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David Ross

Cook-Off 63: Summer Squash

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Shelby   

Jaymes, I'm definitely making your dish tomorrow night! I already have spaghetti sauce going or else I would have done it tonight. Sounds sooooo good!

Thanks for the recipe :)

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Jaymes   

Jaymes, I'm definitely making your dish tomorrow night! I already have spaghetti sauce going or else I would have done it tonight. Sounds sooooo good!

Thanks for the recipe :)

I hope you like it, Shelby, although frankly it's hard to imagine you won't! I mean, what's not to like?

I'll be checking back to see how it turned out.

One thing to remember, because you're cooking it very slowly, it takes a little bit longer. So start it about 10 minutes earlier than you would if you were just boiling the squash in water.

:smile:

Oh, and don't forget that pinch of sugar!

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I must say bravo to all of you and your unique treatments of squash. We should call ourselves lucky for having so many new ideas to try in our home kitchens.

As I was studying the launch of this cook-off a few weeks back, a friend of mine unknowingly gave me an idea for a zucchini dish--a zucchini "boat" stuffed with chorizo. That got me started on how I could make my own unique version of a stuffed zucchini. I started forming my ideas and then another thought came back from memory--a dish I was served at a private lunch with Alain Ducasse.

Back in May 2010 while attending Vegas Uncork'd, (http://forums.egullet.org/topic/133118-vegas-uncorkd-2010/) I had the once-in-a-lifetime pleasure to have lunch with Chef Ducasse and eleven other lucky diners. Rather than prepare an 18-course tasting menu of haute French cuisine and the service of restaurant Louis XV in Monte Carlo, Ducasse and staff served a menu reflecting his childhood roots growing up on a farm in Castel-Sarrazin in the Landes region of Aquitaine in Southwest France. The dishes were full of seasonal vegetables cooked in a manner evoking the flavors of the French-Mediterranean.

I seemed to remember some little stuffed vegetables that Ducasse served with the lamb course. I just had this lingering memory of someting he did with a little summer squash. And then I re-discovered this photo-

Rack of Colorado Lamb, Tomato, Zucchini, Onion and Baby Red Pepper "Petits Farcis"-

Ducasse.jpg

My notes reminded me that the baby onion had been stuffed with lamb sausage. Then I remembered my beloved lamb sausage recipe and so the table was set, I'd attempt to do a summer squash stuffed with lamb sausage and served with a flavored oil and simple vinaigrette, maybe a few sprigs of the budding oregano blossoms from my garden.

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It appears that so far I'm the only one who looks at a zucchini or yellow crookneck and thinks not of savour applications, but of sweets! My hands-down favourite thing to do with a glut of zucchs is Death by Chocolate Zucchini Cake. I'm also fond of a couple of types of bread that incorporate zucchs for colour and texture, although crooknecks give a better gold colour and more delicate flavour.

ChocoSquare.png

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It appears that so far I'm the only one who looks at a zucchini or yellow crookneck and thinks not of savour applications, but of sweets! My hands-down favourite thing to do with a glut of zucchs is Death by Chocolate Zucchini Cake. I'm also fond of a couple of types of bread that incorporate zucchs for colour and texture, although crooknecks give a better gold colour and more delicate flavour.

ChocoSquare.png

Oh my! Now we're completing a summer squash tasting menu--including dessert. Fabulous.

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My favorite recipe for yellow crookneck uses the same technique as Jaymes. I don't add eggs, sour cream, or cheese though. We just use lots of butter, salt, & black pepper. Serve as a side with sliced tomatoes fresh from the garden. You don't even care what else is on the plate.

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huiray   

• Simple stir-fry/sauté of zucchini sticks w/ a head of garlic (individual cloves well-smashed but unchopped) & sea salt. Eaten w/ white rice (Hom Mali).


Pic: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=31359


Full post: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/143989-lunch-whatd-ya-have-2012/?view=findpost&p=1910081




• Stir-fried pork tenderloin slices§ w/ chopped Chinese celery & zucchini sliced into sticks, with garlic in peanut oil.


