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Squash again (and again, and again … )


A couple of days ago, I sent a friend home with about eight pounds of squash and other garden vegetables (which he thoughtfully picked for himself in the brutal heat). He has been reporting on his use of the squash, and he made a great observation. That was that onions in his squash casserole was a kind of cliché. His squash casserole was very good, he said, but the onions reminded him of all the bad, runny squash he’s ever had.

I thought that was a brilliant insight. The trick is to look for different, unexpected flavors to go with squash. I’m still thinking about that, but while thinking about it I used tarragon.

A standard sauce at the abbey is what I call faux Bérnaise sauce. True Bérnaise, of course, is made with Hollandaise. I am very much out of practice with Hollandaise, and it’s a peck of trouble. Faux Bérnaise is much easier. I use it often for salmon. It’s astounding over mashed potatoes.

If possible, use a skillet that was just used to cook something else, so that there is some glaze and flavor in the pan. Deglaze the skillet with a little vinegar or lemon juice. Add some butter. When the butter is melted, add some cream. Stir it with a whisk and boil it gently until it thickens into a proper sauce. Add salt and pepper and a pinch of tarragon.

The squash in this dish I cooked according to the quick-sear method described in a post a few days ago. Stir the linguini, the squash, and the sauce together at the last second, just before serving.

I confess that I always have heavy cream in the refrigerator. Both Ken and I had our cholesterol checked a few months ago and it was excellent, so the heavy cream is not a problem if you otherwise eat sensibly.

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