It won’t be long before many of you will have zucchini squash growing like crazy not to mention producing heaps of squash.  What to do with it is on many minds.  Well, I for one love to make a Mexican favorite Calabacitas. Calabacitas is a Mexican summer squash, and is a pale green 4 to 5 inch squash with light striations and sold only in the summer months.  They are softer and disintegrate faster than zucchini.  But they are quite flavorful.  You can make it many ways, but the following is easy and tastes great.  I have another version that I like to make during the cold months.  It actually is like a soup with additions such as Mexican crema, drained and rinsed white beans.  I sometimes add salmon, tofu, shrimp, canned chicken, halibut.  It is quite versatile.  More on this later in the year.  it’s really way too hot today to consider a soup!!!!  
You will need the following to make 6 servings:
1 tablespoons of canola oil
1 white onion, chopped
2 1/2 pounds of zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes or Mexican Squash
corn from 4 ears of corn (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced (you can use green, yellow or a combination)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can of Ortega chopped green chiles or more or 3 roasted poblano chiles
1 tomatoes chopped
Salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican Oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
1/2 cup shredded Jack cheese or Mexican cheese such as Cotija
Chop and prep all the ingredients and when you are ready it’s a snap to do.  Put the oil in a pot or 12 inch skillet.  Heat and add the onion, saute approximately 2 minutes, add, the garlic, zucchini, corn, bell pepper, Ortega chiles or poblanos and saute until the vegetables are crisp-tender.  Add the tomatoes and saute for a few more minutes.  I sometimes add Mexican cheese to give it a nice creaminess.  I like to use Cotija in this dish.  Add cheese just before serving
In place of canned chiles I sometimes use roasted poblano chiles and chop them up.  I like the roasted flavor but if I don’t have any, then the canned make a good substitution.  See pictures below on roasting these wonderful chiles. Using your roasted poblanos will put your dish over the top.  Really, it does make a difference.  
TO ROAST CHILES:  Pierce with a fork a few times, place in a broiler, on high, and broil until black spots appear on the chiles.  Remove and put in a plastic bag to “sweat” for about 15 minutes.  The skin will peel right off.  
This dish takes no time at all and is delicious with any type of grilled meats.  
Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Getting ingredients ready    
        Dicing chiles
      Roasted Poblanos
Peeling chiles
Cutting chiles in strips    
   Prepped & ready