Pic: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=32185


Full post: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/143989-lunch-whatd-ya-have-2012/?view=findpost&p=1916265




• Courgettes/Baby zucchini, flowers intact, dredged in a batter of all-purpose flour & corn starch (~ 1:1), water, one egg, some sea salt and water; deep-fried till golden-brown. Eaten as-is, clean flavor of the baby zucchini and flowers coming through.


Pics: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=32765 and http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=32763


Full post: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/143989-lunch-whatd-ya-have-2012/?view=findpost&p=1919959




• Linguine w/ lamb bacon, “Dodge City” salami, cippolini onions, broccoli florets, baby zucchini, Baby Bella mushrooms and fried eggs.


Pic: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=32991


Full post: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/143989-lunch-whatd-ya-have-2012/?view=findpost&p=1921696




• Cappelini tossed in the pan w/ sautéed morels, sliced baby zucchini & spring onions.


Pic: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=32979


Full Post: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/143989-lunch-whatd-ya-have-2012/?view=findpost&p=1921696




Zucchini sticks: White-and-green patterned, yellow, and normal green young zucchini, cut into quartered or halved sticks, sautéed w/ garlic & sea salt in veggie oil.


Pic: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=33070


Full post: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/143989-lunch-whatd-ya-have-2012/?view=findpost&p=1922716




• Baby zucchini sautéed in olive oil.


• Pic: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=33061


• Full post: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/143989-lunch-whatd-ya-have-2012/?view=findpost&p=1922716




• Chicken poaching stock w/ asparagus, baby squash & coriander leaves.


Pic: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=33218


Full post: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/143989-lunch-whatd-ya-have-2012/?view=findpost&p=1923881




• Asparagus & baby squash in chicken stock.


Pic: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=33211


Full post: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/143989-lunch-whatd-ya-have-2012/?view=findpost&p=1923881

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FauxPas   

I like making pickles and relishes with summer squash.

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Summer squash makes an amazing soup. The key is to first salt aggressively to draw out all the water and then saute until very well browned, preferably in plenty of butter or olive oil. Add in onions, garlic, aromatics etc. and then add water or stock to cover and simmer for 20m. Puree and pass through a sieve and you achieve a wonderfully creamy soup without the use of cream. Adjust the seasoning after you puree as the squash has a lot of salt. I love pairing it with raw or barely cooked shellfish; mussels, oysters, etc. The briny shellfish go wonderfully with the rich & smooth soup.

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Oh, also, squash grated on a microplane and then mixed into meatballs give them an ethereally light texture. They're my go-to "mystery" ingredient when I make meatballs.

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Oh, also, squash grated on a microplane and then mixed into meatballs give them an ethereally light texture. They're my go-to "mystery" ingredient when I make meatballs.

Thanks for the tip. I'm going to try that. I've got a meatball class that I'm teaching in October and I think my students would love any technique that would make a good meatball.

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weinoo   

Rather than just posting links to stuff I've already cooked and taken pictures of and posted about (as in post #32 above - yawnnnn), I always look at a topic like this as providing the impetus to try something new.

So I pulled out a Roman cookbook (Cooking the Roman Way) as well as one of my 25-year old Marcella books (Marcella's Italian Kitchen).

These both have recipes for zucchini (a favorite Italian vegetable) cooked and/or marinated with vinegar and herbs (mint, parsley, basil), and after I take a trip to the green market I plan on giving both of them a try - to see which I like more!

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Rather than just posting links to stuff I've already cooked and taken pictures of and posted about (as in post #32 above - yawnnnn), I always look at a topic like this as providing the impetus to try something new.

So I pulled out a Roman cookbook (Cooking the Roman Way) as well as one of my 25-year old Marcella books (Marcella's Italian Kitchen).

These both have recipes for zucchini (a favorite Italian vegetable) cooked and/or marinated with vinegar and herbs (mint, parsley, basil), and after I take a trip to the green market I plan on giving both of them a try - to see which I like more!

Looking forward to seeing what you find at the market. The Cook-Offs always benefit from a free-flow of ideas and information, along with photos that chronicle our adventures. I for one have already learned a lot about how people cook summer squash.

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I'm curious about some of the cooked squash dishes. I have this vision of a mushy, watery squash puree. How does a long cooking process alter the texture of the squash?

