[Smashy the Hammer] [An Aspiring Luddite]
I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
[Jeff Berry]
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook. With the death of Google+, he's experimenting with federated platforms. He admins a medievalist Mastodon instance, and can found on the PlusPora diaspora pod. He hates cell-phones.

Squash and Zucchini Parmesan (Sort of.)
21 July 2011

We are well into Summer CSA Season, which means each week we get a selection of vegetables from our upstate farm share. Some people think of this as a time of crisis ("Tatsoi? What the hell do I do with Tatsoi?") but I think of it as a combination of Christmas and Iron Chef ("The secret ingredient is ... Tatsoi!" "Thank you, Santa!"). This week, we got a lot of zucchini and yellow summer squash.

My local dairy pusher at the Ronnybrook Farm stand at the local farmers' market, she who provides me with the raw material for my cheese-making, sometimes has mozzarella available. So I had some of that to hand as well. Inspiration struck and we were off to the rodeo.

[Squash Parmesan] Squash Parmesan

Mix the cornmeal and the salt and pepper together in a bowl. Lightly beat the egg. I actually used one egg and the leftover egg whites from the Flathonys I did last week. Cut the squash into thickish slices.

Heat the grease or oil. I used the last of the fat from the headcheese I made in January, but your favorite frying oil or grease will do fine. You want 1/4" or so in the pan.

[The prepped squash] Dip the veggies in the beaten egg, then into the cornmeal. Fry in the hot oil for a few minutes each side, until the cornmeal is golden and crispy, but not burnt. Remove to a cookie sheet. Cut the mozzarella into slices or strips and put on the veggies.

Get the pasta going. Use whatever pasta you like and whatever sauce you like. A can of crushed tomatoes simmered with some salt, oregano and crushed red pepper makes a perfectly adequate sauce for this dish, in fact.

When the pasta goes in the water, you should have about ten minutes to go while it cooks. So dump the rest of the cornmeal into the egg and mix it up. Add more cornmeal if you need to in order to make a thick batter. Put that into the hot skillet with the rest of the oil and, once again, cook until golden and crispy, making a sort of polenta-hush-puppy hybrid, and, incidentally, taking care of the leftover breading station materials. Turn on the broiler.

With a couple of minutes left, slide the cookie sheet under the broiler to melt the cheese on the squash. Then, if you've timed it right, everything comes together at once and you just have to assemble it: pasta first, cornmeal cake on one side, squash on the other, sauce over all.


© 2011 Jeff Berry
The Aspiring Luddite