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Nana’s Calabacitas

October 16, 2012


My Nana was an amazing cook. When company was coming over she would check what she had in the fridge and cupboard and whip together simple but amazing dishes. Calabacitas was one of her go to dishes along with pinto beans and fresh tortillas. She never relied on recipe books or cards but had the recipes all in her head. Nana’s mother passed on the recipes to her, and Nana to my mom. I remember my mom making this for us often and always loving it until one day I started watching her make it. This is probably the first time anyone in my family has written down the recipe.

Calabacitas is a New Mexican dish which literally means zucchini. But in New Mexico it means a dish made with zucchini, yellow squash, hatch chiles, onion, garlic and fresh corn. Every family made it differently, some with tomatoes, some add cilantro, cotija or cheso fresco. But Nana made it as you will read it here and that is how I still make it today. One thing I do differently then how my mom taught me is that I dice the zucchini and squash where she would slice them thin. Enjoy!

2 yellow squash diced
2 zucchini diced
1 yellow onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
I jalapeño seeded and minced (if not using Hatch green chiles)
2 large Hatch or Anaheim green chiles roasted, skinned and diced, or a 4 oz can Ortega diced green chiles
1 ear corn off the cob
3 TBSP Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Pour 3 Tbsp olive oil in hot skillet and sauté onions, garlic and jalapeño  until caramelized and slightly browned. Add zucchini and squash to pan and cook until moisture has been reduced and caramelized. Add corn and green chiles and cook for a few more minutes. Add generous amount of pepper. Add salt to taste.

Serve with warm flour tortillas and some crumbled cotija cheese. A gluten free idea would be to serve them on a tostada with pureed black bean, chopped cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime juice and some cotija and crema on top.

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