Monday, May 26, 2014

Grilled Shish Kebab & Yellow Cheddar Squash Casserole - Memorial Day Cookout!

Happy Memorial Day! Today was a busy day. I had planned to make Shish Kebab (both chicken and beef) with grilled red, yellow and green bell peppers and onions. My marinade was a simple combination of lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, minced garlic and fresh rosemary. For hubby and my sons, I made rice to go with their kebabs. I also made my Yellow Cheddar Squash Casserole. When I made it today, I made one little tweak to my recipe that made it even better. I always cook my squash in a little butter without any water and make sure to saute it until all the juices have evaporated so the casserole isn't soggy. I decided to make a little tweak to ensure it stays super rich and "non-liquidy" for everyone, just in case they don't cook off all the liquid as thoroughly as I do. It was a simple tweak and added even more flavor to the casserole. I added 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan to the "sauce mixture"...and there was no moisture whatsoever in the was rich, thick and delicious. In addition to the kebabs and squash casserole, I also grilled some Applegate nitrite/nitrate free hot dogs for the guys. I also had ground sirloin to make burgers with...but decided that it was just too much food, so I skipped the burgers. Our cookout almost got rained out because around 3:30, the sky opened up and we had monsoon rain, thunder, lightning and unbelievable gusting wind...a full fledged thunderstorm. It stormed for an hour or two but managed to clear up and the sun popped back out in time for us to grill. I'm not sure what we would have done if the rain didn't stop. I snapped a few photos of our dinner for you to see below. If you haven't tried my squash casserole yet...this is a perfect time to try it with yellow squash coming into season. I like this much better than macaroni and cheese! I've copied the recipe below and added my little Parmesan tweak. Enjoy!

Ready to be grilled...
Hot off the grill...
Ready to pop into the oven
Fresh out of the its golden brown cheesy glory

Yellow Cheddar Squash Casserole

6 cups yellow squash, sliced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Paprika, optional
Dash cayenne pepper, optional
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup blanched almond flour, divided
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk, half-n-half or cream
3 tablespoons sour cream, optional
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (powdery style)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large non-stick skillet, saute yellow squash and onion in 2-3 tablespoons of butter (do not add water).  Stir-fry until tender (cover for a bit, if necessary, to help cook it more quickly); transfer cooked squash and onions to a medium mixing bowl (drain off any juices).  In a separate bowl or glass measuring cup, beat eggs, milk, sour cream and Parmesan. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste; set aside. 

In a small bowl, mix 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese with 1/2 cup almond flour; toss with fork or spoon until well mixed.  Add the almond flour/cheese mixture to the bowl of squash; toss and combine well.  Pour beaten egg and milk mixture into squash mixture and combine.  

In a separate small bowl, place remaining 1/2 cup of almond flour and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.  Cut butter into the almond flour (like you do when you make the topping for a fruit crisp) with a pastry/dough blender.  Once butter is cut in and the mixture is crumbly, add remaining 1 cup of cheddar and cut into mixture with dough blender until crumbly. Pour squash mixture into a lightly greased baking or casserole dish; top with the flour/butter/cheddar crumb mixture and season with black pepper and paprika, if desired.   Bake in a 375 degree oven for approximately 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and done.

*Note: If all liquid hasn't cooked off the squash when it's done, I dump it into a colander and allow it to sit for a few minutes until all has drained off.



Unknown said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to go to a restaurant and get this kind of food? I think there definitely would be a market for it. But it would be so expensive to do it. Okay, so now you have two big projects ahead of you--publishing a cookbook and opening a restaurant. LOL Looks like you had a wonderful Memorial Day!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Loretta,

Yes, it would be awesome to be able to eat like this in a restaurant...but you are right, it would be more expensive and it probably wouldn't survive in most markets...but I'm sure there are some places in the country it might. Hahaha! Wow...doing a cookbook AND a restaurant would be quite a challenge! LOL Hope your Memorial Day was good! :-)

Jennifer said...

Can't wait to make this - looks delicious! can you tell me how long you marinated the meat, etc. for the shish kebabs? Did you marinate the veggies as well?
Thanks - love your recipes!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Jennifer,

I marinated the meat for 4 to 5 hours -- but you could easily marinate it longer if you wanted to (up to 8 hours or so). I did not marinate these veggies, simply brushed with olive oil before grilling -- but, I have marinated the veggies's just personal preference. The longer you marinate the meat, the more tender and flavorful it becomes! Hope you enjoy it :-)

Ken said...

