Monday, August 12, 2013

Smothered Summer Squash and Onions

Young, tender, yellow summer squash, prepared simple and basic. Sweet Vidalia onion and bell pepper is first sauteed in bacon drippings and butter, the squash is added, and slowly smothered down.

Smothered Summer Squash and Onions

Yellow squash is plentiful in our Southern summers and this is pretty much my top favorite way to enjoy it. It's the same basic way many of our other favorite squash recipes begin anyway, from creamed squash to squash dressing and casseroles, though it sure stands pretty well all on its own too.

I start mine off with a little bit of bacon drippings and butter, always some sweet Vidalia onion and sometimes a little sweet bell pepper, then let it all simmer covered, over low heat, until tender. I finish it with just a little more butter, some simple seasonings and when I have them, some fresh garden herbs are nice too.

The key is not to let the squash boil, but to allow it to low simmer, so that it still retains its shape and color and the flavor of the squash shines through. If you prefer it more stewed down, cook it longer, mashing some of the squash as you occasionally stir it.

If you don't save bacon drippings, you should! There are many ways to use the drippings to add a load of natural flavor when you're cooking. If you have to cook off some bacon to get some drippings though, chop it up and leave it in the skillet along with the drippings to smother down with the squash, or remove the cooked bacon and add it at the end to the finished dish. Either way, you just can't go wrong adding in some bacon, though you can certainly just increase the butter too.

While you can't beat the added boost of flavor provided by butter and bacon drippings, you may certainly lighten this classic dish up by using olive oil for sauteing and substitute chicken broth for cooking instead. I hope that you'll try it my way at least once though. Here's how to make it.

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Recipe: Smothered Summer Squash and Onions

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 20 min | Yield: About 4 servings

  • 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings
  • 3 tablespoons of salted butter, divided, or to taste
  • 1 cup of chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped sweet green bell pepper, optional
  • 2 pounds of yellow summer squash, chopped or halved and sliced
  • Pinch of granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper and Cajun seasoning, to taste
  • Chopped fresh herbs, optional, to taste

Melt the bacon fat and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large lidded pot or deep skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes until tender. Add the chopped squash and sugar, toss to coat, cover and cook over low heat for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender, stirring several times.

Taste, season as needed with salt, black pepper and Cajun seasonings. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and toss in fresh herbs if using. Stir and serve in small bowls, along with some of the simmering liquid.

Cook's Notes: For 2 pounds of squash you'll need about 4 to 6 medium sized squash or about 5 cups chopped. May also use a mixture of yellow and zucchini squash if you like. If you have a little V-8 juice in the house, add in about 1/4 cup with the squash and seasonings. If using dried herbs add those in earlier. Pass freshly grated Parmesan cheese at the table. May also use this recipe for pattypan squash; just cook it a little longer.


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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

Summer Squash Dressing
Old Fashioned Creamed Squash
Summer Squash Casserole
Stuffed Summer Squash

Posted by on August 12, 2013
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  1. Bacon drippings! That's just what squash needs!

    1. Hey Pam! Nice to see you & yes, I'd have to agree with that one!!

    2. My family & I love squash.
      This is the best I've cooked by far .....
      YUMMY !

    3. Aw, thanks so much Joyce! I'm so glad y'all enjoyed it!!

  2. Simple, summer side for supper!

    Linda @ Tumbleweed Contessa

  3. Crumbled bacon on top works as

  4. This reminds me of summers on my grandmother's farm.

  5. I have grown the summer green squashes. I think it is called patti pan squash. We grew up calling them flying saucers. The small ones are so tender and wonderful, but unnoticed they become gigantic. These are the ones I cut up and cook as in this recipe. I'm going to try it with the yellow squashes. I'm sure it will be just as good. I also like the yellow squashes creamed as you mentioned.

    1. They are patty pan! I don't know why you don't see them so much anymore - guess folks quit growing them - but they are an excellent summer squash too. They do look a bit like flying saucers don't they?!

  6. This is one of my wife’s favorites. However, I’ve always made it with an Italian flair and never made it with bacon drippings and Cajun seasonings: That I have to try. Thank you.
    I usually make this as a side dish and then use the leftovers tossed with sliced, cooked, Italian sausage, and then tossed over pasta. This sounds like it would be great with country sausage and mashed potatoes. I’m getting’ hungry and I’m on a mission.
    Thank you. God bless.

  7. Thought I was the only one who added bell pepper to my squash, Mary. Have you ever added fresh corn, off the cob and scraped, to yours? It's another taste dimension to the squash and so good. When fresh is not an option, I use canned creamed corn. Hope you try it.

    1. Oh I could add fresh corn to just about anything but I am really liking that idea of creamed corn added to squash - thanks for the tip!!

    2. Creamed corn in squash does not sound very good.

    3. I think you'd be surprised Christina! I have an old recipe for creamed squash on here - it's actually linked in the recipe post text above. Anyway, the texture and taste are very similar to cream corn and it is divine! You never know till you try something.

  8. Sounds like my kind od dish! I always have bacon drippings in my fridge, great when frying up potatoes with onions!

    1. I added crumbled bacon since I had to cook it up to get some drippings. Delicious meal! We like spice in our family so we also were generous with the Cajun season.

  9. I love this recipe. Even my husband who does not like squash, loved it as well.

  10. I love this recipe. Even my husband who does not like squash, loved it as well.

    1. Oh wow - wish I could get mine to try it. He's not big on veggies at all. So glad to hear y'all enjoyed it though!

  11. Love love it!!! My husband really enjoyed it!! Will make it again an probably again lol!!❤

  12. Love love it!!! My husband really enjoyed it!! Will make it again an probably again lol!!❤

  13. My Mom use to make something similar but she added sliced or shredded cabbage. Never any left overs no matter how much she made. Just Squash, Cabbage, and Onions; she then creamed them as she called it. Delicious. My kids like to add Parmesan Cheese but they add that to everything.


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