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Jaymes   

I'm curious about some of the cooked squash dishes. I have this vision of a mushy, watery squash puree. How does a long cooking process alter the texture of the squash?

Well, first, you don't cook it until it reaches that consistency. I monitor it pretty closely and when it's tender, but still has texture, it's ready.

However, there's a wonderful and very old and time-honored southern dish called "Creamed Squash," where the idea is to cook it, along with a Vidalia onion, to a "mushy, water squash puree." But then you put it into a skillet with some butter and you continue cooking and stirring until the water has evaporated and you continue cooking and mashing and stirring until it's quite dry, whereupon you add some heavy cream and sugar. You wind up with a delicious dish that is about the consistency of loose mashed potatoes.

In the olden days, this was a very popular dish and showed up at every potluck and holiday table. It was also one of the first solid-food dishes that got fed to baby.

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Jaymes   

I like making pickles and relishes with summer squash.

Although it doesn't go all the way to "pickles," I often slice raw summer squash and some onions and put them into the bottom of the salad bowl long before dinnertime. Then pour over some of whatever salad dressing I'm going to be using. I let that sit for a couple of hours before adding the rest of the ingredients and tossing.

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I'm curious about some of the cooked squash dishes. I have this vision of a mushy, watery squash puree. How does a long cooking process alter the texture of the squash?

Well, first, you don't cook it until it reaches that consistency. I monitor it pretty closely and when it's tender, but still has texture, it's ready.

However, there's a wonderful and very old and time-honored southern dish called "Creamed Squash," where the idea is to cook it, along with a Vidalia onion, to a "mushy, water squash puree." But then you put it into a skillet with some butter and you continue cooking and stirring until the water has evaporated and you continue cooking and mashing and stirring until it's quite dry, whereupon you add some heavy cream and sugar. You wind up with a delicious dish that is about the consistency of loose mashed potatoes.

In the olden days, this was a very popular dish and showed up at every potluck and holiday table. It was also one of the first solid-food dishes that got fed to baby.

I'll have to try that once I get finished with my first two dishes. I have to admit the texture thing has me a bit skeptical, but I'm willing to give it a go.

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huiray   

Zucchini ribbons as a pasta substitute. Not a new thing, but something I've done only a couple of times and would like to explore more.

I remember Richard Blais whipping up that zucchini-pasta dish in ep. 14 of season 8 (when they were on that island in the Bahamas). My issues would be things like the optimum thickness/width and cooking times and what sauces to pair with it, I suppose.

(edit: ...season 8 of Top Chef, that is)


Edited by huiray (log)

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Shelby   

Zucchini ribbons as a pasta substitute. Not a new thing, but something I've done only a couple of times and would like to explore more.

I remember Richard Blais whipping up that zucchini-pasta dish in ep. 14 of season 8 (when they were on that island in the Bahamas). My issues would be things like the optimum thickness/width and cooking times and what sauces to pair with it, I suppose.

I've always wanted to try this, too. What tool would one use to the ribbons that are thin?

A tomato based sauce would for sure be good.

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huiray   

Zucchini ribbons as a pasta substitute. Not a new thing, but something I've done only a couple of times and would like to explore more.

I remember Richard Blais whipping up that zucchini-pasta dish in ep. 14 of season 8 (when they were on that island in the Bahamas). My issues would be things like the optimum thickness/width and cooking times and what sauces to pair with it, I suppose.

I've always wanted to try this, too. What tool would one use to the ribbons that are thin?

A tomato based sauce would for sure be good.

I've used my OXO mandoline in the past to get shaved slices of the zucchini which I then cut (chef's knife) into ribbons of varying widths. Yes, I did a tomato-based sauce too. I don't remember what the other one was. I'm thinking of tossing it with the leftover juices/sauces of some sort of poached or pan-fried fish, as another option.

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dcarch   

"---Well, I for one would be interested in your recipes - whether already published or not. ---"

Hahaaa! You asked for it!!

I know, a little off-topic (sorry). Just to get everyone in a good mood. :-)

dcarch

Spaghetti & Meatballs

spaghettisquashhalloween3.jpg

Squash blossom pizza

Pizzasquahflower.jpg

Pizzasquahflower2.jpg

pizzasquahflower3.jpg

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Shelby   

Zucchini ribbons as a pasta substitute. Not a new thing, but something I've done only a couple of times and would like to explore more.

