Southern Food made easy: Recipes from Brock’s Files

Since we all have limited time to cook, we southerners should all research and find some interesting and easy southern recipes that we can enjoy and prepare ourselves. I have found three easy recipes this week for you that you might want to try out on your family. The first is a super easy squash casserole. I have so many squash at my house, and they are all going to go to waste if I don’t enjoy them now! They can be fried, grilled, baked, or used in an easy casserole recipe that I have provided for you this week. This casserole has a buttery Ritz cracker topping and lots of cheese. Yummy! I also have a great grape salad recipe and a moist and delicious southern pineapple cake that I hope you will try very soon! I love pineapple in just about any dessert recipe! Here’s to good and simple southern food! Enjoy, readers!

Brock’s Easy Breezy Squash Casserole

Note: This is one of the simplest squash casseroles one could find. So now there’s no reason to let all those great squash you have in the garden go to waste!

6 medium yellow squash, chopped fine

1 small onion, chopped

One tsp. salt

2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

2 eggs

One half cup heavy cream

2 sleeves Ritz crackers, crumbled

1 stick butter, melted

Remove ends of squash and discard. Chop or cut squash into small fine pieces. Add salt to water and boil squash and onion until tender for approximately 20 minutes. Drain well. In a medium size bowl, mix cheese with squash mixture. Beat eggs in a separate bowl, and stir them into the cream. Add to squash mixture. Pour squash mixture into a greased 2 quart casserole baking dish. Sprinkle cracker crumbs over this (do not crush crackers, just crumble them up) and pour melted butter evenly over the crumbs. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly and crackers are lightly golden brown.

Deluxe Grape Salad

Note: I am a fan of grapes, and this recipe is over the top good! This is a wonderful dessert salad that never failed to be a hit. If this dessert is prepared the day before, the brown sugar makes the sauce taste like caramel. Yummy!

4 pounds seedless green & red grapes

8 oz. cream cheese

8 oz. sour cream

Half cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 oz. chopped pecans

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Wash and dry grapes. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Add grapes and mix until evenly incorporated. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans, mix again and refrigerate until serving.

Southern Pineapple Cake

Note: I love fresh pineapple when I can get it. I have been to Hawaii three times, and the pineapple there is the best in the world. If I’m not traveling to Hawaii, I love pineapple at home too—especially in cake recipes. Here’s one I think you might enjoy.

Cake:

1 Duncan Hines yellow cake mix

1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix

4 large eggs

One third cup oil

20 oz. can crush pineapple, divided

Glaze:

One half stick butter

Three fourths cup crushed pineapple

2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour Bundt pan or angel food cake pan. Set aside three fourths cup of crushed pineapple for glaze. In a large mix bowl combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil and remaining pineapple. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. For glaze, in small sauce pan melt butter add the three fourths cup crushed pineapple and powder sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved. Spoon the glaze over cooled cake.

Editor’s note: Brock W. Rogers, an experienced Southern food writer, overseas traveler, educator, and passionate student of the culinary & pastry arts, resides in Louisville. E-mail him at brockrogers1@gmail.com or find him on his Facebook page at Brock’s Bites.