Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A timely post

This week I made the Calabacitas that Halla brought to our most recent Gluttony Fest and I must report that it is a fabulous way to use up a whole LOT of summer squash in a very pleasant, easy dish.

It drives me batty when (this time of year) magazines or newspapers publish articles on how to diminish the overload of zucchini and summer squash and then include recipes that call for, say, 1/2 of a grated zucchini. People, we got squash coming out our ears this time of year! We need recipes that deal with quantity (quality too, of course). This one fits the bill deliciously.Patience is the secret to this squash tasting so good. Don't cook the onions or the squash over high heat--keep the heat on the low to medium side and let the vegetables become meltingly tender. There is no butter in this dish (ok, there is a sizeable quantity of cheese) but the squash tastes buttery when cooked slowly. I'm sure zucchini would taste just as good, but I'd miss the sunny glow of the summer squash since zucchini can get a bit muddy colored when cooked.

I took Halla's advice and made the effort to roast a couple of poblano chiles which were really great, just a mild background heat. The rest of the dish is so absurdly easy that roasting the chiles didn't even seem like much of an effort, despite the little bits of singed skin that are all over the stove now.

We ate this as a side dish tonight (with Pork and Hominy Stew) but it could make a nice light, vegetarian supper when accompanied by a salad and bread or quesadillas.

Calabacitas (Skillet Squash)

5 cubed small summer squash
1 diced large onion
2 roasted peeled diced poblano chiles or about 1 small can diced green chile
1 tablespoon neutral oil
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion in oil over medium heat until soft--do not brown. Add squash and keep the heat medium low, stirring once in a while until the squash is tender (not tender crisp). Add chiles; simmer briefly. Sprinkle on cheese and stir until melted.

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