Holy Smother of Christ

img_0727-242-x-300.jpgEarlier in the week I gave you guys a little tease for my smothered squash recipe. Now that the anticipation has reached a crescendo, I’m ready to spill my secrets. Sorry I couldn’t respond to all your emails individually on this one, but the interest was just too overwhelming.

As you know, I had some beautiful yellow crookneck squash lying around and needed an extra side for my red snapper, or whatever it was. I did some e-searching and stumbled upon the concept of smothering them. No, this isn’t Waffle House, so smothering doesn’t mean topping your hash browns with onions. Epicurious describes the technique as so:

Smothering is a Cajun cooking term that refers to browning anything from meat to vegetables in oil, then braising it in a small amount of liquid, tightly covered, until tender.

There are quite a few different takes on exactly how to smother out there. I went with a pretty simple technique that was quite delicious. As Ingrid Hoffman would say, Simply Delicioso. Recipe after the jump.

Cut your squash into 1/4 inch thick circles, and then cut those into semis.

Heat a skillet to medium-high heat, and add a solid layer of EVOO.

Add your squash, make sure each piece is touching the base of the pan. If you have too much, do this in batches.

Cook for about 10 minutes, until the lower side of the squash starts to brown, then flip and cook for about 5 minutes. At this point, both sides should have golden-brown circles on them, but the squash will still be firm.

Add 1/3 cup of water to the pan, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the cover and flip your squash once more. Recover and cook for another five.

The shocking result: squash that is both beautifully-golden brown and succulent and tender. Most amazingly, it is really sweet. No one could believe that I didn’t cook this in brown sugar or honey, but without adding a single extra ingredient, the smothering brings out all of the natural sugars of the squash. Who knew?

Expect to see lots more smothering of veggies, meats and who knows what else in the near future.

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  • 80 Proof August 16, 2007  

    Smothered Twinkies!

  • JoeHoya August 16, 2007  

    Personally, I’m holding out for “scattered,” “covered,” “chunked,” “diced,” “capped,” and “topped” squash.

    Or you could save yourself a lot of trouble and just go “all the way.”

  • 80 Proof August 16, 2007  

    When do you get to “crunk” the squash?

  • gansie August 16, 2007  

    I just don’t get how the squash doesn’t get too soggy with all of that water. Walk me thru this again.

  • BS August 16, 2007  

    It’s not all that water – that’s the idea – 1/3 cup is not much water in a big pan – dont use any more than that – since the pan is very hot it immediately starts simmering and steams – it’s kind of like you are steaming and frying them at the same time – they get tender but there is def no sogginess

  • MonkeyBoy August 19, 2007  

    I made these last night… awesome! Beyond the taste the great thing was how little work it was. Almost no prep, no spices, juices, marinades or anything. I was also grilling and it was great not to have to run in to stir every 30 secs; just the flipping every 5 to 10 mins.
    They say that BS is one bad smother…
    Shut your mouth!

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