It’s Still Zucchini Season!


Living by the rule that you should always buy what is in season and local, I bought even more zucchini and yellow squash last week.  Many people think that zucchini is only good for one thing – zucchini bread.  This notion always makes me laugh because it is probably one of the most popular garden vegetables in my region, and people struggle with what to do with it. It is easy to grow and the yield is huge.  Plus, the deer don’t seem to like it.  Zucchini is very versatile.  It doesn’t have an overpowering flavor so it can be used in a multitude of dishes.  I prefer zucchini shredded or thinly sliced.  It has a lot of water in it, and that water leaks out during cooking and continues even after you’re finished.  The smaller the pieces the more water that you can eliminate during the cooking process.

 One nice thing about being stuck in the house during a hurricane is there is lots of time to cook.  On Saturday night, I whipped up a squash casserole and cooked salmon fillets for a delicious meal.  I actually bought this enormous fresh salmon fillet at Costco for a dinner with friends Saturday night.  We had to cancel that dinner because of the hurricane and every time I opened the fridge, that huge piece of fish was staring at me wondering what I was going to do with it.  We rarely freeze meat or fish in my house.  We prefer to eat it fresh, but I had no choice.  This fillet was probalby 2 feet long.  I have a good appetite but not that good. In the freezer it went.

Before I even started cooking, I whipped up my favorite cocktail – a mojito.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have all the ingredients so I fudged a little.  My typical mojito includes light rum, tonic water, simple syrup, mint, and fresh lime juice.  I had everything but the tonic water and fresh limes, so I substituted with ginger ale and lime juice in a bottle.  It hit the spot.  Just a side note, if you ever want to grow mint in your garden – DON”T.  Grow it in a pot or else in a couple of years you will have a garden of mint despite best efforts of removing it.

Next I started on the Squash Casserole.  You will need the following:

2 cups cornbread stuffing
2 small zucchinis, shredded
2 small yellow squashes, shredded
1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup (I think cream of celery might add a nice flavor too)
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

This recipe calls for 2 cups of cornbread stuffing.  You can easily find this in the grocery store with the bread; however, if you are a vegetarian beware.  It is always made with chicken stock and a bunch of other ingredients that you won’t be able to pronounce.  My solution is to make some cornbread in an 8×8 square pan – either from scratch or from a mix.   When it cools, crumble it up, add a little bit of olive oil and seasonings (I used salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme leaves) and presto – you have cornbread stuffing.

Put half of the stuffing in the bottom of a 9×9 square pan.

Mix together remaining ingredients.

It may look like a goopy mess, but it will be delicious.  Pour this mixture on top of the cornbread stuffing and top with remaining stuffing.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through. 

Now on to the salmon.  Salmon is very easy to cook.  I mixed a little bit of butter, lemon juice and basil and brushed it on top of the fillets. 

See that little piece on the left…that’s for Gavin.  I was unsure if he would even try it, but I made him some just in case.

Next you toss it into a skillet.  I use a non-stick skillet and there is enough fat in the salmon that you don’t have to worry about it sticking to the pan.  You can see by looking at the bottom of the salmon that it is already starting to cook.

When it looks like it has cooked halfway through, flip it over and cook the other side.

Voila!  Oh and by the way, Gavin ate every bite of salmon.

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