July 16, 2009

a southern summer staple

If you've ever eaten a full meal at a Southern table during the summer, chances are good that you ate some homegrown squash. In my family, chances are good that the squash in question was fried.


I first remember eating fried squash at my grandma's house, along with a plethora of other things--cornbread, green beans, peas and dumplins, either mashed potaters or taters in white sauce, and corn on the cob, to name a few. The method is simple but a bit time-consuming, especially when you consider all the other things going on simultaneously in and around the oven.


No one ever left the table hungry, that's for darn tootin'.

Fried Squash
(as taught to me by my grandma and ma)

2-3 yellow summer squasherinos
1 egg, beaten in a bowl
1/2 cup cornmeal, possibly more
salt and pepper
butter

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and melt a tablespoon or so of butter until it sizzles.
Cut the squash into approximately 1/4" thick slices. Dunk each slice in the egg mixture and then dredge it in cornmeal. Place carefully in the heated pan, add salt and pepper, and fry until brown. Flip to fry the other side, add salt and pepper, and apply more butter as needed--you must never get a dry pan. After both sides have browned, remove to a plate lined with a napkin or paper towel to drain. Eat as soon as possible.

87 comments:

Lori said...

I tried to make green tomatoes this way a few years ago but it so did not look like yours. I will try again with squash- darn tootin'

You kill me!

Albany Jane said...

Oooh, I love cornmeal coated squash. The textures are just great - you've got a soft and tender squash, and some nice crunch and grit from the meal. Yummmmmmm

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Oooh one of your Nanna and Mamma's recipes! Psst we're doing a book called Secret Nanna recipes. Would you consider putting this in it? It sounds wonderbubble! :D

Zoe said...

I just fried green tomatoes but squash sounds good fried too! Actually, what isn't good fried, ya know?? Yours looks perfectly golden and delicious.

oneordinaryday said...

Mmm. Coated w/ cornmeal... sounds divine! And looks perfect too. Nicely done and kudos to your grandma and mama!
~Michelle

BigSis said...

That brings back memories of my Grandmama's cooking. She did the taters in white sauce (haven't thought of those in years), and sometimes the green beans with new potatoes mixed in, crispy fried okra that was almost burned, and blackeyed peas with snaps. And each meal was always served with a stack of white bread on a saucer!

Melleah said...

Those look so good!

sliceofsueshe said...

Yum yum yum. Along with the bag of peppers we also got some ginormous squash. Hubby's favorite thing is fried squash. I use my mandolin and slice them potato chip thin then fry them. Sooooo good.

ovenhaven said...

I've never heard of fried squash before, but anything along the lines of fritters would definitely fit in my household!

Jacque said...

We always had fried zucchini slices... same idea, except the breading always fell off.

Yours look absoluteley perfect! and delish!

Sharon said...

I feel like my childhood must not have been the same...I've never been graced with homegrown squash. I'm making this asap!

ButterYum said...

Perfect timing on this post... a friend just gave me a bunch of squasharinos :).

OhioMom said...

...and I just knew this was going to be about "sweet tea" :)

Yep, fried squash in the summer was served frequently in our home, my southern father had my mom fix all his favorites.

Pam said...

I've never had fried squash but I KNOW I would LOVE it. Great photos Grace.

doggybloggy said...

one of my favorites and it totally brings back summer memories - in fact you have inspired me so much I am making some today - but I will layer mine in a lasagna - another favorite.

Megan said...

I don't think I've ever had fried squash (just zucchini among tempura veggies), and I'm not sure why... it sounds right up my alley. Your pictures look beautiful. There has been tons of squash at the farmers' market... I think I need to pick some up next time I go!

Barbara said...

As usual, your photos are mouth-watering! I adore fried squash- had it often as a child- we always had squash growing in our garden. I fry zucchini a lot but for some reason have never tried it with the yellow or with cornmeal. Yum.

Helene said...

Wow, looks so good, I've never seen this before. I would love to try.

foodcreate said...

Delicious fried squash healthy will give it try:)

Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe:)


Welcome~~~
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Have a wonderful Day ~~~

Marjie said...

I always saute mine in butter with lots of pepper. I just love summer squash, a statement which earns me some very odd looks. It's nice that you have such happy childhood food memories!

♥Rosie♥ said...

Grace I would love to sample homemade southern American food. I have read about great recipes in some of my cookbooks. Thank you for sharing recipes that hopefully I can try to recreate in England and do them justice.

Aleta said...

Squash! OH YEAH! Now you're talkin! I LOVE squash! Never fried it, will give it a try. I came up with a recipe all my own (yes, me).. saute onions on the side... cook down the squash in boiling water. Drain the squash, add the sauted onions and top it with parm. cheese - oh yummmm...

Daniel B. said...

