Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer Squash "Moussaka"

4-5 medium sized yellow summer squash
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup olive oil  (or more)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper pepper
2 cups of your favorite meat sauce recipe (or just add cooked ground beef, a whisper of cinnamon and extra oregano to a jar of tomato sauce if you're feeling lazy)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup shredded or crumbled sharp cheese (any kind)

1 pinch of nutmeg
1 cup of whole milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch white pepper
1 egg 
1 dash Tabasco

Slice the yellow squash lengthwise into three or four flattish pieces each, depending on how fat they are. I would say you want them about a 1/4 inch thick. 

Coat the slices with the flour and fry them in about 1/4 cup of medium-high hot olive oil, in a non-stick pan. When they are brown on both sides (about a minute per side if the oil is hot enough) remove them from the pan to a paper towel to drain. I had to cook them in two batches, using my biggest frying pan. 

When they come out of the pan, salt and pepper them well. You might need to add more oil for the second round, but if you don't want to waste this much expensive olive oil on frying, mix it half and half with some other oil like corn oil. 

Yeah, mine is GMO corn oil, but corn oil is delicious. When they come out with organic corn oil at the grocery store (I'm looking at you, Whole Foods), I'll be the first to buy it. 

Layer the bottom of a 9x9 inch casserole dish, the square kind works well, with some of the squash slices, trying to cover evenly. Spread about a third of the meat sauce on top and sprinkle with a third of the cheese and basil. Do this two more times, but leave yourself like a 1/2 inch of room at the top (squish things down if you have to) because you're going to a put some white sauce on top.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, fry up the tablespoon of butter and flour, stirring it with a whisk. (I use rounded tablespoons here actually). Add a pinch of salt and white pepper as well as a very tiny pinch of nutmeg (optional) and a dash of Tabasco. Pour the milk in slowly, whisking the whole time. Whisk frequently as it cooks, you know, like making gravy, and then when it looks thickened (it doesn't take long) take it off the heat and very quickly whisk in a beaten egg. Pour over the top of your squash dish and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the top gets some brown spots on it. 

The picture up there is actually taken of a leftover piece, I love eating this cold.

Serves 4