I remember Richard Blais whipping up that zucchini-pasta dish in ep. 14 of season 8 (when they were on that island in the Bahamas). My issues would be things like the optimum thickness/width and cooking times and what sauces to pair with it, I suppose.

I've always wanted to try this, too. What tool would one use to the ribbons that are thin?

A tomato based sauce would for sure be good.

I've used my OXO mandoline in the past to get shaved slices of the zucchini which I then cut (chef's knife) into ribbons of varying widths. Yes, I did a tomato-based sauce too. I don't remember what the other one was. I'm thinking of tossing it with the leftover juices/sauces of some sort of poached or pan-fried fish, as another option.

Zucchini ribbons as a pasta substitute. Not a new thing, but something I've done only a couple of times and would like to explore more.

I remember Richard Blais whipping up that zucchini-pasta dish in ep. 14 of season 8 (when they were on that island in the Bahamas). My issues would be things like the optimum thickness/width and cooking times and what sauces to pair with it, I suppose.

I've always wanted to try this, too. What tool would one use to the ribbons that are thin?

A tomato based sauce would for sure be good.

I've used my OXO mandoline in the past to get shaved slices of the zucchini which I then cut (chef's knife) into ribbons of varying widths. Yes, I did a tomato-based sauce too. I don't remember what the other one was. I'm thinking of tossing it with the leftover juices/sauces of some sort of poached or pan-fried fish, as another option.

I guess it's high time I purchase a mandoline.

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huiray   

"---Well, I for one would be interested in your recipes - whether already published or not. ---"

Hahaaa! You asked for it!!

I know, a little off-topic (sorry). Just to get everyone in a good mood. :-)

dcarch

Spaghetti & Meatballs

spaghettisquashhalloween3.jpg

Squash blossom pizza

Pizzasquahflower.jpg

Pizzasquahflower2.jpg

pizzasquahflower3.jpg

Heh. Cute fella. That was spaghetti squash, yes?

The squash blossom pizza looks fantastic. No stuffing in the blossoms, I think? What was the cheese on it and how long did you "finish it off" at to melt the cheese in?

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Zucchini ribbons as a pasta substitute. Not a new thing, but something I've done only a couple of times and would like to explore more.

I remember Richard Blais whipping up that zucchini-pasta dish in ep. 14 of season 8 (when they were on that island in the Bahamas). My issues would be things like the optimum thickness/width and cooking times and what sauces to pair with it, I suppose.

I've always wanted to try this, too. What tool would one use to the ribbons that are thin?

A tomato based sauce would for sure be good.

Zucchini ribbons as a pasta substitute. Not a new thing, but something I've done only a couple of times and would like to explore more.

I remember Richard Blais whipping up that zucchini-pasta dish in ep. 14 of season 8 (when they were on that island in the Bahamas). My issues would be things like the optimum thickness/width and cooking times and what sauces to pair with it, I suppose.

I've always wanted to try this, too. What tool would one use to the ribbons that are thin?

A tomato based sauce would for sure be good.

I've used my OXO mandoline in the past to get shaved slices of the zucchini which I then cut (chef's knife) into ribbons of varying widths. Yes, I did a tomato-based sauce too. I don't remember what the other one was. I'm thinking of tossing it with the leftover juices/sauces of some sort of poached or pan-fried fish, as another option.

The best implement for this is actually a spiraliser; the noodles come out as long as spaghetti that way, but curly!


Edited by Plantes Vertes (log)

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dcarch   

"Heh. Cute fella. That was spaghetti squash, yes?



The squash blossom pizza looks fantastic. No stuffing in the blossoms, I think? What was the cheese on it and how long did you "finish it off" at to melt the cheese in?"



Yes, spaghetti squash, which is off-topic, not summer squash, which I apologized already. :-)



Yes, I had stuffing in the blossoms. Blue cheese nuggets. Moz. cheese on top, which is not that much flavor. The blue cheese inside the blossoms gives that little surprise flavor when you bite into it.



dcarch.

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