Sunday, May 22, 2011

Summer Squash and Goat Cheese Custard

I love how recipes are shared among people. I got this from my cousin who got it from a friend who got it from a magazine. If a recipe is given to you by someone else, you can generally trust it. If it's given to you by someone else and it involves yellow squash and goat cheese, you're safe to stop everything, get your ingredients together, and start cooking. Summer squash is a staple here in the South, and this is my favorite way to prepare it. Unlike most squash casseroles which involve entire sticks of butter, cups of cracker crumbs, and insane amounts of cheese, this dish is light and healthy. In fact, calculated on the current Weight Watchers program, this is just four points per serving. Oh, and this isn't a casserole... It's a custard.
(This is shown in the Mini-Baker from the Stoneware Collection.)

Summer Squash and Goat Cheese Custard

4 cups sliced yellow squash
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 oz. goat cheese
3 tbsp. butter
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. chopped fresh dill (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place squash and onion in a large saucepan in enough water to cover them. Cook over medium-high heat, covered, until the squash are tender, about 15 minutes. Strain well and mash slightly with potato masher. Add the goat cheese and butter while still hot, and stir until melted. Mix in the cornmeal, eggs, milk, sugar, salt, pepper, and dill. Pour into a small baking dish or 6 individual ramekins. Bake 40-45 minutes (35 for ramekins) or until golden brown on top.

Sometimes I find slicing vegetables to be relaxing, and I think the main reason is simply the knives I use. I'm head over heels for the Forged Cutlery Collection, and my favorite is the 5" Santoku. I'm measuring the squash into an Easy Read Measuring Cup, and everything is on the Large Cutting Board.

The Veggie Wedger is every bit as good as you'd hope. Line up whatever you want sliced, push the handles, and you've got beautiful, even pieces. Lemons, limes, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. It's awesome!

If you've followed my blog long, you know how I am about ingredient preparation. I think this is second only to having high-quality tools for turning cooking from something you have to do to something you anticipate. By setting everything out before you begin, you make sure you actually have everything (ever started a cake only to realize you're out of eggs?), and you make assembly quick and easy. Plus, let's just be honest - it looks cool to have all this stuff measured by the stove. Milk: Easy Read Measuring Cups. Goat cheese, salt and pepper: Pinch Bowls. Eggs: 2-Cup Prep Bowls. Sugar: Measuring Spoon Set. Cornmeal: Measuring Cup Set. All of these fun things, along with a hunk of butter, are laid out on the Cutting Board.

When the Pampered Chef unleashed the Mix 'n Chop on the world, consultants didn't know what we were in for. This thing immediately went on backorder because people went nuts! It's the most incredible tool ever for chopping sausage or ground beef while cooking, mashing potatoes, making guacamole, and preparing a squash/onion mixture for a fabulous custard. I don't know that there's anything it can't do. I'm using the 8-Qt. Stockpot from the Executive Cookware Collection here. I could go on and on about how great this cookware is, but I'll just say this: it's really good cookware you'll have for a lifetime.

Pour everything in the Mini-Baker, bake it for 45 minutes, and get ready to be amazed. Stoneware is the only thing I use when I cook in the oven, and you can see why. Even baking, no hard edges, a beautiful presentation, etc. The Mini-Baker is the perfect size for a can of cinnamon rolls, roasted new potatoes, and all those dip recipes you make for the Super Bowl.

Make this. Trust me, you will have no regrets. Unless you make it to share with people... then you might regret that you didn't keep the entire pan for yourself.

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