Calabacitas

This simple yet delicious recipe comes from an old tattered copy of a page from The Rancho de Chimayó cookbook, highlighting traditional cooking in New Mexico.  Friends who previously lived in New Mexico shared this recipe with me,  and I adopted it immediately as a side dish for Mexican-American cooking, enjoying having something different to add to the typical rice & refried beans sides.   The Pueblos and Spanish settlers in the area of New Mexico would dry summer squash to use in the winter.   Here we are a couple hundred years later, freezing squash and corn to preserve their flavors for good winter eating.

3-4 T corn or canola oil

16 oz Locavorious frozen summer squash

1 large white onion, chopped

15 oz Locavorious frozen corn, thawed completely, or just enough to loosen from the container

½ cup chopped, roasted green chile (fresh, frozen or one of those little cans; New Mexico green or Anaheim peppers)

1-3 T water, or as needed

½ tsp salt

Grated cheddar or jack cheese (up to ~ ¾ cup, or omit for a vegan option)

In a large skillet, heat the oil and add the onion.  Sauté over medium heat until it begins to soften.  Add the frozen squash; sauté until it starts to get hot.  Add the frozen corn, green chiles, water and salt.  Cook, covered, over low heat until very tender, about 20 more minutes.  Stir once in awhile.  Another tablespoon or two of water can be added if the vegetable mixture starts to get too dry.  Remove from heat and mix in the cheese if desired.  Serve immediately.

Sweet corn + summer squash medley + slow cooking = yum


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