Fried in butter. Drool. Butter.

I thought this was going to be just another decadent deep fried southern treat.

Wasn't expecting the butter.
Sounds so good.
No way my wife will let me make it.

Marta said...

Well, I've never enjoyed a southern meal like you describe... and now I feel like I'm missing out on the most delicious of feasts! This dish seems to complement the array you described quite well. It looks delicious!!!

Chef Jeena said...

So delicious Grace really delicious.

The Blonde Duck said...

I do adore fried squash.

Eve said...

This recipe excited me so much not only because I love squash but also because I have a huge bag of cornmeal I have been looking to use! Thanks :)

Maria said...

Never tried fixing it like that. Looks good!

haleysuzanne said...

Fried squash.....a staple in my Grandma's household, as well! I love seeing different recipes for basics like this - every Grandma has her special technique. We cut ours into lengthwise and coat it with a 1/2 and 1/2 blend of cornmeal and flour. I could go for some right now - either way!

Ingrid said...

Fried squash? Yum! Also, good roasted with some butter and garlic! :)
~ingrid

foodhoe said...

I'm hungry and that sounds decadent and delicious! I have a few squasherinos in the fridge... can that be breakfast with eggs?

Gloria said...

Grace look absolutely yummy!!!! love it!! hey How are your pussy cats??? are lovely I think !! xoxox Gloria

Finsmom said...

This sounds incredible! How tasty!

Donna-FFW said...

I am loving, loving the sound of this. I would like to dip it in some ranch and chow down baby!

Kate said...

I have never thought to batter squash and fry it. It does look delicious!

Lynda said...

Oh yea, I love fried yellow squash, Grace- it's one of my fondest food memories from childhood! My mother always rolled it in cracker crumbs, but bet it's equally yummy in cornmeal!I have to make it at least once every summer... used to do it much more often. Thanks for the memories!

♥peachkins♥ said...

This is the first time I've heard of fried squash and it sounds wonderful.I'm going to try this recipe. Thanks!

Rebeca @All Vegged Out said...

Classic make something healthy into something not so healthy... but this would be soooo worth it :D

Jackie at PhamFatale.com said...

Great fried food! I love the addition of the cornmeal, I'm sure it adds a nice crunch

pigpigscorner said...

Coated with cornmeal and fried! The texture must be wonderful! yum yum!

Amy said...

Mmmm, yum! My garden is producing these babies in big numbers:) We like ours on the grill too...or fry them up with onions, green peppers, fresh mushrooms, and venison sausage:)

kat said...

Oh I bet those are tasty with the cornmeal breading

LilSis said...

Our Grandmama made a lot of fried okra, instead of squash, but basically used the same method with the cornmeal. I love fried green tomatoes this way.

Sophie said...

I've never had fried squash! I get so bored with my daily veggie mix, I think I'll try this over the weekend. Another awesome way to use cornmeal, I love that stuff :D.

lisa said...

The meal you describe sounds perfect! And, your squash sounds incredible browned in butter. I want some for dinner!

The Momma said...

Oh my... That looks so tasty!

Deborah said...

I have SO much squash coming out of my garden right now - you can bet I'll be trying this!

Laura said...

Oh yeah. I know this is awesome. YUM. I should have been a southerner.

Peter M said...

Is this one of those "make ya wanna slap grandma" kinda' recipes? It looks that way...golden & crispy.

Bellini Valli said...

I would never have "thunk" to venture into frying squash...thanks for the inspiration t try something new:D

Bridgett said...

I would definitely take the fried squash over fried green tomatoes any day. This sounds fantastic and nowhere near being all that healthy. How can you beat that??

Elra said...

Good grace, that look so good. I love fried anything in general, but fried squash sounds so tempting.

alexandra said...

Why are fried foods so damn good? These definitely look worth the effort. Yum!

Amanda @ Mrs.W's Kitchen said...

Nice! You've got my mouth watering for squash now...

I remember some of my favorite meals in the south--and most of them were with either fried squash, green tomatoes or okra (from the garden, of course), pintos, cornbread, boiled potatoes and hot dogs. I don't know why the hot dogs, but it was so good all together on a plate. Simple pleasures.

kimberleyblue said...

well, i've never even heard of this - much less tried it - but then again, i live waaay up north. :)

it sounds fantastically delicious. gotta head down south, it seems.

Sophie said...

Hello Grace,

I just gave you 2 awards! Come on over & please pick them up!

KJ said...

I'm not sure what squash is exactly. I always thought it was like pumpkin. I've never thought to deep fry pumpkin.

And I love your little kittehs. So gorgeous!!!!

Leslie said...

"darn tootin" lol lol!
Deep fried anything...yes please!

LyB said...

