Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Squash Gratin with Blue Corn Chip Crust


Our nitrogen-rich garden has been blowing up with yellow squash lately and it's been a fun challenge to find uses for all of the bounty. I came up with this super tasty squash gratin with a blue corn chip crust for dinner one night to cook off two of them and some other odd ends around the kitchen. It was better than I'd imagined. The crust was a guess that worked great.

In the spirit in which I'd conceived it, I've kept the recipe loosey-goosey so that you can adapt it for your own needs.

Ingredients:

2 Medium-large yellow summer squash, sliced across into discs. Zucchini works too, I'm sure.

1/2 Onion, coursely chopped

2 Carrots, cut across into discs

1 Cup each Manchego and Parmesan cheeses shaved fine with a microplane, or Parmesan and another cheese that you have around. Obviously, you can just grate the cheese if you're without a microplane but I liked the way that the fine grated cheese worked into the other ingredients.

1 Cup panko or other bread crumbs

1/2 Bag of blue corn chips

1 Egg, whisked together

2 Tablespoons olive oil to coat the casserole dish

Smoked paprika, oregano, cumin, fresh bas, minced garlic, and your favorite red pasta sauce or

Taco Sauce

You can use the red sauce as is, but I'd had some leftover from another meal that I then made into a fakey Mexican sauce to spice things up a bit. Any red, non-chunky sauce will do.

While you're getting all of that together, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Now it's time to put it together in your favorite casserole dish.


First layer? The crust. Take the blue corn chips and use clean hands to cover them with that whisked egg in a bowl. Then use them to cover the olive-oiled bottom of the casserole dish.


Next, mix the summer squash, carrots and onions and layer them on top of the chips, alternating with microplaned Manchego cheese, then red sauce, until you've nearly reached the top of the dish.


Then, sprinkle the panko and microplaned Parmesan over the top of it all and, when covered, sprinkle some smoked paprika around.

Lastly, put the dish into your 350 degree oven and bake until the top is golden brown.

Is there anything I might change next time? Well, I might squeeze some lemon juice over the vegetables as I layer them. Still, no regrets. It's a tasty dish.

Still have a ton of squash? They make great pickles, which also make great gifts.