I’ve previously claimed to not really like cauliflower but, you guys, I am SOLD!!! My fabulous mother in law brought a cauliflower gratin over for our Thanksgiving feast that I thought was really tasty. So I thought, why not kick it up a notch? I […]
I’ve been in full on “harvest” mode the past few weeks grabbing boxes full of fresh tomatoes from the farmers market and freezing homemade tomato sauce for future use. The scent of roasting squash has been wafting through my house while the kids cringe at the sight of me scooping and pureeing the squash after roasting as they know it’s going to end up snuck into some sort of delicious preparation. They had no idea that the baked mac and cheese I made last weekend had a whole cup of pureed squash and a good portion of carrot puree mixed into it (insert devilish laugh here at the expense of my unknowing children – mwhahaha!!). I’ve also been getting apples by the peck at the farmers market and dehydrating them into apple chips. So, so good!!! There’s been just a handful of summer squash left at the market so I picked up one last zucchini and a yellow squash. This time, my attempt at disguising squash bits in foods my kids will eat resulted in a summer squash taco skillet.
First, I peeled and seeded the summer squash and zucchini and chopped it into small cubes. Then I added it to a taco seasoned skillet of beef, onion and black beans and top with corn tortillas and cheese. A word to the wise, be sure you seed the squash well or you will end up with too much liquid in the skillet and will need to cook it down to evaporate. No one wants a soggy mess 🙂 Since it’s soon becoming winter squash season, this dish also works with winter squash such as acorn squash but you will need to pre-cook the squash first so it has time to get soft.
I love the flavor of corn tortillas but summer squash taco skillet can also be topped with flour tortillas if you prefer. For a non-mushy tortilla, lightly fry each tortilla on each side with a touch of olive oil in a pan. This helps the tortillas hold their shape and not absorb extra moisture. This trick also works when preparing corn tortillas for tacos or fajitas.
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 summer squash or zucchini peeled, seeded and finely diced
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can diced roasted tomatoes
- 3 teaspoons chili powder
- ¼ -1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- 4 corn tortillas (briefly fried in olive oil first)
- cheese (optional), chives, cilantro and diced tomatoes for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In an oven proof skillet (like cast iron), brown ground beef with onion and garlic until no longer pink.
- Add squash, beans, tomatoes and spices and cook until squash begins to soften.
- Lightly brush both sides of the tortillas and briefly fry each side in a small frying pan.
- Place tortillas on top of skillet mixture.
- Top with shredded cheese (optional), chives, and additional tomatoes.
- Bake 15 minutes until cheese is melted or tortillas are lightly crisped.
- Serve with chopped cilantro and sour cream if desired.
I’m here to convince you that you love squash. No really, you do. Mixed into the right recipes, even self proclaimed squash haters (me) don’t have a choice but to love it. This recipe is a perfect example. Squash and cheddar cheese fondue tastes just like a traditional cheese fondue but has the extra nutrient value of squash. It’s creamy just like traditional fondue as well. It’s incredible on any little dippers you have available… cut up veggies, fresh homemade artisan baguettes, meat sticks, or whatever else you come up with to dip into it or schmeer it on.
I made this recipe based on the traditional fondue and subbed out the traditional melty gruyere for squash. I used raw sharp cheddar for a little extra tang similar to using fontina or emmentaler or other semi-hard tangy cheeses. Raw sharp cheddar differs from the standard cheddar in that it’s made from raw milk. Don’t let this scare you. As long as you buy from a reputable source, it is still heat treated but not to full pasteurization temperatures and the aging process eliminates any other potential bacteria. Raw milk contains hundreds more beneficial probiotics and enzymes that create an incredible taste experience and is significantly better tolerated by people who are sensitive to dairy. Starting from raw milk makes sharp cheddar more lively, a little more intense and amazingly flavorful. You’d never know cheddar could be so unbelievably good! Anyway, enough about the cheese…
You can mix up the ingredients in a small bowl and heat until the cheese is melty, or you can mix it up in a small crockpot and stir as it melts to combine. Either serve warm in a small dish or keep it on a small crockpot on warm while you dip til your heart’s content.
- 2 cups shredded raw sharp cheddar (or combo of other tangy semi-hard cheeses)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup cooked and pureed squash (butternut or acorn work well)
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Mix ingredients together in small crockpot or bowl.
- Heat until melty and stir well to combine.
- Serve warm with a variety of dippers like veggies, meat sticks or baguette