Monday, December 27, 2010

Squash & Carrot Casserole

So, am I in violation of any copyright laws if I tell you this dish is really, really, really fricking "mmmm mmmm good"?

Same old story: I had some produce--squash, in this case--that needed to be thrown into a pot and cooked; I did an Internet search and found a recipe that would suffice on's "Southern Food" section. Suffice? Suffice? How about completely exceed my taste buds' expectations?

Seriously. The recipe I found was called "Summer Squash Casserole." If the title reminds you of my recent blogs' discussion of summer dishes versus winter dishes, keep in mind it's only called a "summer" casserole because the yellow squash it uses traditionally could not be stored until winter. In actuality, it's a very warm casserole that I think would best be served during a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

I only had two crookneck squash ready to cook, so I actually abridged all the ingredient amounts and made a "mini"-casserole, which I put in a 9" pie pan. I replaced the recipe's call for cream of chicken soup with a can of cream of celery soup, and added in 1/4 cup of sliced mushrooms. I actually upped the amount of butter and onion, and seasoned the filling with Italian seasoning, pepper, and a hint of garlic powder. The recipe also calls for just one half of a stuffing mix, but I used a whole box of Kraft's "Savory Herbs" Stovetop stuffing mix, and in my pie pan, it was a good amount. Also, I feel that any casserole is just naked without cheese, so I sprinkled sliced mozzarella on top of the last layer and then added grated Parmesan.

So after altering the recipe so drastically, did I regret it? Not at all. In fact, I can honestly say I wouldn't change a thing. I was curious as to what the uncooked stuffing mix would be like, and it was the perfect seasoned crust to a soft, gooey, warm casserole filling. I definitely almost ate half of this sweet dish in one sitting, after questioning if I'd even like it!

This is also, by the way, my favorite squash recipe to date. If I had to choose between this and the stuffed squash previously featured in this blog, I would hands-down choose squash and carrot casserole.

When making this, be generous with your seasoning, your grated carrots (seriously, they get muffled in the sauce), and add that cheese!! Mushrooms optional--I thought they tasted great, but, after looking on the Internet, I didn't find any other squash/carrot combo that featured mushrooms, so maybe those are just my own weird tastebuds...

Also, my apologies for how blurry the picture is. I took it on my phone, and didn't realize until after the casserole was 75% devoured that the camera hadn't been still enough to get a good shot! Guess it smelled too good for me to pause...

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