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David Ross

Cook-Off 63: Summer Squash

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Looks good to me PC - is that oregano or margoram or?

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I like to pick my zucchini when they are a little bigger than a hot dog. I'm getting about 3 or 4 a day at the moment. What to do with them. I needed an little something to take to a happy hour. I cut coins of zucchini about 3/4 inch thick. Hollowed out part to make a little cup. Steamed them for about 3 minutes to soften slightly. Then filled with a crab mixture spiced with old bay, lemon juice, mayo, ground chili, chopped chives, minced red pepper and topped it off with a little square of marinated red pepper. Everyone ate them up, pretty tasty and healthy too. Forgot to take a picture of the finished product, duh.photo.JPGphoto.JPG

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Here's the not quite a ratatouille. I'm having it again tonight, since eggplants have been boutiful and beautiful at the mercado lately.

attachicon.gifRatatouille2.jpg

attachicon.gifRatatouille1.jpg

Really quite delicious looking. Very nice!

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How do you cook a whale?


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Whale tart!

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I grilled (broiled) the monster in slices with garlic, lined a tart tin with phyllo, then béchamel, then the monster slices, some braised shallots and green beans, and baked it for 20mins.

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It was good! :smile:

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Good it still had flavor - sometimes the old guys are just bland. When they get to the point way more than baseball bat size and like a hard pumpkin I save them for Halloween and carve and set with candles!

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Yellow/green, and green zucchini stuffed w/ fish paste. Part of a batch of Yong Tau Foo.

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Larger pics of a plate of the Yong Tau Foo items that were made: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/144211-breakfast-2013/page-10#entry1928352

Was the fish paste bought or made? If you made it, could we get the Rx, please?


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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judiu, the fish paste was bought. Venus Foods, Inc.; Labeled as "Cha Ca" ("fish paste" in Vietnamese), "金星魚漿" (金星=[the astronomical star]Venus; 魚漿=fish paste). I like this brand. It was mixed w/ chopped scallions, chopped coriander leaves, a very generous amount of ground white pepper, sesame oil [Dragonfly brand], a dash of light soy sauce, a bit of sea salt.


Edited by huiray (log)

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Is the fish paste similar to a shrimp paste I would make for shrimp toast?

I'm not sure what you would use for shrimp toast (which might vary depending on what kind of shrimp toast, too, I think?)

The fish paste I used is similar to the stuff one would use/prepare for making "fish balls" - of the sort you might see in Chinese/E-Asian/SE-Asian stores. Traditionally, one used a somewhat firm-fleshed white fish which one could "scrape" the meat off of then "chop" with the back of a Chinese cleaver + knead etc with cornstarch or something similar, and with or without spices and other additions. Yes, the traditional way took a lot of physical labor.

Here's one pictorial & description (amongst others, of course) of one way of making the paste in a traditional way: http://food-4tots.com/2008/10/29/how-to-make-smooth-springy-fish-paste/ . The fish paste I used (before adding all the other stuff) straight out of the small tub it came in looks not unlike the fish paste shown in this article.

Here's another description using a food processor :-) with extra bits added in as well: http://redcook.net/2009/02/01/making-fish-paste/

Well-made fish balls (springy, "song hou" in Cantonese; tasty, fine textured, etc) - needing well-made fish paste - was considered the mark of an expert, and folks would seek out and flock to places that put out food featuring excellent fish balls.

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Not as fancy as some of these, but, I'll bet, equally tasty is this Mexican squash recipe.

I'm going to give you the quicky, short-cut version. I could sling this together after coming home hungry and tired to face a big family that wanted something on the table. Naturally, they wanted to just go hit a fast-food joint, but I was determined to get some veggies in them. So I took a longer and more complicated recipe and came up with a shortcut version, that my whole family loved.

Obviously, if you want to make everything from scratch, you can. And you don't need me to tell you how to roast corn and remove the kernels, or how to roast and peel green chiles, or how to roast tomatoes.

So I won't.

Mexican Squash & Corn

2 lbs summer squash (just fine with yellow, or zucchini, or pattypan, or a mixture), cut into large bite-sized pieces

1 T butter

1 small yellow onion, or 1/2 large, very coarsely chopped

3 tomatoes (can use canned), chopped

1 cup corn kernels (can use canned), cooked and drained

1 4-oz can green chiles, drained, very coarsely chopped

1 C Cheddar or Longhorn cheese, grated

S & P to taste

Boil squash until just barely tender. Be very careful not to overcook. Pour into colander and allow to drain thoroughly. Meanwhile, into saucepan put butter, onion, tomatoes. Sauté til onions are clear and mixture is “mushy.” Return squash to pan. Add cooked corn and chiles and simmer briefly to combine flavors. Add cheese and allow to melt. Serve immediately when cheese is melted.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Is the fish paste similar to a shrimp paste I would make for shrimp toast?

