Tag Archives: Freezer Cooking

What to Do with Summer Squash #1

Summer Squash
Photo Credit: Florida Gardening

I love summer time. The bounty of fresh from the garden (or farmer’s market) produce is such a blessing!

Yellow squash and zucchini are usually found in abundance. Even if you don’t have a garden of your own, you probably have friends who do – and you will end up with some of their overflowing blessings!

I just recently put up six quart bags of squash into the freezer and I hope to be able to put up more before the summer is over. It’s easy!

How to Freeze Summer Squash

  1. Wash your squash and cut it into 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch slices.
  2. Blanch sliced squash by dropping small batches into boiling water for 3 minutes.
  3. Cool squash by placing into icy water to stop the cooking process.
  4. Fill quart size freezer bags with the blanched squash.
  5. Be sure to label the bags with the contents and date!

I’ll be posting more ways to use up your summer squash as the week progresses!

You can find the rest of the posts in this series here.

I have shared this post with Homestead Revival’s Barn Hop. Be sure to stop by for a visit!

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Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

I am putting up butternut squash soup today. I found this recipe by Michael Chiarello and I am loosely adapting my soup to this recipe. Yum! Instead of canning this soup, I plan to freeze it in quart size freezer bags.

When we were in Michigan in January, we went to this great store – Horrock’s Market in Lansing, MI – and we bought a lot of produce. The butternut squash was on sale and we even found some pitched in the garbage that just had a couple of soft spots and asked if we could have them for free!

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sliced leeks, white parts only
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 cups peeled and roughly diced butternut squash
3 cups peeled and roughly diced apples
2 teaspoons Toasted Spice Rub, recipe follows
6 1/2 cups chicken stock or 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth mixed with 3 cups water
Sea salt, preferably gray salt
1 cup chopped Spiced Candied Walnuts, recipe follows, optional

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat, and cook until it turns nut brown. Add the leeks and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute briefly to release its fragrance.

Add the squash and apples, raise the heat to high, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Toasted Spice Rub and cook briefly to toast it, about 1 minute.

Add the stock or broth-water mixture, bring to a simmer, and partially cover. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the squash and apples are tender, about 40 minutes.

Transfer in batches to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return to the pot, reheat to serving temperature, and season with salt.

Divide the soup among warmed bowls and garnish each portion with some of the walnuts, if using. Serve immediately.

Toasted Spice Rub:

1/4 cup fennel seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup pure California chili powder (about 1-ounce)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

In a small heavy pan over medium heat, combine the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns. When the fennel turns light brown, work quickly. Turn on the exhaust fan, add the red pepper flakes, and toss, toss, toss, always under the fan. Immediately turn the spice mixture out onto a plate to cool. Put in a blender with the chili powder, salt, and cinnamon and blend until the spices are evenly ground. If you have a small spice mill or a coffee grinder dedicated to grinding spices, grind only the fennel, coriander, pepper, and chili flakes. Pour into a bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients.

Yield: about 1 cup

Spiced Candied Walnuts:

Peanut or canola oil
4 cups walnut halves
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat about 1-inch of oil to 350 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add walnuts and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain and transfer nuts to a medium bowl. While nuts are still hot and slightly wet, add confectioners’ sugar and toss to coat nuts. Stir and toss until all the sugar has melted into the nuts; if bits of unmelted sugar remain on the nuts, they will not fry properly.

Stir the nuts again before frying. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer a few nuts to the hot oil, allowing the foam to subside before adding another spoonful. (Otherwise, the oil could foam over and burn you.) Fry in small batches until the nuts are medium brown, about 45 seconds per batch; be careful not to overcook. Scatter on an unlined baking sheet to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, stir together cayenne, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and the pepper.

While the nuts are still warm, transfer them to a bowl and sprinkle evenly with about half of the spice mix. Toss well to distribute the spices and then taste a nut. Add more spice mix, to taste, and toss well after each addition. When cool, pack in an airtight jar. They will keep at room temperature for at least 2 weeks.

Yield: 4 cups

I am sharing this recipe with Pennywise Platter over at Nourishing Gourmet!

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Squash Patties

I grew up eating these and have always loved them! This recipe made enough patties for me to freeze some for another meal. Delicious and kid friendly. You can serve them ketchup or sour cream.

Squash Patties

8 medium yellow squash, shredded
1 onion, shredded
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
ground black pepper to taste

Place the squash and onion in a colander, sprinkle with salt and stir. Drain for 30 minutes to an hour. In a bowl, mix the squash and onion, flour, cornmeal, egg, and cheese. Season with pepper.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop squash mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls into the skillet, and cook 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

To freeze, allow to cool completely, place patties in quart size freezer bags.This recipe would be perfect for those summer months when you have squash coming out your ears! Make up a huge batch and put them in the freezer for later!

I am sharing this recipe with Full Plate Thursday, Ultimate Recipe Swap Thursday, and It’s a Keeper.

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