I’m not sure if you caught it this week, but A Chef’s Life premiered this past weekend. Being the big Vivian Howard fan I am, of course it was DVR’d. I was ready! This past week’s episode was all about squash. And while most of us are already planning what we want to cook for fall, it’s still technically summer.
In the episode, Vivian and her mother cooked onions and squash until they were very soft and caramelized. She ended up stuffing a zucchini blossom with it and giving it a deep fry. I was dreaming about this combination, as I have way too much zucchini from a friend’s garden.
Coincidentally, I ended up going to my favorite Latin restaurant in LA, Corzon y Miel. On the menu they had a queso fundido with squash and chorizo. I thought it was magical.
This is sort of a mishmash of both of the ideas I was inspired by this week. The squash is cooked with the onions, in the same way they were cooked in this past episode of A Chef’s Life. It’s then topped with a liberal amount of Monterey Jack and mozzarella and baked in the oven the way it’s done when making queso fundido. I like serving it with crispy tortilla chips but the traditional way is to serve it with wedges of soft tortillas. A sprinkling of fresh cilantro and a cold drink to wash it all down are musts!
Queso Fundido with Squash and Zucchini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bottleneck yellow squash, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 zucchini, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
- Sea salt
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 1 cup (4 ounces) mozzarella, shredded
- 1 cup (4 ounces) Monterey Jack, shredded
- Cilantro, for garnish
- Tortilla chips or soft tortillas, for serving
- In an oven proof pan, set over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the yellow onion, squash and zucchini. Sprinkle the zucchini with a few liberal pinches of salt. This will help with the squash releasing some of its water. Cook the squash and onion mixture, stirring regularly, for about 20 minutes, until it’s caramelized and light brown in color. Mix in the hot sauce and give it a taste. Adjust the salt according to taste, keeping in mind how salty the cheese you’ll be using is.
- Spread the squash and onion mixture out into an even layer. Top with the cheese and transfer to under the broiler for about 5 minutes, watching it regularly, until the cheese is lightly browned. Sprinkle the top with a bit of cilantro and serve with chips or soft tortillas.
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.