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Yellow squash, zucchini, onions -- Three Caballeros

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POSTED: July 17, 2013 7:30 p.m.
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It's the time of year when yellow squash is coming in in abundance.

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My first paying job was picking pumpkin squash in a farmer’s field for 2 1/2 hot summer days. I probably was about 10 years old. Daddy and Papa both had given me various non-paid tasks since I was 4, but I made $1 a day working for this farmer!
I never learned to like pumpkin squash, though, and I never learned to enjoy hard-labor jobs during Georgia’s hot, humid summers. But I did learn to love yellow squash and zucchini — which also is a squash — especially when they’re sautéed together with chopped green onions and two strips of bacon in a skillet. These three veggies go so well together, it’s as if they had the same mama or, at the very least, they would have to be the closest of friends, like Disney’s Three Caballeros.
I’ve tried a number of squash recipes; for the most part, they’re all good. My mother-in-law fixes a great yellow-squash casserole. Other than squash and onions, though, I don’t know what she puts in it.
I can’t go to Kobe’s Japanese Steakhouse or Seasons of Japan without ordering extra zucchini and onions to mix with my fried rice and white sauce.
Even when only two of the trio are cooked together, they make a delicious combination. When all three are cooked together, though, they’re beyond delicious! They’re the perfect side dish with fried chicken, country-fried steak, grilled pork chops or roast beef. In fact, my wife’s fried squash often takes the place of a mess of greens.
The best recipe that brings together this combination of flavors is one she put together during the past 35 years. My mama makes her squash somewhat similar to my wife’s version, but her ratio of yellow squash to zucchini is much lower than my wife’s, and she sometimes uses fewer green onions. She does add more bacon, though, which is fine with me.
From what I can gather by watching her make it, this is my wife’s recipe for yellow squash, zucchini and green onions:
3 or 4 crooked-neck yellow squash
3 or 4 zucchini
5 or 6 green onions
2 strips of bacon
Salt and pepper.
After washing her veggies, she slices the yellow squash and zucchini into thin slices, and then she chops the green onions into half-inch strips. She cuts the two strips of bacon down the middle and cuts them into 1-inch strips.
Simmer the bacon in the skillet until it’s done. Stir it around to keep it from sticking. When it’s done, first add the onions, then the yellow squash and zucchini.
Turn the burner down a bit and allow the mixture to fry together slowly. Add salt and pepper a little at a time, tasting the combined veggies as they start to soften. When I’m served mine with my fried chicken, or whatever is the main meal, I usually add even more salt and pepper — especially pepper.
By the way, you’ll want to serve it as soon as it’s done. Otherwise, it may turn mushy. I suppose it probably wouldn’t be good as leftovers, but we’ve never had any become leftovers, so I wouldn’t know.
I realize there are people, like my pastor, who don’t feel the same way about squash as I do. But that’s okay, I forgive them. Besides, I suspect they probably eat stuff I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot fork.
The fact that they don’t like yellow squash, zucchini and green onions also means it’s likely that they haven’t tried my wife’s recipe. Rather than embarrass her by showcasing her family recipe at a church social or some other outing, I offer it to those willing to find out what they’ve been missing.

Contact Murray at rmurray@coastalcourier.com.

 

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