It’s that time of the year again where we feature exceptional bloggers here at Ang Sarap, so every Fridays in the months of June, July and August you will get to know them as they will be sharing something about themselves and featuring some of their special recipes. These are exceptional bloggers so visit and follow their blogs, you would not be disappointed.
Today’s Guest is MJ from MJs Kitchen.
I guess out of all the guests in this series MJ would have the most experience in terms of home cooking, with well over 30 years of experience in five six different kitchens who can beat that. She started cooking and keeping recipes when personal computers was not yet widely available for everyone hence it was initially kept in a real journal, these are the types of recipes she shares. Most of what’s posted are personal creations that reflect her southern upbringing and my life eating and cooking in New Mexico. Most of the recipes are quick, simple and contains easy to find ingredients. Sounds good enough? Well you should start following her but before that lets go to her guest post.
A warm HELLO to all of Raymund’s friends here at Ang Sarap and a big thanks to Raymund for inviting me. One of the things that I love about Ang Sarap, aside from the delicious food, is the chance to learn about new dishes and cuisines. It’s such a tasty education coming here. Therefore, I thought I would add to his repertoire and introduce you to a dish from one of my favorite cuisines – New Mexican.
I am MJ, the cook in MJ’s Kitchen. In my kitchen you’ll find a variety of dishes – vegetables and meat dishes, condiments that you can make at home, and a few sweet things to help finish off a meal. Most of my food is a reflection of where I grew up – Louisiana, USA, and where I’ve lived for over 30 years – New Mexico, USA. I love both southern and southwestern cuisine and I love things spicy; therefore, you’ll find quite a bit of chile used in my dishes. When Raymund suggested to cook up ”something like your specialty, a food from your country, a traditional dish or anything your heart desires”, it was obvious to me that something with New Mexico green chile would fit all these suggestions, and, the timing was perfect!
It is midsummer here so New Mexico is bursting with green chile. Because it is chile picking season, one can find fresh green chile peppers at the markets and at road side stands throughout the state. Locals are buying sacks of chile in order to stock up for the winter. As with many chile peppers, New Mexico’s chile is addicting; therefore, we eat it year round, every week, and sometimes every day.
Today I’ve brought you one of my favorite New Mexican dishes – “calabacitas” which is the Spanish word for “little squash”. Calabacitas is a traditional late summer / early fall dish here in New Mexico, because it’s best made with local, fresh ingredients: roasted green chile, summer squash, and corn. There are 101 variations of calabacitas, but the one I make is my favorite. It’s simple, easy to make, and can be used as a side dish for just about anything. The amount of green chile that I add to the dish depends on how hot the chile is. Since New Mexico green chile ranges from very mild (almost no heat) to extremely spicy (jalapeno spicy), I always taste the chile before adding it. I don’t want the chile’s heat to be so overpowering that I can’t taste the chile or the other ingredients. With the right mix of fresh ingredients, calabacitas is a delicious little dish and one that I hope you enjoy.
Prep and cook time: less than 30 minutes
1 Tbsp. canola oil or olive oil
½ cup onion, minced
1 pound yellow squash, ¼” slices (about 2 medium squash)
1 cup corn (fresh, frozen or canned)
½ cup green chile, roasted, peeled, and chopped
1 tsp. fresh Mexican oregano or ½ tsp. dried oregano (any kind)
1/8 tsp. salt
A couple shakes of pepper
1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium low heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
2. Add the squash and sauté for 5 minutes or until the squash just starts to soften. Flip the squash over occasionally to ensure that all of it cooks.
3. Add the corn, green chile, and oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
4. Taste, add more salt if needed.
5. Let rest a minute or two before serving.
For the squash you can substitute zucchini or any summer squash, or use a combination of two to three squashes.
If you can’t find New Mexico green chile, you can substitute with roasted poblano or minced jalapeno. Just be sure to adjust the amount of chile pepper according to its heat factor. If you don’t like or can’t eat spicy, never fear; just use roasted bell pepper in place of the chile pepper.
Other variations of calabacitas toss in some fresh, chopped tomatoes or top the dish with cheddar cheese. For a one pot meal, you can start the dish by cooking up some ground beef or chicken and then add the vegetables to the meat.
Hope you enjoy!