Gourmet Veggie Mama

Tag Archives: Summer Squash

Hatch Two Ways

Since Hatch chile season — the most beloved of all seasons* — is in its waning days, it was time to break out The First Ever Un-Edited and Un-Tested Hatch Chile Pepper Recipe Book from Central Market and try a few new recipes. Of course, I have my old standbys — this enchilada sauce among them — but we always like to experiment a little too.

* And also, apparently, something of a fraud, at least according to New Mexicans. This article (discovered via Addie Broyles) has me questioning everything I hold dear.

One evening last week saw the hubby thumbing through the Recipe Book, and he landed on two recipes that sounded equally delicious, so we decided to try both of them out. The first was a squash casserole starring cheese and Hatch peppers. I’m always looking for ways to use zucchini and summer squash (other than zucchini bread, of course), and this turned out to be a good combination.

Green Chile Squash Casserole

Hatch-Summer Squash Casserole
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 3 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 small zucchini, sliced
  • 3 small yellow squash, sliced
  • 1½ cups cheddar cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly oil an 8x8 pan and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic together until the onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add the Hatch chiles, zucchini and squash and saute until softened but not soggy. Season with salt to taste.
  4. Transfer the squash mixture to the baking pan and top with the cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is hot and melted.

 

The second, delightfully termed a “Potato, Corn and Green Chile Thing” by the author, was originally a camp recipe, and it was delicious just as it is. It would be even better treated as a hash and served with some fried eggs over the top. Next time, that’s what we’ll do. The sweet corn was a wonderful complement to the spicy Hatch peppers.

Potato, Corn and Green Chile Hash

Hatch Two Ways
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbs butter, divided
  • 2-3 large red potatoes (or Yukon Golds), chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed, divided
  • 2 ears corn, grilled and cut off cob
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
Instructions
  1. Melt 2 Tbs butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the potatoes with one of the garlic cloves, stirring, until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and set aside.
  2. Melt the remaining 2 Tbs butter in the same skillet. Add the corn and the other garlic clove and saute for about 10 minutes. Add the sugar and stir for 5 more minutes.
  3. Add the reserved potatoes, the onion and Hatch chiles to the pan and cook for 10 minutes, or until the onion is softened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve alone as a side dish, or topped with a fried egg.

 

Vegetarian Tamale Pie

Ah, tamale pie. I confess I hadn’t ever made it before, but now that I’ve given it a shot, it’s bound to become a regular feature on our weeknight table. Not only is it quick and easy to pull together, but it also serves as a “kitchen sink” meal for veggies I have a lot of — like summer squash and zucchini. Oh, and it’s delicious.

Vegetarian Tamale Pie ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

I used a yellow crookneck squash and a zucchini here, plus some roasted sweet peppers, but you could play around with it and add all kinda of fun stuff, depending on what you have on hand. The corn was a must, though — we had some sweet corn that the hubby had grilled a couple of weeks earlier, removed from the cob and frozen, and it was perfect in the filling. Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegetarian Tamale Pie
Author: 
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
For filling:
  • 1 Tbs canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 colored sweet peppers, roasted (if desired), stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced into half-moons
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 small can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
For crust:
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 cups cornmeal
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese, plus extra to sprinkle on top
Instructions
  1. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil over medium heat. When the onions are soft and translucent, add the peppers, zucchini and summer squash, along with the chili powder and cumin. Saute until softened.
  2. Add the beans, mashing with a potato masher as you incorporate them, and the salt, tomato paste, black olives and corn.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease an 8x8 glass pan.
  4. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan, and then the cornmeal gradually, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Cook, stirring, until thickened and beginning to boil. Add the salt and chili powder.
  5. Spread half of the cornmeal mixture on the bottom and up the sides of the baking dish. Spread the filling mixture over the cornmeal mixture evenly, and top with ½ cup cheese.
  6. Drop and spread the remaining cornmeal mixture over the top. Top with additional cheese to your taste. Bake for 35-45 minutes, and serve warm.

 

Veggie Kebabs with Halloumi

I love halloumi. It’s one of the reasons (besides fresh grilled corn on the cob) that I’m happiest when summer grilling season rolls around. For the uninitiated, halloumi is a “grilling cheese” from Cyprus. It has a high melting point, so it can be grilled or fried… and it can also be pretty hard to track down. I have to trek to Whole Foods or Central Market to get my hands on it, but it’s definitely worth it, because this salty, delicious cheese is the bomb diggity. Even Nora agreed (after I broke it into smaller pieces for her).

