Calabasitas

8 Oct

The Mexican “sofrito” takes off on the French mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery) with onions, tomatoes and chiles. It is the basis of  this recipe my sister-in-law Dina taught me years ago at her home in Veracruz.

With the end of tomato season almost here and the last of my summer squash just harvested, I felt compelled to make this south-of-the-border dish one more time this year. It is a go-to vegetable dish in our house during the summer and also keeps well in the freezer. Though I don’t normally use a recipe, I tried to measure everything this time in order to share it with you.

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion – diced
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 4 jalapenos – seeded or not, depending on your heat tolerance
  • 1 cup diced ripe tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Knorr Suiza chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels – roasted, if you can find them
  • 4 cups diced summer squash (calabasita)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste

Sauté onions until soft, add garlic and sauté another minute. Add chopped chiles. As for the chiles, we like lip-sizzling spicy, so I leave the seeds in the jalapenos, but you can remove them to tone it down. If you can’t stand spicy at all you can use bell peppers or mild Anaheim chiles. This “sofrito” should be simmered until chiles begin to change color.

Add tomatoes and the chicken bouillon and sauté until tomatoes release their juices, about 1 minute. Add frozen corn. Cover and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes.

If you have very young summer squash you can just dice them, but my end of season squash were pretty big, so I scooped out the seedy interior, leaving just the firm outer flesh and rind.

Add squash to sauté pan and mix thoroughly with other ingredients. Cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on level of squash crunchiness you prefer. The last step is to add cilantro, mix thoroughly over high heat and then cover pan and remove from heat. Let rest for about 10 minutes and salt to taste.

This is a great side dish and very versatile. I recently used it as a filling for vegetarian enchiladas and they were a huge hit. I’ve also frozen it and added to soups during the winter. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

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4 Responses to “Calabasitas”

  1. Suzy Howell October 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Looks both yummy and pretty and sounds very easy. I’ll try it for sure. Thanks, Lisa.

  2. mari October 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    oh yum! i love this

  3. Heidi October 9, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful, yummy vegi dish! I can’t wait to try it!!

  4. Leslie October 28, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    not much of a cook but i LOVE looking at your recipes (they all sound so delicious) and you take the BEST pictures!!!

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