Monday, January 12, 2009

Calabacitas Guisadas (Sauteed Mexican Squash)

Very healthy vegetable dish, a great side for any Mexican meal. We served it in my house with rice, tortillas, "Carne de Puerco Con Chile" (Pork simmered in a spicy hot sauce) and some "Jalapeños en Vinagre" (pickled Jalapeños peppers, with pickled onion and carrot) but you can serve it with whatever you'd like.

This week at the store I went to (Vallarta) the Mexican Squash was 4 pounds for a 1 dollar USA very cheap, you may also use "Italian Squash" if you wish these are used interchangeably in Mexican cooking from what I have observed.

Main Ingredients
-2 lbs. Mexican Squash chopped into cubes (or Italian)
-2 medium fresh ripe tomatoes chopped
-1 medium onion chopped
-1 green chili pepper minced (only if you like it a little spicy)
-2-5 cloves garlic (garlic to taste we like a lot)
-1/2 a bunch cilantro washed, leaves only minced
-salt to taste
-ground black pepper to taste (about 1/2- 1 tsp.)
-extra-virgin olive oil (my mom likes it BUT traditionally lard or neutral flavored oil is what I see commonly used in MExican cooking, my mom prefers extra-virgin because we like the taste and living with my Spanish/ Cuban grandmother many years sorta re-inforced it haha my mother told me in Mexico her family would use olive oil for certain stuff, salads, making "escabeches" stuff like that)
-1-2 tablespoons butter (if you have it on hand, don't have it then don't worry but if you do DON'T SKIP IT!)

Optional Ingredients:
-fresh Mexican Cheese (traditionally) or grated "Monterrey Jack" (not traditional that's more American) (to top the finished dish we didnt add it this time because I am on an antiobiotic to make my skin clearer and better "Tetracycline" and I can't have dairy for now well only 2 hours before taking my pills)

(1)Heat olive oil on medium high sautee onions and chili pepper until translucent together with salt and black pepper, then add garlic sautee a little longer until fragrant, add butter stir until it heats through then add tomatoes chopped until they release juices.

(2)Add squash stir, cover and leave on medium high for about 5-7 minutes, uncover and stir, top with cilantro and if you wish grated cheese or crumbled fresh cheese.