Our garden has provided us with a lot of squash this summer. It’s consistently one of our best crops, so needless to say I’m forever trying new squash recipes and tinkering with old ones. One of my personal favorite ways to fix squash is to cut it into thick slices, then quarter them. Them I boil them, along with a chopped bell pepper, until everything’s barely tender. In another pan, I melt some butter (real butter, no substitutes) with a little olive oil (keeps it from over-browning, which butter loves to do). I add the squash and peppers to the butter and let them all get to know one another better. Served with a little salt and pepper, it’s a great and simple side dish.
However, easily the most popular way to eat squash in our home is fried. Fried squash, along with fried okra, fried green tomatoes, and even fried cucumbers makes us all happy, happy, happy.
I usually use an egg bath for the sliced vegetables, followed by a coating in yellow cornmeal. Then they’re fried to a golden brown, salted lightly and devoured immediately. Make no mistake about it, yellow cornmeal is the way to go. I’ve used (and of course eaten) flour as the coating, but I personally prefer yellow cornmeal. Looks better, tastes better, and if it could speak… it’d have a better vocabulary.
Last night I got a little jiggy with it. Instead of the egg bath followed by a massage in yellow cornmeal, I treated the squash to something different.
After slicing the yellow crookneck squash, I dusted each with a little all purpose flour, then I dunked each into buttermilk. The flour helps the buttermilk to stay in the game. I then coated each slice with a new favorite kitchen staple, Panko Breadcrumbs. I fried them in a couple inches of vegetable oil – over medium-high heat until they were golden brown. When I put them on a platter lined with paper towels to drain, I salted them. I prefer to salt fried vegetables after they’ve cooked. It seems as though the salt sticks better.
I served the fried squash with horseradish and ranch dressing. I also fried some green tomatoes and okra. Fried green tomatoes and ranch dressing are a match made in HEAVEN.