why it's easiest top do on a big commercial griddle), don't agitate the ingredients until they have had a chance to crisp, use a floury potato as opposed to a waxy potato, keep everything as dry as possible, cook the potatoes all alone until they're 3/4 of where you want them to end up. Do these things, and you should be able to get it crispy. Here is a dry crispy turkey hash in process:

gallery_8505_390_1101693287.jpg

If you want it to hold together in one mass, you could then pour all of that into a small skillet with some additional fat, crenk up the heat, toss in a little water to get the potato pieces to stick together, and cook it dry.

Personally, I've come to prefer the non-crispy kind of hash that is bound with a little cream (in this case, cream on the left and leftover creamed spinach on the right),

gallery_8505_390_1101693324.jpg


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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      Cured, Brined, Smoked or Salted, the art of preserving fish opens us up to limitless possibilities that transcend the boundaries of cuisine and culture. So let’s sew-up the holes in our fishnets, scrub the barnacles off the rowboat and set out to sea in search of some delectable fish to cure, brine, smoke and salt.
    • By David Ross
      Welcome back to a time-honored, cherished eG tradition, the eG Cook-Off Series. Today were venturing into a new world for Cook-Off's. Member Kerry Beal came forward with a Cook-Off idea we just couldn't pass up--Pork Belly--and inspired a new idea for future Cook-Off's. Knowing we're a community of great culinary minds, we'll be inviting the Members to send us ideas for potential future Cook-Off's, (more information to come later). Take it away Kerry and let's raid the larder and start cookin.
    • By David Ross
      Fall is but a whisper of the recent past--at least it is where I live in the upper reaches of Eastern, Washington. We had our first fluff of snow a week ago and a reasonable November storm is predicted for this weekend with temperatures holding at a chilly 18 degrees at night.
      Along with the rumblings of cold winter weather and Holiday feasts, we turn our culinary musings to time-treasured, comfortable dishes. And so I invite you to join me in another kitchen adventure--the inimitable eG Cook-Off Series. In 2013, we've tackled the tricky cooking of Squid, Calamari and Octopus and we made delicious dishes out of the humble Summer Squash.
      (Click here http://forums.egulle...cook-off-index/ for the complete eG Cook-Off Index).
      But today we're shunning all manner of counting calories, salt or fat content--for what is rich in flavor is good for the soul my dear friends. Please join me in crafting, nuturing and savoring a dish of Confit.
    • By David Ross
      Hello friends and welcome back to a time-honored tradition--the popular eG Cook-Off Series. We're in the heat of summer right now and our gardens are literally blooming with all manner of peak of the season ripe fruits and succulent vegetables. And there's no better time of year to honor a vegetable that is often maligned as not being as colorful or trendy as the chi-chi breakfast radish or the multi-hued rainbow chard.

      In addition to not always being recognized for it's looks, every August and September it becomes the butt of jokes at State Fair competitions across the country. If you can get past the embarassment of seeing the poor devils dressed up and carved into silly, cartoon-like farm figures or pumped-up with organic steroids, you'll find a delicious, low-calorie vegetable packed with potassium and vitamin A. Yes friends, your dreams have come true for today we kick-off eG Cook-Off #62, "Summer Squash."
      (Click here http://forums.egulle...cook-off-index/ for the complete eG Cook-Off Index).

      According to the University of Illinois Extension Office, summer squash, (also known in some circles as Italian marrow), are tender, warm-season vegetables that can be grown anytime during the warm, frost-free season. Summer squash differs from fall and winter squash, (like pumpkins, acorn and butternut squash), because it is harvested before the outer rind hardens. Some of the most popular summer squash are the Green and Yellow Zucchini, Scallop, Patty Pan, Globe, Butter Blossom and Yellow Crookneck.

      My personal favorite summer squash is the versatile zucchini. Slow-cooked with sliced onion and ham hock, zucchini is perfectly comfortable nestled on a plate next to juicy, fried pork chops and creamy macaroni and cheese. But the chi-chi haute crowd isn't forgotten when it comes to zucchini, or, as the sniffy French call it, the "courgette." Tiny, spring courgette blossoms stuffed with herbs and ricotta cheese then dipped in tempura batter and gently fried are a delicacy found on Michelin-Star menus across the globe.

      Won't you please join me in crafting some delicious masterpieces that showcase the culinary possibilities of delicious summer squash.
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