July 19, 2010

What's Cookin': Squash Parmesan

Two cooking posts in one day?? I was having a "meh" day today, and I usually remedy "meh" days with cooking and/or baking. Most of the time without even realizing it until my kitchen is covered in flour and food.

Have you heard of Chicken Parmesan? Sure you have. Any commercial for Olive Garden usually has a plate of it. What about Eggplant Parmesan? It's similar, but made with eggplant. Well, it's summer and that means squash. I got a gallon bag full of squash from my mom-in-love last week and I wanted to do something different with it than the normal steamed/roasted/make-into-zucchini-cake (even though I love zucchini cake). So, I decided to play around and make a version of the above mentioned dishes.

Dudes. It turned out awesome. I was very happily surprised (so was Ben). Great way to use up squash! It is a bit labor intensive though. I would highly suggest trying it, at least once. Just try it with one squash first, if you want. I took a picture but it didn't come out well at all. So just imagine delicious, juicy squash slices fried to a golden brown then slathered in a rich and tangy tomato sauce topped with Parmesan.

Squash Parmesan
2 large squash, sliced in 1/4" slices (Or however many squash you want to use - I used a zucchini and a yellow squash)
1/2 cup flour, seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika
2 eggs, beaten
3-4 C bread crumbs*
Oil for frying
1 1/2(ish) C spaghetti sauce
1 C Parmesan (fresh if you have it, I used green can)

Create 3 separate dunking dishes - one flour, one eggs, one bread crumbs. Fill a large skillet with about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil and heat over medium heat until shimmery. Dip each slice first into the flour and shake off the excess, then into the eggs and shake off the excess, then pat into the bread crumbs. Place in the hot oil and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute each side. We're not looking to cook them too much, since they'll be going in the oven. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Make two layers of fried squash in a 9x13 baking dish that has been greased. Spread spaghetti sauce over the whole thing, then sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees until warmed through and/or squash is tender. (I was going for bubbly, but it didn't happen.)

Notes: Next time I think I will try oven "frying" the squash, so I don't have to fiddle with the oil. Also, if I had mozzarella I would add that in addition to the Parmesan. Or, you could forget the whole sauce part all together and eat these babies alone, perhaps with some ranch dip.

Ben Rating: 4, as long as I "don't make it too often" and over-squash him like I did last year. Poor guy ate his weight in spaghetti squash last summer.

*I used Panko breadcrumbs, that I bought on a whim, heavily seasoned with lemon pepper, salt, garlic powder, and paprika. You could use regular bread crumbs that you season, bought-that-way seasoned bread crumbs, or homemade breadcrumbs.


Farm Girl said...

I won't over squash you this year, I am trying to be very careful. I think that sounds wonderful and I never thought about using squash instead of egg plant. I am going to try it as I picked a giant squash today. It sounds yummy.

Meg said...

Hey, I'll still eat spaghetti squash like crazy! I love that stuff. And I'll still take a bunch of squash because I can freeze or can it for later.

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