Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Would you be my neighbor? - Yellow Squash Soufflé

A beautiful day for a neighbor,
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
It's a neighborly day in this beautywood,
A neighborly day for a beauty,
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

That lovely house next to mine, fronting on Clyde Street, is for sale. My neighbors moved out so fast, it was like watching an episode of The Flash. People, lights, and vehicles zooming about at super-speed. The day after the cleaning crew left, the sign went up. I hope the move was for a happy reason, like a well-paying promotion, but I guess I'll never know. Yes, none of my business and all that. If you are looking for a home or office space in downtown Kissimmee, it's worth a look. Olde Kissimmee Realty.

Today was the day I set for myself to work on my disability paperwork, and I did, and most of it is headed to their intended recipients.  I did not go to pieces, or walk away, or scream amd beat my breast. There was a brief moment that I wanted to spit back snarky answers, but I got control while laughing and treated the forms like the serious matter they are.  Endless questions - but almost all of them were relevant.I took my time, answered truthfully, and while rereading it, was surprised how screwed up my life has gotten because of my illnesses. 

I did not cook - my back went out, and that is that - but nobody is starving here. I did not do any planting - same back problem, and besides, I need someone to take care of the 10-10-10 fertilizer - move a deceptively heavy bag, distribute it among the beds, and rake it in. Maybe I'll start tomorrow. Soon.

The squash soufflé was awesome! The only thing I would change is to increase the amount of squash I used. The original recipe called for 2 pounds, but I went forward with just the 1.5 pounds in the Green Giant package.  I would have liked that extra half pound to up the squash flavor. Despite that, it was delicious; the texture was exactly what I wanted.  Don't skip the steps separating the eggs and beating the whites, it makes a difference.

Yellow Squash Soufflé 

1 1/2 to 2 pounds yellow summer squash
2 tablespoons butter
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
24 Ritz crackers, crushed (I put them in a ziptop bag and use my hands to break them up)
1/2 pound grated cheese, Mexican blend (or cheddar)
4 extra-large eggs, separated
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
ground black pepper, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With butter flavor no-stick spray, coat an aluminum baking dish.

Cut the squash into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cook in boiling, salted water until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain. Purée with an immersion blended.  Drain again, using a fine mesh colander. Let it sit in the colander until ready to combine with the other ingredients.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add the olive oil to heat up. Add the onion, garlic, bell peppers, and jalapeño and cook until the onions are brown and tender.

Beat the egg whites with an electric beater until you have fairly stiff peaks (add a bit of cream of tartar during beating). Set aside. With the same beaters, mix the egg yolks for just a few seconds. With a wooden spoon, mix the squash purée, onions, peppers, garlic, cracker crumbs and cheese. Stir in the egg yolks, milk, sugar and seasonings. With a rubber spatula, fold in the beaten egg whites. Pour into the baking dish and bake until the top is lightly browned and the center firm, about 50 minutes.

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