Southwestern Squash Cakes

Southwestern  Squash Cakes

We have plenty of good local corn and summer squash right now.  This recipe is adapted from a University of Illinois Extension Recipes handout.  I used zucchini in this recipe and added cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper.  This has to be my favorite recipe of the year.  Remember to wring out the grated zucchini in a clean dish towel.  You have to get rid of the excess liquid to ensure your fritter has good texture.  This recipe works well with a combination of zucchini and patty pan or yellow squash. Temper the fieriness of the jalapenos by adjusting the amount or by removing the seeds and white membrane.

Prepare small cakes for an appetizer or larger ones as a side dish or serve with crusty bread and tomato salsa for a full meal.

3 eggs

4 cups grated summer squash (wring out liquid)

1 cup fresh corn kernels cut from 2 ears

1/4 cup chopped green onions, tops included

1 large jalapeno pepper, chopped

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 Teaspoons cumin

½  Teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Salt and black pepper

Olive oil for sautéing


  1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in squash, corn, green onions, jalapeno, the cheeses, oil, flour, and herbs/spices.
  2. Heat olive oil in a heavy 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon squash mixture  into the hot oil and flatten to uniform thickness.   Do not over crowd the skillet. Leave about an inch between cakes.
  3. Cook until edges turn golden brown, turn and cook the other side until golden brown. Patties should be crispy and medium golden brown. Cook at least three to four minutes per side depending on size.   Place in a warm oven and continue cooking the remaining cakes.
  4. To serve, sprinkle with any of the following; salt, fresh cilantro, lime wedge, salsa, sour cream. Serves 6.



Strawberries are Blooming in Butler County

strawberry in bloom-okeana 15We’re getting closer to strawberry time at last!  This is a healthy strawberry plant in Okeana.  Looking at all the blossoms it will have plenty of berries. My mouth is watering because the flavor of a fresh picked strawberry is unlike the berries that have transported from other parts of the country. Berries are delicate and growers around the USA have worked hard on getting varieties to us that we can enjoy all year, but buying from a local grower will give you an intense and juicy flavor experience unlike transported berries. Contact your local berry growers and they will pick them fresh for you that morning.

Local Foods Spring 2015

This is the first installment of Butler County Local Foods Blog. I plan on bringing my excitement about local foods to you by sharing info from local growers.  I’ll let you know what veggies and fruits are about to ripen in our area, the quality of produce being harvested, and how long the season will last. You’ll have ideas to help you use large quantities of fresh local foods during peak harvesting times. Many of us know making good use of produce while flavor, quality, and nutrition are at their peak can be an art in itself.  I look forward to sharing all I can about local foods, food preservation, and recipes.  I want to make it easy for everyone to try our fresh Butler County products and get to know your local growers.  Terri Chatfield

Local foods focus groups starting in the City of Hamilton

I’ll be attending 2 local foods focus groups at Miami Downtown Hamilton Center location this week.  At 9:00 on Tuesday restaurant related concerns will make up the group and at 9:00 on  Friday local farmers will make up the group.  The topic is how  the City of Hamilton can better use local foods in their restaurants.  I’m really looking forward to the discussion.  The Butler County Local Food Guides will be available for everyone to make it easier to find connections that work for diverse needs in the restaurant business.