Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Tearsheets | Media Kit | All Access E-Edition | Routes | Home RSS
 
 
 

Stuffed patty pan

October 4, 2012
By YVONA FAST , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

As summer drew to and end and frost required us to bring in the squash, a couple of large specimens of patty pan emerged from under the dense leaves. So I decided to stuff them.

The patty-pan summer squash is less popular than zucchini and is sometimes ignored by cooks, but young, small, saucer-shaped yellow, orange, green or white scalloped squashes have a firm, moist, cream-colored flesh and a refined flavor that's slightly sweeter and denser than zucchini. Patty pans are disk-shaped, convex on both sides with a scalloped border, giving them the appearance of a plate or a flying saucer - an odd, fun, UFO shape kids find fascinating.

Like other summer squash, the patty pan is 90 percent or more water, making it a low-density food with few calories (20 in a half-cup serving). It is a good source of vitamins A and E and niacin, and the minerals magnesium, copper and iron. It also contains various antioxidants, including lutein.

Article Photos

A quarter of a vegetarian stuffed patty pan, served with potatoes
(Photo — Yvona Fast)

All squashes are native to the Western Hemisphere, tracing their origins to Central America. They sustained Indians as far back as 7,000 years ago. In Mexico, they're still a major part of the diet, along with corn and beans. They were also a mainstay of early colonists, who quickly learned to eat the delicious squashes from the Indians. The name "patty pan" comes from French "patisson," and is derived from a Provencal word for a cake made in a scalloped mold.

Young, tender squash that haven't developed seeds are great stir-fried, sauteed or even raw in salads. But when they get large, stuffing is the best way to use them. Stuffing is an elegant way to prepare the large, scalloped squash. Cooking in an edible container adds appeal, and the vessel keeps the filling moist and flavorful. In the same amount of time that it takes to prepare a casserole or simmer a stew, you can create a meal fancy enough for guests. Add a tossed salad, fresh crusty bread and perhaps a glass of wine, and dinner is ready to serve! And these delectable stuffed treats can be made ahead or even frozen for quick winter meals.

The stuffing gives creative cooks a world of possibilities. It can be sweet or savory, mild or spicy, vegetarian or made with meat. Grains, potatoes, bread or beans make an excellent base. Add herbs and spices and sauteed vegetables like onions, mushrooms, celery or peppers for flavor. Add sausage, ground meat, eggs, cheese, tofu or tempeh for protein to make a complete meal. Nuts and seeds or fresh and dried fruit can add texture, flavor and nourishment. Almost any leftovers can become stuffing: I've used leftover spaghetti, fried rice or mashed potatoes with cheese.

Summer squashes are fairly interchangeable, so you can stuff a zucchini or crookneck squash in place of the scalloped patty pan, if that is what you have available. The differences in flavor and texture are subtle.

---

Patty Pan with Sausage and Grain

-

Ingredients:

1 large patty pan

1/2 cup grain (rice or barley - I used amaranth)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound breakfast sausage

1 large onion

2 cloves garlic

3 or 4 baby bella or other mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup diced tomatoes or tomato sauce

For topping: 1 to 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese and 1 to 2 tablespoons fine bread crumbs

-

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add whole patty pan squash, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain, cool until ready to handle, and cut horizontally in half through the center. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Carefully cut out some of the flesh around the seeds, and dice.

In a small saucepan, place half a cup of rice or other grain, salt and 1 cup broth or water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer, and cook until water is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. (This depends on the grain you use.)

Add sausage to the skillet, and cook to brown and render fat. Peel and dice the onion. Add. Sprinkle with salt. Chop mushrooms and add. Peel and mince the garlic, add, and cook for a couple more minutes. Onions should be translucent, sausage browned. Add tomatoes and flesh you cut from the squash, and cook a couple of minutes longer.

Stir in cooked grain.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place squash halves in 2 oiled round casseroles that fit the squash. Pile the stuffing in the cavity - it's OK if it piles up. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bread crumbs. Bake about 45 minutes, until squash is tender when pierced with a fork and top is nicely browned.

Serves 4. Serve with a salad of fresh, tossed greens and tomatoes.

---

Vegetarian Stuffed Patty Pan

-

Ingredients:

1 large patty pan

2 teaspoons paprika

1 tablespoon butter

1 large onion (about 1 cup, finely minced)

1 teaspoon salt

3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 handful arugula greens (about 1 cup, chopped) - can use chopped spinach instead if you don't have arugula

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup cottage cheese

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley

2 tablespoons fresh minced dill weed

1 tablespoon flour

1 1/2 cup cooked white beans (1 can)

-

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add whole patty pan squash, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain, cool until ready to handle, and cut in half horizontally through the center. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Carefully cut out some of the flesh around the seeds, and dice. Sprinkle each half with 1 teaspoon of paprika.

Melt butter in skillet. Add onion, sprinkle with salt, and cook on medium low for 5 to 7 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, diced squash and chopped arugula, and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer, until greens barely wilt.

In large bowl, beat eggs. Beat in cottage cheese; stir in feta cheese, herbs, beans and contents of skillet.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place squash halves in two oiled, round casseroles that fit the squash. Pile the stuffing in the cavity - it's OK if it piles up. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bread crumbs. Bake about 45 minutes, until squash is tender when pierced with a fork and top is nicely browned.

Serves 4. Serve with potatoes and a side salad.

---

Yvona Fast lives in Lake Clear and has two passions: cooking and writing. She can be reached at .www.wordsaremyworld.com.

 
 
 

 

I am looking for:
in:
News, Blogs & Events Web