Dinner on the Fly

Dinner on the Fly

I belong to a food co-op that provides a huge amount of produce every week, all organic and in-season, and mostly locally grown. Although this is a wonderful way to get lots of fresh food into the kitchen, sometimes it leaves me with an excessive amount of one thing or another that I don’t know what to do with. Right now, it’s winter squash. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I love squash, and it’s great that hearty winter veggies stay fresh for a looooong time. But after eating squash as a side dish, in stir-fry concoctions, making gratin, and trying to arrange the pile of squash on my table as a centerpiece, I was running out of ideas. But a girl’s gotta eat, so I opened the fridge and threw something together. In the end, I made a baked mac and cheese dish that was made a little more grown up with the addition of sweet dumpling squash, gruyere cheese (which was left over from the gratin), and cubed smoked turkey. Click through for the full recipe.

Ingredients – note that I don’t measure when I’m cooking on the fly, so all these amounts are estimates

8 oz. (about half a bag) Spiral Egg noodles

1 sweet dumpling squash or something about equivalent.

1/3 c. grated gruyere cheese

1/2 c. cubed smoked turkey or ham, diced in about 1/2 inch cubes

2 eggs

1/2 c. milk

1/8 c. seasoned breadcrumbs

Cute Lil Sweet Potato Squash

Cute Lil Sweet Potato Squash

To prep the squash, I cut it in half, scooped out the seeds, and cut away the skin. Apparently the skin of this particular squash is edible, but I wanted the texture to be the same throughout. After removing the skin, I cut the squash into rough chunks. The size isn’t important, but try to make them as similar as possible so they cook at the same rate. 

The rest of the prep is really easy. Cook the noodles, place in casserole dish turkey (or ham) and squash, distributed evenly. Beat together the eggs and milk, pour over noodles in the dish. Top evenly first with the cheese, then follow with the breadcrumbs. Season lightly with salt and pepper. You can also add other seasonings such as thyme or rosemary, but be careful as a little goes a long way in this dish.

Bake for about 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven. The noodles should be crispy, and the egg mixture should be fluffy on the inside.

This recipe yields 3-4 servings.