This Thanksgiving weekend comes to a close, and I hope you and
your loved ones were able to celebrate in one way or another, the things you are
grateful for in your lives.
I wanted to share this yellow squash casserole that has been my contribution to the Thanksgiving meal we go to, for the past few years, and every year, it is a hit. I realize I probably should have posted this a week ago, but I figured this is a vegetable dish you can make for a family meal (makes great leftovers) or other holiday celebrations. When I discovered American cuisine, I really fell in love with casseroles, not unsimilar to the French gratins which are definitely a comfort food for me.
In French, the translation for the word “grateful” is “reconnaissant”,
which literally translates into “acknowledging” or “recognizing”. It’s an
interesting nuance, emphasizing that before you can be grateful for anything, you
must acknowledge it. It’s the process phase of gratitude, as opposed to the
result. That’s been on my mind lately, this
idea that life is nothing but process.
So I wanted to make some acknowledgements, simple, with no buts. No caveats. Just
some fundamentals I sometimes take for granted.
Today, I acknowledge…
that I am alive, my body functions, my heart beats, I can breathe,
I can walk, I can perceive the world with my five senses;
that I love;
that I am loved;
that I can take care of myself;
that I can feel and share joy;
that I can survive hardships and sorrow;
that I live and embrace my two cultures;
that I can learn and improve;
that I can express what I think, and how I feel;
that I can see beauty and feel awe;
that I can see ugliness, and move on;
that I can nurture;
that I can make things to nourish myself and the ones I love;
that I can share my journey here with you.
Two Cheese Squash Casserole
Inspired from Southern Living May 2004
Age for babies: 10-12 months as long as baby has had every ingredient previously.
Prep time: 25 mn
Cook time: 10 mn + 40 mn
4 lbs yellow squash, peeled and sliced
4 tbsp butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup + 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (I use whole wheat)
3/4 cup + 1/2 cup Pecorino cheese (may be substituted with Parmesan)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
8 oz of crème fraîche (or sour cream)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp garlic salt
Preheat the oven at 350°F. Grease a large baking dish with butter.
Boil a large pot of water and cook the squash in boiling water for 8-10 minutes, until just tender.
Drain the squash. Line a colander with a kitchen towel and put the squash in it, squeezing gently to drain the extra liquid. Let drain for 5 minutes.
In a large pot (I use a round Dutch oven), melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté 5 to 6 minutes until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in squash, 1 cup of breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Pecorino, the cheddar, chives, parsley, crème fraîche, salt, pepper and eggs, stirring every time you add one ingredient.
In a small sauce pan or in the microwave, melt 2 tbsp of butter. Stir together melted butter, 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup Pecorino and garlic salt. Sprinkle mixture over the top of the casserole.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden on top.