Hap's Casserole

Junior Burger
2003/08/11 17:47:25
Hi--I'm new here, but a long-time fan of the Sterns

A southern side I loved, but have lost the recipe for, is a baked dish using yellow zucchini, crackers, cheese, and onions.

I found this recipe originally in Gourmet some years ago, in one of the Sterns' columns for that magazine. It was called "Hap's Casserole," after the cook who created it.

Now that yellow zucchini's all over the place up here in Toronto, I'd like to find the recipe again.

Could anyone help, please?

Michael Stern
Fire Safety Admin
RE: Hap's Casserole 2003/08/12 08:58:02
That would be the work of Hap Townes, former owner of the late, great eponymous eatery in Nashville. Here's the recipe, as it ran back in 1994:

Squash Casserole
Shel Silverstein, who used to come to Nashville regularly, liked squash casserole so much, Hap Townes recalls, that one day when Shel arrived to find that the kitchen had run out of it, he fled the restaurant with his hands in the air.
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
4 cups cooked squash, mashed
1 cup grated mild cheese (Hap uses Velveeta)
1 cup milk
1 cup cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet, saute onion in butter over medium heat until it is limp. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the squash and mix well. Stir in cheese, milk, 3/4 cup of the cracker crumbs, and salt.
RE: Hap's Casserole 2003/08/12 09:53:09
Yet another side dish idea!
Junior Burger
RE: Hap's Casserole 2003/08/12 13:18:32
Thank you so much for your quick reply, Michael, and it's a pleasure to meet you onscreen.

You've brightened up a superhumid and horrid early August here on the north shore of Lake Ontario.

Art Deco
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Hap's Casserole 2003/08/20 10:19:29
I much prefer to take yellow squash, cut it into small chunks, shake it in a bag with seasoned cornmeal (salt & pepper), pan fry it (much as you would do okra), add chopped onion after a few minutes, allow it to fry long enough to build up losts of good crusty bits, and then top with grated extra-sharp cheddar off the heat. I have never had left-overs of this dish...
RE: Hap's Casserole 2003/08/20 11:30:15
Pogophiles does the squash let go of a lot of water? Or do you precook it in the oven so that the liquid can be drained off, like eggplant for baba ganoush?
Art Deco
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Hap's Casserole 2003/08/20 13:00:26
It doesn't give off that much water, and what does quickly evaporates (I cook this over medium heat, but am careful to make sure the pan preheats sufficiently before adding the oil, and then allow the oil to heat up a bit as well)...
RE: Hap's Casserole 2003/09/14 10:56:41
Pogophiles, seeing that you live in Nashville, were you ever lucky enough to have lunch at Hap Townes
RE: Hap's Casserole 2003/10/22 21:36:34
Paula Dean, who has a Southern cooking show on Food TV, offers a similar recipe using sour cream instead of milk. She also sautees the squash until soft and then squeezes out the moisture in a tea towel. If you don't do this, the casserole will be watery. They top with the cracker crumbs and bake. It's delicious.