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Adapted from Cheryl & Bill Jamison’s American Home Cooking
Mr. Willey would agree with eighteenth-century naturalist John Bartram, who once pronounced a dish of boiled squash “poor entertainment.” If only Mr. Willey’s Irish mother had known of this summer squash soufflé-like casserole!
2 Yellow Crookneck Squash
1/2 cup sliced Sweet Peppers (optional)
3 Tbls. unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cups saltine or Ritz cracker crumbs
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 minced Jalapeno Pepper
2 Tbls. finely chopped Parsley leaves
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a medium baking dish, or two single-serving gratin dishes. Cut squash into 1/2-inch chunks. Place squash, and sweet peppers in a saucepan, barely cover with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium and cover. Cook about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft. Meanwhile, warm 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in onion and hot pepper and cook slowly until very soft and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl. Wipe out the skillet, return it to medium-low heat, and add to it the remaining tablespoon of butter. Stir in 1/4 cup of the cracker crumbs and cook briefly until the crumbs are golden. Scrape them onto a small plate and reserve them. Drain the squash mixture, mashing the vegetables just a bit. Spoon it into the mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of cracker crumbs, cheese and parsley. Stir in egg and spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish, or divide into the two gratin dishes. Correct seasoning with salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste. Scatter the toasted cracker crumbs over the top. Bake uncovered for about 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and lightly firm in the center. Serves two.