From the Back to Basics article in the May 2017 issue.



Calabacitas

Serves 6



In high summer in New Mexico, people eat this sauté by the bowlful. The preparation for calabacitas is fast, easy, and forgiving of additions and subtractions of ingredients.Just don’t rush the cooking, because the squash should be quite tender when done.




  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 pounds mixed summer squash (such as yellow crookneck or gold bar squash, small zucchini, or light-green-skinned calabacita), sliced thin or in bite-size cubes

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 small tomatoes, preferably roma or Italian plum, optional

  • 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen

  • 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 cup chopped, roasted mild New Mexican green chile, fresh or thawed frozen

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt

  • Up to 1⁄4 cup half-and-half, optional

  • 4 ounces (1 cup) shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, optional




  1. Warm the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the squash, onion, and optional tomatoes. Sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, until the squash is well softened. Stir in the corn, chiles, and salt, and cook covered for another 10 minutes until all vegetables are tender. Pour in the half-and-half if you wish, and simmer briefly, until the liquid is reduced by about half.

  2. Serve hot. If using the cheese, scatter it over the calabacitas just before serving.