Saturday, November 30, 2013

Squash Casserole with Sour Cream and Stuffing Mix


Squash Casserole
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There are many squash casserole recipes out there similar to this one.  Most of them call for a can of cream soup, such as cream of mushroom, cream of celery, or cream of chicken, as well as either sour cream or mayonnaise.  Some call for stuffing mix, while others use crushed Ritz crackers.  This one is similar to what my Aunt Totsie used to make. 



1 ½ lbs yellow squash

1 medium sweet onion

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 grated carrot

8 oz sour cream

1 c grated cheddar cheese

1 small pkg Pepperidge Farm dressing mix

½ stick butter

Salt and pepper to taste


1- Scrub squash, cut off ends, and cut into chunks. 

2- Peel and dice onion. 

3- Add squash and onion to a pan.  Cover with water and cook at a low boil until tender. 

4- Drain and mash squash and onion. 


Squash and onions
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5- Add remaining ingredients except butter and ½ pkg of dressing mix. 



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6- Pour into greased casserole dish.  Top with remaining dressing mix.  Cut butter into small cubes and distribute over the top. 

7- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 

Finished and out of the oven
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How to Fry Squash- Fried Yellow Crookneck Squash


Fried Yellow Crookneck Squash
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Fried squash is a classic Southern treat.  When I was growing up, someone in the family always had a garden.  We had plenty of fresh squash every summer.  And as Southerners, we fry just about anything.  Fried squash was always a favorite. 


You will need: 

4-6 yellow crookneck squash



Cooking oil


 1- Pour cooking oil in frying pan to cover the bottom of the pan, at least ¼” deep.  Heat oil on medium high. 

2- Scrub squash.  Cut off ends.  Slice squash lengthwise into ¼” to 3/8” thick slices. 

3- Lightly salt squash. 

4- Place damp squash pieces into flour to coat.  I prefer just flour, but you can use a mixture with about 1 part cornmeal and 2 parts flour. 


 Coat squash in flour
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5- When oil is hot, place squash slices into pan. 

6- Fry on medium high until squash is golden brown and tender, a couple minutes on each side. 


 Fry squash in hot oil
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7- Repeat until all of the squash are fried. 

8- Place cooked squash on plate on top of paper towel.  Place a layer of towel on top of squash for additional layers, as well as on top of the final layer, to absorb excess oil. 


Drain squash on paper towel
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You can also fry zucchini or eggplant.  Compared to squash, eggplant seems to soak up a lot of oil when cooking.  Whereas I would slice both yellow and green squash lengthwise, I could go either way with eggplant, lengthwise or crosswise. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

My Potato Salad

My Potato Salad
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My potato salad has at least a few die-hard fans who proclaim it to be the best they ever had.  It evolved from the potato salad that the mother of one of my high school friends made.  She put green olives in it!  I don’t typically eat green olives, but they really add something to potato salad. 

Another key ingredient is Dukes mayonnaise.  Dukes was originated by Eugenia Duke in Greenville, South Carolina, and subsequently produced and distributed by the Sauer company in Richmond, Virginia.  In my early years in the Air Force, I carried Dukes back with me whenever I came home for a visit.  It’s more widely distributed now.  I can buy it at my local HEB in Texas.  I also add some Greek yogurt to my potato salad.  It gives the potato salad a nice texture, and helps keep the texture after refrigeration. 

It’s really important to hand chop the pickles and onions.  If you use a food processor or slap chopper, you lose the great texture.  It’s also crucial in my book to use Claussen’s kosher dill pickles, for taste and texture.  They are never cooked, and found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. 

I don’t have an exact recipe.  Making potato salad requires lots of tasting.  I’m sharing with you my absolute best guess to get you started.  Then enjoy tasting! 

Potato Salad Ingredients

3 lbs of potatoes
4 large Claussen’s kosher dill pickles
2/3 cup green olives
1 medium-large sweet onion
4 boiled eggs
1 cup Dukes mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Dijonnaise mustard
½ cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup pickle juice
1/8 cup olive juice


1- Peel potatoes, and cut into approximately 1-inch cubes.  I like red potatoes.  My mom always said they were sweeter and moister.  Boil in a large pan in salty water until tender, breaking apart easily with a fork. 

2- Drain potatoes and return to pan.  I don’t use a potato masher.  I just break them apart by stirring, because I like some chunks.  Don’t worry that there are still lots of chunks, because there will be plenty more stirring. 

3- Put eggs on to boil.  When done, after 10-15 minutes of boiling, drain and put in cool water. 

4- Add mayo, mustard, and yogurt.  Stir to combine. 

5- Chop pickles into small cubes.  I slice vertically through the pickles about 3-4 slices, then another 3-4 slices across, like a checkerboard.  Then slice horizontally across the pickle. 

6- Chop olives.  I slice each olive lengthwise into quarters, then cut across. 

7- Chop onions into ¼-inch or larger cubes. 

8- Add pickles, olives, and onions to potatoes. 

9- Add pickle and olive juice.  Stir thoroughly to combine. 

10- Peel and mash eggs.  I don’t like large hunks of egg white, so I thoroughly mash the eggs.  I recently started using my food processor for this.  Add eggs to potato salad and stir to combine. 

11- Taste potato salad.  Add additional mayo, pickle or olive juice, &/or yogurt as needed for a moist but not soupy texture.  Add additional pickles, onions, &/or olives if needed. 

Granny’s Cucumber Salad

Christmas leftovers:  Cucumber Salad over green beans, 
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When I was a child, my paternal grandmother made Cucumber Salad to serve over green beans.  It is a very simple dish, but really enhances green beans.  My grandmother’s version was very potent, with undiluted vinegar.  I add water to my version, and even my dad prefers my modification. 

4 medium-sized pickling cucumbers
½ cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 tsp salt

1.  Blend mayo, vinegar, and water until smooth. 
2.  Peel and dice cucumbers and toss with salt. 
3.  Pour mayo mixture over cucumbers. 
4.  Refrigerate for 1 hour. 

Cook up a big batch of green beans with cubed potatoes.  Spoon a liberal portion of Cucumber Salad with juice, over green beans and enjoy!