Halloumi is the perfect vegetarian protein to add to veggie kebabs. That’s exactly what we did this evening, when the hubby fired up the grill and skewered a little bit of everything that showed up in our CSA box this week* — squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions and potatoes — along with chunks of halloumi. I also picked up some delicious bi-color sweet corn on the cob this morning, so on the grill it went, too.

Veggie Kebabs with Halloumi ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

* BTW, I love this time of year, because after a long, rather boring spell, our CSA boxes are getting interesting again. There are plenty of early-season tomatoes, and I heard there might be watermelon soon!

Veggie Kebabs with Halloumi ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

It was a delicious dinner, and we all chowed down. Nora might have eschewed the summer squash and zucchini, but at least she tried them… and she downed the corn on the cob like a beast.

Kebabs don’t really lend themselves to recipes, so I don’t have one, but if you want to give it a spin, here’s what you can do: Fire up the grill, cut the summer veggies you have on hand into bite-sized chunks, toss them with some olive oil and skewer them with some good chunks of halloumi, and grill them to perfect. Done and done. Enjoy!

Linked up at:

The Peaceful Mom

Best ever veggie chili

I am still settling into the new cooking rhythm around our house, now that the hubby and I are trying to eat dinner with Nora most nights. Yesterday, I planned on making a batch of my crock pot veggie chili for dinner. Nap time is prime meal preparation time nowadays, but once it rolled around, I had gotten tied up in other projects.*

* Yeah, I really needed to start painting the master bedroom. We picked a color more than a month ago, and the paint has just been sitting in the garage, mocking me, since then.

So, I figured I’d pop in a Signing Time and let Nora watch it while I sliced and diced. She was cool with that for the first few minutes, but then she wanted me to come and sit with her (which I happily did while the onions sautéed for a little bit), and she didn’t want me to get up. Then the video was over, and I needed to rescue those onions, but it was nearly impossible with a toddler clamped to my leg. In case you couldn’t tell, she was feeling a little clingy.

In any case, I made it work, but by the time all was said and done, the chili was into the crock pot much later than I had planned, and with a little less prep. That’s okay — we’re flexible around here. I cranked the crock pot to high and hoped for the best.

Fingers crossed.

As it turns out, the best is what I got! By the time dinner rolled around, the chili was perfect. I was so pleasantly surprised with the result that I just may never make it the old way again! Nora heartily approved, too.

Myyyyyyyy chili.

Of course, there is no better way to enjoy a hearty bowl of chili on a brisk fall evening than with a nice cold beer.

Yes, please.

I chose a Sierra Nevada Tumbler, their fall seasonal brew, and it was delicious. Next time, I may even substitute a beer for the water in this chili — I think that could lead to even more greatness!

Vegetarian Chili
Based on this recipe

2 onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 Tbs canola oil
1 large or 2-3 small sweet peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1-3 summer squash (depending on size), chopped
1 to 2 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of refried black beans
1 10-oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes, with liquid
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
salt to taste

In a large skillet over medium high heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the canola oil until soft and translucent. Add the chopped peppers, squash, chili powder, and cumin. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes.

Transfer to slow cooker. Add the beans, tomatoes, rice, and 2 cups of water. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours. Season to taste with salt and serve warm topped with cheese and/or sour cream and with plenty of warm tortillas or tortilla chips alongside.

The Peaceful Mom

Corn-squash chowder with green chiles

It’s sweet corn season! I don’t know about you, but when delicious, delicious corn on the cob is 6-for-$1, I buy some… and then I buy some more. I buy a lot of corn this time of year, and the hubby grills it up in the husks. We eat it on the cob with homemade aioli and crumbled queso fresco, or just with a nice pat of butter. We make it into relish, we sprinkle it onto grilled pizzas, and whatever we don’t eat right away, we strip off the cob and freeze.

I have been wanting to make corn chowder with some of that frozen stash, but I couldn’t find a recipe that was just right. I wanted to use some of my Hatch green chiles, since I thought the two late-summer flavors would go together beautifully. I didn’t want anything with potatoes or cauliflower, for the simple reason that I didn’t want to go out and buy any. And, since I was initially inspired by this recipe for cheesy corn chowder, I wanted some cheese in it. So, I pieced together my own recipe, and guess what? It was freaking amazing.

Oh yeah.

I used a bit of corn meal to thicken the soup (as per this Pioneer Woman recipe), and it worked like a charm. The flavors of the sweet corn and the spicy and smoky green chiles were perfect foils for each other, and they blended harmoniously with the creamy broth. Finished with just a bit of sour cream and a sprinkle of smoked paprika, the perfect corn chowder was mine. The hubby and I both had two bowls, and there was plenty leftover for all three of us for lunch. Hooray!

