Saturday, September 3, 2011

Stuffed Pattypan Squash, Brought To You By Multiple Cousins

Last weekend, when my cousin Rachel came over with her culinarily adventurous 14-month old daughter, she also came bearing some squash from my cousins Greg and Susan.  One of the squashes was a Pattypan Squash, a white, salad plate sized gourd with scalloped edges.  While I was researching them on the internet, I realized I had seen their smaller squash cousins at Whole Foods in their mixed baby vegetable pack.

The Monday after dropping off the squash, Rachel emailed me a New York Times recipe for Pattypan Squash Stuffed with Corn.  I decided to make it today's lunch, but as a vegan meal rather than a vegetarian one.

I was a little nervous about being able to cut the squash in half.  I'm still reeling from an incident with a butternut squash a few years ago that ruined an entire (cheap) set of knives.  But, my good chefs knife slid right through the patty pan.  A good reminder - if you're going to have one good kitchen implement, get a really good knife!

The same good knife also made chopping the onion and the inside of the squash a breeze.  The sharper the knife, the more precise your dice will be.  To get the corn off of the ear, I used our corn stripper.  Before we got the corn stripper, I used a large knife to remove corn kernels, but it was always a bit unsteady and I was always a little worried about cutting myself.  The corn stripper is a lot easier to handle and also keeps the corn contained in a little container, so it's also less messy.

Whole Pattypan Squash
The good knife also came in handy when chopping the cilantro.  A nice tip for chopping cilantro or parsley if you don't want a lot of stem in your food: Hold the herbs upright in one hand.  With the other hand, slide your fingers down the stem.  The leaves should easily slide off and be ready for chopping.

The recipe called for gruyere or swiss, as well as egg and milk to make a custard.  Instead of the gruyere, I used mozzarella daiya.  After filling the squash halves, I poured a little bit of vegetable broth over the top.

I was so happy with the results.  I usually prefer white corn, but accidentally picking up yellow corn was a bonus.  The bright yellow kernels were a nice contrast for the pale interior of the squash.  The vegetable broth soaked into squash flesh, which gave it an added flavor dimension.  Husband came in from some errand running at the end of my meal, had a few bites and pronounced it "hearty and well seasoned."  So, look for more stuffed squash recipes on the blog soon!

So, thank you, Greg and Susan, for supplying the ingredient for this delicious meal, and thank you Rachel, for bringing it to our house and providing a recipe!

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