Thursday, September 22, 2016

Buttercup Squash Gratin

I found some seeds at the local farm store called Buttercup Squash.  I thought it was a type of pattypan, so I got some.  Cute little green squashes appeared on the huge trailing vines.  I picked one when I thought it was of eating size.  It didn't look like any pattypan I've ever had so we googled Buttercup Squash and found out it's a winter squash, and that little one I picked was too immature to eat.  We waited a bit longer.

When the squashes were a bit bigger, they were ready.  We learned that the skin gets a dark green and has a matte finish (no longer glossy).
  Source: Bonnie Plants

For the first day of Autumn, it was only fitting that we try Buttercup Squash for the first time.  I found a recipe on Pinterest (of course) and adapted it to my liking.

Source: The Kitchen is My Playground

The recipe comes from The Kitchen is My Playground.  The author uses Butternut Squash, and cubes it before cooking.  That's hard work - paring butternut is difficult.  Buttercup are a bit easier, but I took an even easier out.  I cut the squash in half, removed the seeds, and placed the two halves in the crock pot, set it to high and waited.  It took only about an hour to cook to fork-tender.  After cooking, I scooped out the flesh and fed the peel to the chickens. I saved the seeds for next year's garden.

So since my squash was very well done, I basically mashed it.  I followed the remaining recipe - well pretty much.  Here's what I did:

Saute 1 small (about 1/2 cup) finely diced onion in oil/butter in cast iron pan.  
When cooked through, but not brown, I added two garlic cloves, crushed.
I let this cook for just a couple more  minutes then turned off the heat.
Meanwhile, I beat one egg in a bowl, then added about 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, the squash, about 1/2 tsp. salt and a bit of freshly ground pepper, then the onion.
I placed this mixture in a buttered casserole dish, topped it off with about 1/2 cup additional Parmesan, about 1/3 cup Panko crumbs, and dotted the top with butter.
I microwaved the casserole for about 12 minutes (only because my oven is not working....) but heating in the oven would have been preferable.

The casserole was quite good and I plan to make this again.  

I do have quite a few of these squashes and while they can be stored for quite a long time, I will probably can most of them so I don't have to worry about spoilage.

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