Friday, March 14, 2014

Calabacitas! Sort Of.

Calabacitas is both the general plural Spanish noun for zucchini and also the name of the dish when prepared in the following manner. Cafe Drake HRV felt wacky and decided to create calabacitas with zucchini's first cousin - yellow crookneck squash. Prepare in the same way with zucchini or patty pan squash if you wish.

Hard to believe a side dish so bursting with various flavors can be put together this easily: Heat 2 T. vegetable oil in a large skillet and when hot, add: about 1 lb. of sliced yellow crookneck squash, 1 diced onion, 2 chopped cloves of garlic, 1 12 oz. can of diced tomatoes (we used the no salt variety; feel free to substitute and equivalent amount of fresh, peeled tomatoes), 2 chopped canned, pickled jalapenos and 2 T. minced cilantro. Stir everything up and allow to come to a low boil. Immediately reduce heat, cover skillet and simmer over a low flame for around 30 minutes. Check and stir now and then and, if needed, add a splash or two of water. When squash is quite tender, season with salt and black pepper. Serve hot or warm, garnished more cilantro.

Our calabacitas with cornbread, jalapeno-lime relish, stewed black beans, cabbage and roasted broccoli.

A variation we especially enjoy is as simple as replacing pickled jalapenos with 1 canned chipotle chili (along with a teaspoon or two of the adobo sauce); prepare recipe exactly as above.
Leftover calabacitas with black beans, salsa verde, flat bread and hummus.

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