Friday, June 25, 2010

Calabasitas - Squash, Zuccini & Cheese Mexican Stew

Summer is here and The 99 Cent Chef has a Mexican veggie dish made with a bounty of summer squash. It's a spicy, comfort food, dish often ordered by my wife at a local Hollywood Mexican restaurant, and shared over a happy hour of frosty margaritas.

My local Latin market has overflowing bins of light green and white speckled Mexican squash, and deep green zucchini. If your local farmers market is carrying yellow crook-neck squash, use it. Mix in a few squash types for more color and flavor.

Along with squash, all you need is an onion, corn (fresh or from a can), tomatoes, a can of mild green chiles, cilantro, and finally, some melting cheese as a topping.

 Choose a cheese that is firm, like Jack, mozzarella, Swiss, mild cheddar, or my favorite, Mexican Queso Fresco (avoid processed American cheese; it will melt into a soup - save it for a grilled sandwich).

The preparation is simple: a little chopping and sauteing, then cover and cook for 15 minutes. And this dish is also delish in a corn tortilla as a vegetarian taco.

Start your summer with Calabasitas -- my delish, budget veggie dish; and use your saved nickles and dimes for that upcoming 4th of July steak barbecue!

Ingredients (2 servings)
  • 2 Mexican squash - chopped, okay to use yellow crook neck squash.
  • 1 zucchini - chopped
  • 1 whole onion - chopped
  • 1 large whole tomato - or 2 to 3 smaller ones.
  • 1 small can of yellow corn - about 8 oz. & drained. Frozen corn or one ear of fresh corn. You can remove kernels, or break cob into 3 or 4 segments.
  • 1 small can of mild green chiles - about 8 oz. drained and chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon garlic - chopped.
  • 1 to 2 cups of water - depends how soupy you like it. Add a chicken bouillon cube for extra flavor. Or keep it vegetarian and add a favorite veggie broth. You can even leave out the water for a thick stew.
  • Cheese for topping (when done), such as Queso Fresco, Jack, mozzarella, mild cheddar, or Swiss.
  • 1 tablespoon of oil for sauteing.
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro - optional.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Roughly chop veggies, including: squash, zucchini, onion, garlic and tomato. If canned green chile is whole, then roughly chop.

Over medium heat, in a pan or pot, , heat oil, then add chopped onion, squash, zucchini and garlic. Saute for 5 - 10 minutes until soft. Finally, mix in the rest of the ingredients (except cheese), including: chopped green chiles, tomato, cilantro and drained corn. Add 1 to 2 cups of water or favorite stock (optional.) It's even okay to leave out the liquid.

Season with salt and pepper. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes. If you are not using water, the veggies will render out liquid to create a rich broth.

Finish Calabasitas by topping each steaming bowl with a handful of cheese (if it's typical fast-melting.) Queso Fresco has a high melting point, so I add it during the last couple of minutes of cooking.


Keri said...

A person after my own heart! Love it.

Dinahsoar said...

Another must try..healthy and uses some of my favorite ingredients.

larin said...

Thank you for this as I have yellow squash that I need to use up. Have a great Sunday and keep posting--I love your site.

Dinahsoar said...

Made was delish.

TheAimee said...

You should try Chiles Rellenos or Calabazas Rellenas... Would you like my recipe?

TheAimee said...

Did I mention I'm in love with your blog?

99 Cent Chef said...

hi TheAimee, I would love your recipes, do share!

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