It’s game day! This is the first day of the NFL season and our friends, Ben and Liz, invited us over for some game day fun. I’ve known Liz since middle school and after many years, we ended up back living in the same town as each other and have become good friends. Our husbands have, as well!
We grilled, had a few drinks, and rooted for our team, the New England Patriots. Hey, what do you expect? We’re from Massachusetts after all!
Ben and Liz covered the snacks and the meats. There’s nothing better than a bowl of chex mix (one of my favorite junk food snacks), cheese, and crackers to whet the appetite before digging in at game time. Plus, look at the Sunday Funday serving dish – I’m loving it!
Ben grilled up some wings and Liz prepared turkey sliders and pastrami sliders. The wings had a delicious caramelization from the marinade. The pastrami sliders were heated up just perfectly in the oven to get that melty swiss cheese and slightly toasted bun, which Liz had brushed with some garlic butter. They were both nice enough to capture photos for this blog post! Don’t you think they did an awesome job?!
Jake and I were in charge of the side dishes. We naturally gravitated to our usual store-bought macaroni salad as one option. Of course I also saw this as an opportunity to try something new. So, I dug into my “Make It” Pinterest board to see if any of my pinned recipes jumped out at me. I found a veggie/side dish option that I thought had the perfect flair to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall.
It was a Zucchini, Squash, and Corn Casserole with a buttery parmesan breadcrumb topping. (Here’s the link to the recipe.) It has the flavors of summer, but the warmth we crave when there is a slight fall chill. I followed the recipe very closely.
First, I prepared the creamy mixture (sour cream, mayo, egg, etc.). I didn’t use fresh breadcrumbs – I used equal parts of canned Italian Style and Panko.
I then added kernels from three fresh ears of corn. Each ear yielded approximately one cup of kernels for me, but this may depend on the size of your cobs.
I sliced the zucchini and squash. I have a mandolin, but I don’t really like using it, so I sliced by hand. I also used my handy dandy vegetable chopper to chop one sweet onion. My mom gave this to me years ago and it is a great way to get a rough chop without the effort or the tears.
I cooked up the onions, squash, and zucchini in a large pot instead of a skillet. I found that it gave me more room to stir the vegetables without fear of them going overboard. I also melted butter to mix with remaining breadcrumbs and parmesan.
Finally, I folded the cooked vegetables into the creamy corn mixture, leaving out as much of the extra liquid as I could. I spread the final mixture into a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish and evenly spread the breadcrumb mixture over the top. This cooked in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for less time than the recipe – I only need about 30 – 40 minutes.
The end result was really good and could work as a side dish for many types of meals. If the zucchini and squash were in season for fall/winter holidays, I think this could work then, as well. Frozen corn is easy substitute. I would definitely make this again.
Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about Ben and Liz’s dog, Bella, the cutie black lab below! We brought her some duck jerky. Yummy!
Overall, it was a great afternoon with friends and a win for our home team! Shout out to our friends Ben and Liz for hosting! Can’t wait for more of these great get-togethers this NFL season!