Start to Finish: 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Fried squash is a summer staple in the south. Many hard-core southern chefs use an iron skillet, but any non-flimsy, large skillet will do. Add mashed potatoes, fresh tomatoes, corn scraped off the cob, cornbread and a cup of sweet milk, and you have a summertime meal that might induce rapture in a country-raised adult. Fortunately, this recipe works fine any time of year you can find summer squash.


Ingredients

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/3 cup milk

  • 1 cup cornmeal

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 tablespoon salt or 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon powdered chicken bullion

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder (optional)

  • Corn, canola or vegetable oil to fill skillet 1/2 inch

  • 4 cups squash cut into 3/8-inch diameter wheels (yellow crookneck squash, yellow summer squash or zucchini)

Directions

Beat eggs with milk in a fairly shallow bowl.

In large bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, pepper, salt with or without bullion, and optional ingredients, if desired.

Heat skillet at medium heat for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 inch oil to skillet, continuing to heat.

Place a few dry squash wheels into egg mixture. Remove, tapping each piece to remove extra liquid. Put wheels in dry ingredient bowl, covering each by hand.

Carefully put the first wheel into the oil using a slotted spoon.

When appropriately hot, the squash will begin to lightly brown. When the first piece shows light browning, add more squash, sides touching, until skillet bottom is filled.

Turn heat to medium low and cover skillet.

Monitor squash closely to prevent burning. Typically, each side takes around 3 minutes to cook. When lightly browned on bottom, turn each wheel with a small spatula. If using an iron skillet, you may need to lightly scrape each piece off the skillet bottom to keep the batter intact.

Remove squash wheels with a slotted spoon when they are golden brown on both sides. Drain as much oil as possible and place squash on a platter covered with paper towels. Cover with a paper towel or foil to help maintain warm temperature.

Use the egg mixture and dry mixture to prepare more squash and fry until all the squash is done.

Serving Time

Divide into four servings and serve on dinner plates as a hearty side dish. Good main dish complements include:

  • meatloaf

  • fried or baked chicken

  • hamburger steak

Tips

  • Fried squash is often considered an “event” and your meal won’t require a lot of extra side dishes.

  • Use your largest skillet and, if you still find you’ll need to make more than two batches, keep your early batches warm in a glass dish in a 250 degree F oven.

  • If you’re new at preparing squash, you’ll likely need more pieces of squash than you realize.

  • Squash burns quickly. Keep a close eye on it.

  • To deep fry squash, heat oil to 350 degrees F. Add prepared squash wheels and remove when pieces are nicely browned. Do not overload fryer or bottom pieces may burn.