Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Mac Squash with Bacon!

We are getting a lotta squash these days...not complaining, just gotta keep on top of it! I had some of the green striped Lebanese squash left from last week's SLO Veg delivery, and we got some more zucchini and yellow squash this week. So, Lee loves squash and he usually steams it and eats it with butter and salt--perfect! But I was also hankering for some mac and cheese. So I went in search of some inspiration...this link was it!

I put a pot of water on for the pasta. Luckily I had 5 strips of bacon in the frig. I started cooking it and also popped the squash into the oven to roast a bit. The squash was diced first: each squash was halved lengthwise, then quartered, then cut into smallish cubes, smaller than an inch, but not too small. I drizzled on the olive oil and crushed some rosemary on top, then sprinkled on the sea salt. Oven ready. I did all this while simultaneously watching The Voice and DVRing through the commercials. Thank you, I know, it is a talent. 

The roux took a little bit of my attention, so I had to replay Sasha Allen and Danielle Bradbery's performances to really appreciate them. I tried coconut flour as we are trying to move away from wheat gluten. The downfall of this recipe is that I used wheat pasta. First though, I put the pasta into the boiling water. It's a simple roux: bacon grease, brown the onions, stir in  2 tablespoons of flour, add milk a little bit at a time. Stir, stir, stir. The recipe that inspired me called for Provolone and Parmesan cheese, so this is where I deviated. In my frig I had a Cheddar-Jack blend. Going with that, I added about a cup of cheese, some dried Basil and Parsley and some Red Pepper Flakes. More of a Mac and Cheese flavored dish, right?
   When the pasta was "al dente", or halfway cooked as I like to think of it, I drained it and used the pot to mixed together the pasta, sauce, roasted squash...and voila! I had a kicking Mac Squash dish! I decided to use my little white ramekin boats so that I could bake mine before work tonight, and the boys could heat their's up whenever they wanted to eat dinner.

This is what I ended up with. The bacon really makes it, don't you think? There was a little bit left in the pot, so guess what? I just had lunch. : )


BTW, I eyeballed everything in this recipe. The measurements are approximate.

4 small summer squashes
Olive oil, 2 tablespoons
Rosemary, 1 tsp crushed
Bacon, about 5 strips
diced onion, about 1/2 cup
Coconut flour, 1/4 cup
Milk, 2 cups
Cheddar and Jack cheese, 1 generous cup
Basil and Parsley, 1 tsp dried
Red Pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp

Dice the squash into about 1 inch pieces and drizzle with olive oil and rosemary. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. 
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a hard boil as you also begin to cook the bacon until crisp. Put the bacon aside on paper towels. The water will probably be boiling now, so add the pasta to the water and season with some salt. Let that cook for about 8 minutes. 
Cook the onion in the bacon grease for a couple of minutes, then stir in the flour. When the onions are all coated, stir in about a half cup of milk. Stir until it is thick, then add another half cup of milk. Repeat until all the milk is used, then stir in the cheese and let it melt. Season with salt and pepper and spices. 
Drain the pasta and dump it back into the pot. Add the roasted squash, then stir in the cheese sauce. Put the mixture into a large greased casserole or some individual ramekins. Sprinkle with diced bacon bits. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until bubbling and just starting to show tinges of brown.
Call the boys and eat! A nice crispy green salad would make a perfect accompaniment too, but I don't know who will have time to fix that part. Maybe Lee???

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