Friday, September 4, 2015

Fried Cupcake Squash

As much as I love all things fall, it's always disappointing to see the end of the gardening season. We still have a few things left, so we're savoring them as long as possible! Since the cupcake squash were a new addition this year, we're still looking for different ways to fix them. The other night as I was staring at them, I wondered if they could be fried like zucchini. I mean if you can fry oreos, Pepsi, green beans, and butter, why not cupcake squash?

While the oil was heating in my cast iron pan, I set up my assembly line of frying essentials.

First is the flour. I used whole wheat and seasoned it with Italian seasoning and salt. Next, a couple of eggs--scrambled. The last bowl is breadcrumbs. I used a mixture of panko and some of my random frozen bread crumbs. (Whenever we have bread or crackers that start go to stale, I run them through the food processor and add it to the bag in the freezer. Currently, there is a mixture of whole wheat rolls, rye bread, and multigrain crackers.)

And I cut up the squash. I sliced it, then cut the slices into quarters just to make the frying process easier.

When the oil was about 325 degrees, I dropped the coated pieces in. I used my smallest cast iron pan for this because I like to work in small batches and I think it keeps the oil at a more consistent temperature. About 3 minutes per side was perfect for these.

After each side gets a nice golden color, set them on the rack and add some finishing salt.

The cupcake squash really have two very distinct phases. When we first pick them, the seeds are still very soft and more like zucchini. But as they ripen, the seeds and the inner flesh become more like typical fall squash. The late/ripened squash are much better suited to scooping out the seeds before cooking. Fried cupcake squash really needs to be made with the earlier squash where the flesh and seeds are still very tender and juicy.