I must again, say you rock my food world Mrs. GGC! Do you like your new name? Thank you for showing exactly how to line us the skewers for the grill. This has always been a major challenge to me. Don't ask why. Mine look like a toddler did them with playdough. We are getting a new grill shortly, so I am super excited to make this. Just wanted to tell you that this blog is absolutely changing lives. I tell everyone I know to subscribe!

Anonymous said...

We LOVE the yellow squash casserole!!! Had it tonight with Aidell's Roasted garlic and gruyere cheese sausages. YUM!


Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Lee,

So glad you like this casserole! The sausages sound great, too -- I love Aidells -- haven't tried those yet. I'll have to look for them.

Glad you are enjoying the casserole! Thanks for letting me know! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Ken,

Thanks so much! I am thrilled that you enjoy my blog and hope that it helps inspire others and give them hope that eating grain free is not about deprivation...its about eating extremely well with lots of variety. I'm so happy you are enjoying it. Hope you enjoy your new grill, too, when you get it. :-)

Unknown said...

Hi I was wondering what the significance of the sour cream is? I am out and am wondering if its worth running to the store to grab some. I love sour cream in general but I see you have it as *optional in the recipe. Thanks!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Stephanie,

Sorry I'm just seeing your message now. Yes, it is optional -- it just adds a little creaminess but is definitely NOT necessary. I've made it both with and without. If you don't have it, I wouldn't go out to purchase it separately. I like the flavor of sour cream, too...but it isn't something that is significant enough to make a special trip for. :-)

Anonymous said...

Have a question about this recipe.
How thick did you make the squash slices? And what type of yellow squash are you using? Patty pans,
zucchini or something else?
Our squash comes out a bit later in the state that I live in, probably in August or so for the ones mentioned above. The winter ones (like acorn)come in September.
This looks great, & I can't wait to try this one out. Thank you for posting this one.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Anonymous,

I cut the squash into 1/4-inch slices. If the squash is larger on one end, you can cut it in half lengthwise before slicing. I use yellow summer or crookneck squash -- here's a link to a photo of the type of squash from a seed company. It is plentiful here during the summer and available a good part of the year as well. It's sometimes referred to as summer squash. Hope that helps! I hope you enjoy it. Thanks! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Woops...forgot the link to the squash photo -- here you go!

Unknown said...

Could this be done with zucchini? We are starting this adventure of changing our lifestyle and I am trying to get a few recipes built up. We always have an over abundance of zucchini in the summer and would like a new recipe to use those in.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Sandra,

I've never tried it with zucchini but don't see why it wouldn't work just fine. Let me know how it turns out if you make it with zucchini! :-)

Debbie said...

Hi there! I'm new to your site, but am having the time of my life drooling over all your fabulous recipes that I can't wait to try!! Just a quick question about the yellow squash casserole...what size dish did you use? I'm looking forward to all the squash this summer will bring and all the new ways I can prepare it. Thanks so much for sharing all this yumminess and for all your hard work!!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Debbie,

Welcome! I usually use a 1-1/2 or 2 quart casserole. I've found it turns out best more spread out in a more shallow type casserole rather than in a deeper style casserole because it cooks more evenly through the center. I have been looking for nice looking yellow squash the past couple of weeks and have yet to find any worth buying. Since it's just about season for it, I'm sure it will be found in abundance soon. I hope you enjoy it. :-)

Cammie said...

I had so much fun making this casserole! Made a half recipe because I only had 3 yellow squash left on the plant. But forgot I was making half and used the entire half onion. The result was quite savory and we loved it. Also used a little more than half butter and cheese. Also added a little thinly sliced orange rampicante squash (like a very dense butternut) from the garden which added to the sweetness. Cooked it in a glass pie pan and it was absolutely fabulous! It was my third time making it and the best by far. It was also wonderful leftover for breakfast.

I have tried it before with zucchini, and it was ok, but I think it needs the sweetness of yellow squash (as well as the sturdiness) to work best with the sharp cheddar. Maybe with zucchini one would want to add Italian or French blend herbs and a tangy cheese? Or ???

My Southern grandmother used to make something very similar to this. Sometimes for Sunday dinner she would use the crookneck squash, scoop out the innards, make the casserole mix and stuff it into the cavity of the squash and cover it with more cheese! It was delish and also very pretty. I love being able to have this dish again! Thanks so much.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Cammie,

Your additions and tweaks sound delicious! It's amazing how similar it tastes to the original version (that used Ritz crackers), isn't it? I'm with you on the zucchini. I think modifying the cheeses and herbs would work better than the cheddar. Your grandmother's version sounds awesome too and I bet it was a beautiful dish prepared that way. I've never seen it made like that before. So happy you are enjoying it. :-)