Squash and Goat Cheese Casserole

I love to watch cooking shows.  A few years ago, PBS was showcasing some local chefs where we live.  One chef made a squash dish very similar to this one, but I did not like the end result.  So I once again took the same basic concept and personalized it.  I grew up eating sliced squash soaked in milk, dusted with flour and pan fried.  With maybe a few onions thrown in the mix. Good, good, good!  But I had never had it any other way except steamed with no flavor in a vegetable medley that you get with your steak at a sit-down restaurant.  
When I first made the recipe, I added sweet onions before the squash and added some chopped walnuts in at the end to give it some crunch.  I think the walnuts gave it a real nice earthy flavor that balanced the acidic taste of the goat cheese.  But after repeated meals, the Well-Fed Family decided that simple was better in their eyes.  Often being a culinary school graduate, you can easily get sucked into the notion of  “the more I do to it the better it will be”.  WRONG.  Good food, in my opinion, showcases the main ingredient with added flavors that compliment the main ingredient.  The additions should not overpower the main ingredient.  
For instance, you hear your bud say, “Man, I make the best dang baby back ribs you ever put in your mouth.”  So he invites you over and you try them.  Sure, they’re good… if you like unscrewing the top off a jar of barbecue sauce and chugging it.  The point is the ribs are good ONLY if you like the sauce that they are drowning in. My goal as a cook is to create dishes that have a unique combination of flavors that are balanced, inviting, but not overwhelming.  You can make any burnt piece of meat taste good if you dunk it in enough A-1.  I want to not burn the meat and only have the sauce or marinade present because I like it.  Enjoy.
Squash and Goat Cheese Casserole

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds yellow squash, diced in 1-inch chunks
  • 3 strips bacon (we use turkey bacon), diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter (we use Earth Balance soy-free dairy-free buttery spread)
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (if using turkey bacon)
Cooking Directions:
  1. Heat 10-inch deep covered skillet over medium-low heat. (Add oil if using turkey bacon. There is not enough fat in the bacon to prevent charring.)
  2. Add diced bacon. Brown bacon slowly until crisp, rendering out fat.
  3. Add squash and toss to thoroughly coat with bacon drippings.
  4. Add butter and stir. Cover skillet and reduce heat slightly.
  5. After about 5 minutes remove cover and mash squash slightly with a whisk. Replace cover. Approximately every 10 minutes thereafter, remove cover and mash squash with whisk. Monitor level of liquid in skillet. You do not want squash to become too soupy. If too much liquid is being produced by stewing, remove skillet cover and allow liquid to evaporate.
  6. When squash has almost reached the consistency of chunky applesauce (there still should be some defined chunks of squash), remove skillet from heat.
  7. Add goat cheese and stir in with whisk. The cheese should melt and be fully incorporated and should result in creamy appearance to the squash.

Recipe URL:  http://recipeseo.com/recipe/fIQ18

NEED ANY OF THE TOOLS USED?

Family ratings:
Rating scale
1 star – Feed it to the dog
2 stars – Surprise your neighbor
3 stars – Definite keeper
4 stars – Looking forward to leftovers
5 stars – Clean plate and nap time!  Are there enough ingredients left to make it again soon?
The Chef – 4 Stars
The Lucky Wife – 5 Stars
The Well-fed Son (4 years old) - 5 Stars
The Well-fed Daughter (5 months old) – Mommy’s Baby Girl (5 Stars)
*Rate it yourself in the comments!

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About the Author

Raised in eastern North Carolina, The Chef has always most loved southern cuisine. While working for a top resort just after finishing Culinary School at Johnson and Wales University, when they still had a campus located in Charleston, South Carolina, he began learning about Gullah cuisine and enjoys it as well. He's a family man and country boy at heart, loves hunting and is a big fan of the John Boy and Billy Big Show and the Carolina Panthers.

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