I have so been missing out, I've never had fried squash! It looks delicious, I'll have to try making some very soon. :)

Dorothy said...

ooh fried squash is yummy! though, i always have it as tempura. is there a difference??

Indigo said...

I have a business proposition for you, okay? You come round to my kitchen, I'll give you free reign of my fridge, and you fry its entire contents in butter. How does that sound? Cause I just can't see a downside, at the moment.

Louise at Livin Local said...

Oh, the tease of simplicity! Never having been able to master this art, I take advantage of really good fried veggies when eating out. But boy do I appreciate them!

Abby said...

Fried okra and squash were some of my favorite childhood foods. Shoot, they still ARE some of my fave foods. One of my first kitchen tasks was being the one to watch the squash frying in the pan and flip it when it was time. I spent a lot of time in front of that stove!

Glenda said...

I'm going to try your recipe, it looks good! I once tasted this dish made of fried squash - it had a sauce made of salted egg and it was really good.

Jaime said...

never had fried squash before, and i lived in NC for 6 yrs!

Eve said...

Brilliant! Made them today and my son (16 months old) loved them! These will be a usual now for sure. Thanks :)

giz said...

I've never made fried squash. Come to think of it, I've never even tried it. Something new to add to my "must try" list.

Penny said...

Oh my gosh, Grace. I just had this at my friend Barbara's house last weekend. As a matter of fact she was so busy with the country ham, pickled beans and mashed potatoes, that she put me in charge of the squash. I was planning on blogging about them - still may. They take some time but are sooo good. Love Southern cooking during summer.

Jessica@foodmayhem said...

I am so jealous of your home grown squash.

Heather said...

i LOVE squash! yours looks amazing! hope your summer is going well :)

noble pig said...

Well I just love people who FRY squash!

eatme_delicious said...

Oh wow I would not be able to stop eating these if I had a plate in front of me!!

Emily said...

I love fried squash! And all of those other things too. You are a true southern grace, Grace.

Sophie said...

MMMMMM,...looks so lovely & yummie!!

Dear Grace, A few days ago, I gave you 2 awards :please come over @my foodblog & pick them up!!

Why?? You can read it @ my foodblog!!

SarahKate said...

I grew up in south Georgia, but I now live in England. I wanted to fry some zucchini last weekend, but I didn't have any cornmeal. So... I used a package of instant grits that my mother-in-law had mailed us. It worked perfectly!

♥peachkins♥ said...

I haven't tried fried squash but as this is the 2nd time I've sen this recipe I will definitely try this!

Teanna said...

WOW. Those are just gorgeous. I could just imagine the light crunch giving way to the smooth squash inside. Delicious!

Baking Monster said...

This looks so good! I can imagine taste!yum.and it looks pretty easy, thanks!

Veronica said...

I've never had fried squash with a cornbread crust...but that sure looks good and it sure sounds easy. Sometimes I wish I had a Southern grandma..my two Grandmas from Ireland sure didn't come up with any tasty treats like that...oh a fine soda bread, but that's about it!

Lisa said...

Ah, Grace, this one speaks to me! When i was a little girl I loved to eat at my aunt's house. One of my favorite things she made was little cornmeal pancakes. I would watch her fry them in her cast iron skillet. Then one afternoon I was really watching and I saw that they were in fact battered squash slices. I don't think I ever ate them again. Now, for years, I've been wishing I knew just how she made them so I could have a taste. It may not be exactly the same but I'd say this is a good place to start!

Jude said...

Never had fried squash before, always pureed or baked. Can't leave out the cornmeal on this southern dish, I'm sure.

Mrs. L said...

Anythings better fried :) I so have to try this!

Sherri said...

My mom and grandma taught me to cook and these are always one of my favorites along with potatoes in white sauce. My grandma always called them potatoes with thickening my hubby loves them (we've been married 23 years) and he still asks for it when its time for new potatoes. Thanks for sharing the memories and keeping up a wonderful tradition.

Julie said...

I just made myself some fried squash a couple of days ago after not having any for years. Boy did that take me back! Yours looks beautiful!

Anonymous said...

All your recipes are right on. Now how about a slight twist. Instead of regular corn meal, use Jiffy Mix.
I've never liked squash until we began using Jiffy Mix in place of regular corn meal. It add a little sweeter taste and now I can just about eat my weight in it.

Just a thought from an old Kentucky Gentleman

Kourtney - Atlanta, GA said...

OMG i just made this and love it!!!! after they came out of the pan i squeezed a bit of fresh lime juice (didnt have a lemon) over them and it gave them a great twist. this is one of my new fav recipes!

Julie Clark said...

Sunday dinners at either one of my beloved Grandmothers houses.. yummmmmmy southern homecooking delicious to the palate! thanks for this recipe, brings back a lot of memories from childhood.