Corn-Squash Chowder with Hatch Chiles

2 Tbs olive oil
4 Tbs butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 small summer squash, diced*
4-6 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped**
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 cups corn (from about 4 ears), cooked and stripped from the cob
3 Tbs corn meal
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
sour cream for garnish

Heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large stock pot. When the butter is melted, add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, summer squash, and Hatch green chiles and stir until the squash is softened, about 3-4 more minutes. Add the salt, cumin, and chili powder and stir to combine.

Add the vegetable stock and cream and bring just to a boil. Stir in the corn. Whisk the corn meal and water together in a small bowl and add to the pot. Return just to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat and, using an immersion blender,*** blend until smooth, but with some chunky texture remaining. Add the shredded cheeses and stir until incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning, and serve warm with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of smoked paprika, and some nice crusty bread on the side.

* If you don’t have the squash, you can just add an extra cup of corn in its place.

** You can use a can of green chiles if you don’t have the Hatch chiles… but they are really worth it if you can find them.

*** You can also cool the soup slightly and then blend about two-thirds of it in a conventional blender. Return the blended portion to the pot and heat gently before adding the cheese.

Cheesy Zucchini and Squash Bake

So we all know about my issues with zucchini and summer squash, but of course it is the middle of summer, and they keep showing up in my CSA box. There’s only so much zucchini bread I can make and freeze, and my zucchini brownie is in need of some tweaking, so it was time to experiment with something new.

Here’s some news: I like cheese. Pair most vegetables with enough cheese, and you’re good to go. That’s the beauty of this recipe for cheesy zucchini and squash bake. Three kinds of cheese,* plus basil, thyme, and garlic, actually makes zucchini delicious.

Who knew?

*When I told Nora before lunch today that it had three kinds of cheese, her response was an enthusiastic “yes,” accompanied with the sign for “yes”. Double yes for triple cheese!

This is the second time I’ve made this recipe — the first time was for a potluck, and it was all gone by the time we left! This time I decided to use goat cheese in place of half of the mozzarella. I’m so glad I did, because it was just what it needed to be kicked up a notch!

Cheesy Zucchini and Squash Bake
Adapted from this recipe

2 medium zucchini, cut in slices or half-moon slices
2 medium yellow squash, cut in slices or half-moon slices
3 Tbs chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 small onion or shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup shredded mozzarella, divided
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish or casserole with olive oil.

Combine the sliced zucchini and squash, basil, thyme, onion, garlic, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, the goat cheese, and the parmesan in a large bowl. Stir and toss until well-combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes. When the zucchini and squash are nearly cooked through, sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella over the top of the baking dish. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and nicely browned and the zucchini and squash are fully cooked.

Zucchini bread

Confession time: I am not the world’s biggest fan of zucchini. I think it stems from the summer we grew zucchini in our yard, and were forced to eat it over and over and over, the plant did so well. If I never have another side of grilled zucchini, it will probably be too soon.

Of course, we always get lots of zucchini and summer squash in our CSA box around this time of year, so I have to do something with it. I do have a few recipes in my bag of tricks that I still like, even after our Summer of Zucchini, but what better to do with it than make zucchini bread?

Yes, please.

After much experimentation, I have come up with what I think is the perfect recipe. It gets a lovely, caramelized crust, and it looks downright pretty with the bright green zucchini shreds in it. While I wouldn’t claim it’s health food, it makes a darn good breakfast, and it freezes well, too. Add some butter while it’s still warm (or lightly toast it), and it’s perfection.

A little slice of heaven.

For the record, you can use any kind of summer squash, but I still call it zucchini bread. It’s just easier. I used a mixture of zucchini and sunburst squash this time. You can also make muffins by adjusting the baking time a smidge — it’s lovely either way.

Zucchini Bread
Makes 2 loaves

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini or other summer squash (not drained)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease and flour two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans.

Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Beat the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, and mix until combined. Stir in the zucchini and walnuts.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes. Turn the loaves out onto the rack, and completely cool.

Vegetable mixed grill with basil vinaigrette

With a freshly delivered CSA box brimming with fresh vegetables and a beautiful, sunny evening ahead of us, could there be any better way to enjoy it than to fire up the grill, open a nice bottle of rosé, and sit out on the back porch? That’s exactly what we did on Friday night.

