Friday, June 15, 2012

ok, now what?

So we have all these home grown vegetables.  Now what do we do with them? 

Unless you like to have a side of steamed squash with every meal, if you grow food you probably want to find a variety of delicious things to do with those beautiful vegetables.

This fritter recipe came from my sister, but I'm not sure where she got it.  It's a good one (if you're into an easy ingredient list and fried food)!

Vegetable Fritters
1 large carrot
1 medium zucchini
1 medium squash
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black paper
1/2 cup vegetable oil

I've done this with carrot, squash, and zucchini or just with three squash.  Whatever you have, really.
Oh, and last time we used cheddar because we didn't have any Parmesan on hand and we liked it even better...but we are some cheddar-eating fools around here.

Shred the veggies and pat them dry with a paper towel.  In a medium bowl, mix the shredded veggies with flour, parm, salt, pepper, and egg.
In a 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Gently drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the heated oil.  As they cook, flatten slightly with a spatula.  Cook about 5 minutes (turning once) until golden brown.  Transfer to lined platter to drain.


Since this is a Paula Deen recipe, you know good and well it's gonna be totally awesome.
I like squash and zucchini just fine, but I really love cheese.  This has both!
Squash Casserole

  • 6 cups large diced yellow squash and zucchini
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon House seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup crushed butter crackers (recommended: Ritz)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Saute the squash in a little vegetable oil over medium-low heat until it has completely broken down, about 15 to 20 minutes. Line a colander with a clean tea towel. Place the cooked squash in the lined colander. Squeeze excess moisture from the squash. Set aside.
In a medium size skillet, saute the onion in butter for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and mix all ingredients together except cracker crumbs. Pour mixture into a buttered casserole dish and top with cracker crumbs. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

House Seasoning:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Dill Pickles
I've talked before about my grandma making pickles.  I tried, and they were terrible.  My memory is that her pickles were so good that it was worth the old "try, try again" bit.  And so we have.  By we I mean that I roped Chris into pickle-making too!  As a matter of fact, he's started making some hot/spicy pickles too by using a variation on the old recipe.
One huge plus to making these is that there is no actual canner involved. :)  You cook the brine, but then once the jars cool off they just go into the fridge.  Score.
So, this is her recipe with the changes we felt made them awesome.
1 quart vinegar
2 quarts water
1 cup salt
cucumbers (Just however many you want to do.  My recommendation is to start small.  See if you like them.     That way you don't have a zillion pickled cucumbers if you end up wanting to make changes.)
Fresh dill
Jars, lids, & bands (We prefer the wide mouth jars as it's easier to get the pickles out.  We have used quart and pint jars.)

Wash the cucumbers and cut of both ends of each one.  Soak them in a bowl of ice water for an hour before you can them.  This helps keep the pickles crunchier.  During that hour you can prepare the jars and brine.  Once my jars and brine are going, I usually go ahead and cut the cucumbers into whatever shape/size I want them and toss them back in the ice water.  This makes the process of packing them into the jars much faster when the time comes.  I always do some coins and some spears.  I'll caution you to do the coins at least an inch thick so they won't get too soft during the actual pickling process.  
Put one clove of peeled garlic, 2-3 pieces of dill stalk, and 1 flower of dill seed (the leafy-looking part) in each pint jar.  Of course if you are using larger jars, just double these amounts.
For the brine, mix one quart of vinegar, two quarts of water, and one cup of salt.  Bring to a boil.  (We've used sea salt, pickling salt, and regular old table salt and can find no difference in the results.)
Once the cukes have been soaking for an hour and your brine is boiling, you're ready to can.  Pack the cucumbers into the jars.  You want to get as many as you can in each jar, but without crushing them.
Fill the packed jars with brine, leaving a 1/4 inch head space.  Put on the lids and bands.  Let the jars cool a bit before moving them to the fridge.
Sometimes Chris can only wait 3 or 4 weeks before he gets into them, but I recommend waiting at least 6 weeks.  

Let me know if you try any of these!
I'll try to let you know what else we're doing with our home grown goodness.  

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I made pickles the same way last week and am so excited to make your squash casserole! I'm adding fritters on to the list for next week!