This is a yummy dish that I grew up eating called calabasita. It is super easy and delicious and easily modifiable. This is one of my comfort foods. It is good during winter or summer.
Here is how it’s done.
You will need:
4-6 squash sliced- I usually use zucchini squash and yellow squash…you could do all of one kind or any combination
1 tomato/ can of tomatoes (drained)
1/2 diced onion
can of corn/ frozen corn
can of black beans
1/2 large block of cheese (if you are like my family who is in love with cheese)
1/4 c water
garlic, salt, pepper, and cilantro to taste
You can serve over 1 c white rice
You can add a meat (chicken, pork, hamburger meat are good choices)
You don’t have to add cheese or can add less
First wash and dry your produce (squash, tomato, onion). Grab a cutting board and start cutting! It really doesn’t matter how you cut them but the smaller the pieces. the faster it cooks. I recommend slicing the squash into little, medium thickness circles, then halving those circles (depending on how large the squash is).
For fresh tomato- dice it. For canned tomato- drain it.
Dice 1/2 onion.
For canned corn and black beans- drain them
Okay…I promise that was the hardest part!
If you are serving over rice, start that first so it will be done in time. 1c rice per 2c water and a dash of salt, bring to a boil in a pot and then cover and let simmer for about 35-40 minutes or until water is drained and rice is light and fluffy. If not, skip this step.
First, dump all the cut ingredients, EXCEPT THE ONIONS, into a large pot. Put the pot on the stove over medium heat and add the 1/4c of water. You really don’t need much water because the vegetables lose their water in the process and you risk too much soup-iness.
Toss in the canned beans, corn (frozen or canned), and tomatoes (if you didn’t use fresh) into the pot as well.
Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and cilantro to taste. Keep in mind that there will be a lot of water created while cooking so it will be diluted some.
Bring to a boil.
While the large pot is coming to a boil, toss the onion and a splash of olive oil in a skillet and cook the onions on medium until they become clear. This means they are cooked. Then toss them into the pot.
If you want to add meat, now is a great time too cook it. Whether it’s hamburger meat, pork, or chicken (the meats I recommend) the seasoning and cooking is the same. Cut into small bite size pieces so will cook faster. Season with garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper to taste and toss on the skillet in olive oil. Cook until browned on all edges and cooked all the way through. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Keep an eye on the pot to make sure it’s not boiling yet, if it is, cover and bring to a simmer.
Once the meat is fully cooked, toss it into the pot with everything else and stir well.
By this time, the pot should have started boiling. Cover and reduce to a simmer until squash is soft.
While waiting, if you are going to add cheese, now is a good time to slice or shred it. It doesn’t really matter because you are going to melt it over but for more even coverage you should shred it. Place on a plate off to the side.
You may have a few minutes downtime…..
Doo doo Doo doo Doo do Doo do….(jeopardy theme song lol)
Check your rice. If it’s done, remove from heat.
Okay so when the squash has reached a nice tender point, you should notice that some of the water has gone down as well. If it’s too watery, try draining it first. If not, toss the cheese on top and cover for 3-4 minutes or until cheese has fully melted. Then remove from heat and serve. It’s good over rice or with a side of toast or just by itself in a bowl. Yum!