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Anyone who has had a garden with squash in it knows how fast those suckers can grow. And how many each plant will give you. And that would be a lot! So I’m always looking for different ways to prepare it, and this recipe for Cornmeal Crusted Fried Squash is one of our family favorites.
This recipe can be made with any summer squash, zucchini, yellow, crookneck. All you need to be able to do is slice it into nice slices for coating. After slicing I dip it into some buttermilk (you could also use yogurt thinned with a bit of water or even some beaten egg whites) and then into the seasoned cornmeal. I love the crisp crunchy outside the cornmeal delivers and it keeps it gluten-free. If you wanted to, you could use breadcrumbs, or even a combo of the two. And the seasonings in the cornmeal can easily be changed. In this recipe, I went with Italian seasonings since I was serving it with an Italian style meal, but you could make it with Cajun spices (garlic powder, cayenne, onion powder, paprika, some oregano and thyme) or even Indian spices (such as turmeric, garam masala, cumin, coriander, paprika, maybe even a little cinnamon?) to add a different flavor that will complement your dinner and satisfy your taste buds.
A cup of squash typically has about 18 calories, with .2g fat. I’m going to say these have slightly more than that, but less than any nutritional info I could find on-line which was about 318 calories and 15g fat. All of those recipes were based on fast food fried squash, battered up with batter and deep fried. While these are fried, when I poured the cooking oil back into a measuring cup, almost all of it came back. (Remember that old Wesson commercial?) The secret to crisp, non-oily fried squash is to make sure the oil is hot before adding the squash, about 375 degrees F. and then, don’t mess with them while they cook, except to flip them one time. Messing with them causes the coating to fall off and that allows the oil to get inside and soak the vegetable.
So, be patient, watch for the edges to turn brown, and when they are browned and crisp on one side, use some tongs or a fork (or chopsticks if you are good with them) and gently flip them to cook the other side. Once cooked, remove to a cooling rack to drain.
Do not put them on paper towels or paper bags or anything like that or the nice crisp coating you’ve worked so hard to get will just get all soggy.
I don’t like soggy so much.
I served these with some warmed marinara sauce for dipping. They were delish!
So let’s make some crispy Cornmeal Crusted Fried Squash!
Place the buttermilk in on shallow bowl and the cornmeal in another. Add some salt, pepper and the spices to the cornmeal bowl and mix well.Dip the squash slice into the buttermilk, coating both sides, then drop into the cornmeal, turn to coat both sides. Remove to a cooling rack while you finish coating all the pieces. (to keep your fingers from getting all gloppy, use one hand to dip in the buttermilk and the other hand to coat with the cornmeal).
While you are coating the squash, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, or in an electric frying pan (easiest way to control the temperature) to about 375°F. When hot add the pieces of coated squash, (in batches as necessary, do not crowd the pan) to the pan, be careful not to splash, and allow to cook until lightly browned and crisp. Turn and cook the other side. Remove as they are cooked to the cooling rack to drain. Serve immediately.
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