While I chopped the veggies, the hubby preheated the grill and pulled a couple of quinoa burgers out of the freezer.

Hello, my lovelies.

He grilled dinner, and I made a simple basil vinaigrette to serve on the vegetables: a fresh-from-the-farm mix of pearl onions, zucchini, summer squash, purple potatoes.

Oh yeah.

Add some sliced grilled onions and a little wilted spinach to the burgers, and you’ve got a lovely meal to enjoy on the back porch while the sun sets.

Basil Vinaigrette
Original recipe from Food & Wine, with my modifications

1 large clove of garlic
1 large bunch of basil, leaves picked and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbs champagne vinegar
pinch of crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

In a blender or food processor, pulse the garlic until chopped. Add the basil and pulse until finely chopped. Add the oil, vinegar and crushed red pepper and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Summer squash bake

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of summer squash. We grew zucchini in our garden for a couple of years, and I got sick of it. Really sick of it. I never want to see sautéed or grilled summer squash mélange ever again.

But, as it happens, we get a lot of summer squash in our CSA box around this time of year, and there’s only so much zucchini bread and squash purée one can make — although, thankfully, Nora is a fan of summer squash and zucchini bread freezes well.

A friend shared a great recipe with me recently, which overcame even my weariness of summer squash. It’s easy to make, tasty and not overwhelmingly squash-y, and, best of all, it’s a good way to use a lot of squash.

Dinner time!

Thanks to my wonderful husband, who did all the cooking while I went on a training run — except for chopping the squash, which was the only thing I was able to get done with a teething baby in tow before he got home — we enjoyed this squash bake with some roasted potatoes with onions and parsley last night. Nora had bits of my leftovers at lunch today, and she enthusiastically approved, too.

Summer Squash Bake with Feta and Thyme

4 medium-sized yellow or green summer squash, or a mixture of colors, sliced lengthwise and then into 1/4 inch slices (3-4 cups sliced squash)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup crumbled feta
2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375°. Wash and dry squash, then cut off stem and blossom end and discard. Cut squash lengthwise in half, then slice into half-moon slices about 1/4 inch thick.

Heat olive oil in large non-stick frying pan, add garlic and thyme leaves and saute about 45 seconds (just long enough to season the oil, don’t let the garlic brown.) Add squash slices and saute about 4 minutes, turning a few times. Squash should be barely starting to soften.

While squash cooks, break eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup and beat until combined. Stir in sour cream, feta, parmesan and lemon juice.

Spray a 2-quart gratin dish or glass casserole dish with non-stick spray or olive oil. Layer half the squash in the dish, then season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. (Remember the feta is salty, so it won’t need a lot of salt.) Pour over half the egg-feta mixture and use the back of a spoon or a rubber scraper to spread it over the squash. Repeat with another layer of squash and the rest of the feta-egg mixture.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling, slightly set, and top is lightly browned.

Sunday brunch

Cooking is fairly haphazard in my house these days, especially when the baby is awake. It mainly consists of the hubby managing the baby while I man the stove, or vice versa. Today, I decided to make a frittata for lunch (we’ll call it Sunday brunch, since that’s the closest we get these days). I started while the better half was out running errands with Nora — chop up some summer squash and, oh, and while we’re at it, may as well steam the rest of the squash to make baby food (more on that later). Then the rest of the family showed up, and the babe needed to nurse, so I had Pat chop up the rest of the squash and some onion while I took care of that. He also thoughtfully minced some chives, which were a great addition.

I took back over while he played with Nora, and sautéed the squash and onions (plus some garlic) in olive oil. Then I realized that we had a bunch of new potatoes that needed to be used, so I scrubbed and sliced a few of those and threw them in, hoping the squash wouldn’t burn while they cooked. Meanwhile I beat a half-dozen eggs from Full Circle Farm (nothing like farm fresh eggs!) with a couple of dollops of ricotta cheese, the chives, salt, pepper, and several handfuls of pre-grated Italian cheese mix that I had in the fridge. As a friend and awesome frittata chef once told me, the secret to a great frittata is a LOT more cheese than you think is strictly necessary. I usually go by the rule of adding a bunch of cheese, until I think it looks right, and then I add one more handful.

After the veggies were about done, I poured the egg mixture over, and cooked it over medium heat until the edges started to set. Then I put the skillet under the broiler for a few minutes until it was golden brown and set all the way through.

Good eatin'

We served it up with some baby yogurt with mangoes and champagne grapes for Nora’s lunch. The only thing that could have made it better (for the grown-ups, that is) was a mimosa!

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