A place for Gwinnett readers to share their prized recipes and discover new ones

Jean Bentley of Winder went to all the trouble of hand-writing her two-and-a-half page recipe submission, so I thought I would share it with everyone this week.

She sent in her Southwestern Squash Casserole recipe in response to a request for squash ideas almost a year ago, and now that summer squashes are coming back into season, it's a great time to try her suggestion.

Bentley first noticed the recipe in Southern Living magazine, and she was intrigued by the ingredients.

The original recipe Bentley used called for Campbell's Cheddar Cheese soup, which she didn't have on hand. Instead, she substituted Tostitos Medium Salsa Con Queso. To account for the spiciness of the queso, Bentley omitted the canned green chiles and taco seasoning the original recipe recommended.

"I carried some leftovers to work and they really liked it," Bentley said.

- Compiled by Lifestyle Editor Shelley Mann

Southwestern Squash Casserole

1 pound yellow squash, sliced

1 pound zucchini, sliced

1 cup water

1 (151⁄2 ounce) jar Tostitos Medium Salsa con Queso

1 cup crushed tortilla chips, plus 1⁄2 cup more

1⁄4 cup chopped onion

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Place the first 3 ingredients in a large microwave-safe glass bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Pierce plastic wrap with fork several times to vent. Microwave on high for 8 to 9 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Drain. Press between layers of paper towels to remove excess moisture. Mash up. Up to this step, the casserole can be prepared ahead of time.

Stir together cooked vegetables, salsa, onion, egg and 1 cup of the chips until well blended. Spoon into a lightly greased 11-by-7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with 1⁄2 cup of the cheese. Bake at 450 F for 10 minutes. Stir together the remaining 1⁄2 cup of crushed tortilla chips and 1⁄2 cup of cheddar cheese and sprinkle over the top of casserole. Bake for 10 minutes longer, or until top is lightly browned.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.