I'm not sure what you would use for shrimp toast (which might vary depending on what kind of shrimp toast, too, I think?)

The fish paste I used is similar to the stuff one would use/prepare for making "fish balls" - of the sort you might see in Chinese/E-Asian/SE-Asian stores. Traditionally, one used a somewhat firm-fleshed white fish which one could "scrape" the meat off of then "chop" with the back of a Chinese cleaver + knead etc with cornstarch or something similar, and with or without spices and other additions. Yes, the traditional way took a lot of physical labor.

Here's one pictorial & description (amongst others, of course) of one way of making the paste in a traditional way: http://food-4tots.com/2008/10/29/how-to-make-smooth-springy-fish-paste/ . The fish paste I used (before adding all the other stuff) straight out of the small tub it came in looks not unlike the fish paste shown in this article.

Here's another description using a food processor :-) with extra bits added in as well: http://redcook.net/2009/02/01/making-fish-paste/

Well-made fish balls (springy, "song hou" in Cantonese; tasty, fine textured, etc) - needing well-made fish paste - was considered the mark of an expert, and folks would seek out and flock to places that put out food featuring excellent fish balls.

Thanks for the info. I'm going to give it a go.

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Don't forget the THROWING of the ball of fish paste to the (chopping) board. I remember seeing expert chefs do this in my youth and it was done HARD, with force.

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How do you cook a whale?

A frittata was my answer to the big zucchini gifted to me by a fellow gardener.

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it's quick and simple, but there are a few tricks so it doesn't turn out watery. For the whales, scoop/cut out the seeds. No matter the size, pan fry slices in some butter before adding eggs. A bit of browning adds flavor and it evaporates some of the moisture that can make zucchini dishes soggy.

There's grated parmesan in there, it's a good match for the zucchini. Served with roma beans from my garden.

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I've been going through my vintage cookbooks and to my surprise, there are few recipes for summer squash in my 1917 and 1927 editions of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. I suppose early twentieth century cooks just knew how to prepare the produce out of their home gardens. Most of the recipes are for fried, boiled or baked squash with little more than salt and pepper, sometimes a dash of white sugar.

I did find an interesting recipe for "South American Zucchini" in the 1944 edition of The Good Housekeeping Cookbook-

2lbs. zucchini

2 slices bacon, diced

3 tbsp. minced onion

1/3 c. minced green pepper

1 8oz. can tomato sauce

1/2 tsp. "bottled thick meat sauce"

1 tsp. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Obviously the tastes back then didn't like much seasoning. That's a pretty small measure of salt and pepper for 2 lbs. of zucchini. I suppose the "bottled meat sauce" was something along the lines of A-1 Steak Sauce, but a 1/2 tsp. of the stuff would barely be noticeable. Maybe they called for meat sauce for the tangy element.

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I've been going through my vintage cookbooks and to my surprise, there are few recipes for summer squash in my 1917 and 1927 editions of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. I suppose early twentieth century cooks just knew how to prepare the produce out of their home gardens. Most of the recipes are for fried, boiled or baked squash with little more than salt and pepper, sometimes a dash of white sugar.

Grew up in farm country in the Pac NW in the US and the first time I had zucchini was about 1960 -- an aunt brought a can of it (Hunts, I think, canned with tomato and onion) to her beach cottage. None of us had ever heard of it and we all thought it was awful. Don't think I ever saw the stuff again until the 1970s, when it became very popular with us hippies...and everyone else!

Out of curiosity, I just looked at my 1950 Betty Crocker CB, which is what my mom cooked out of, and there is one recipe for zucchini or summer squash -- the directions are to boil for 30-60 minutes! In contrast, there are 5 recipes for parsnips...

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Im not a big fan of cooked summer squash

 

however, a few years back i got a couple of extra blades for my Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus,

 

including the Julienne blade :

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=cuisinart+julienne+blade&client=firefox-a&hs=vT0&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=sb&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=JhbAU7yEBJOPyAT-yoCYDA&ved=0CFgQsAQ&biw=962&bih=859&dpr=1.2

 

see pic # 4 L > R  top row

 

one of the best purchases Ive ever made

 

summer squash goes right in there and then gets a quick dressing etc

 

great for broccoli carrots etc  fantastic quick 'salad'


Edited by rotuts (log)
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I love summer squash - feel free to send me your bounty! 

 

Earlier this week I turned a couple zukes into pasta sauce.  Grated zuke, lots of garlic, hot chili flakes, sauteed in evoo, a bit of pasta water & tossed with fettucine.  

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