New Mexican food tends to be hearty- lots of chiles, cheese, frijoles and posole. After a few days in Santa Fe, though, you have a hankering for something lighter. That’s when you order calabacitas, their traditional squash and corn casserole.
At home, we tried different versions, but none of them really shouted “perfecto.” Then it hit me. I was craving the calabacitos from Hatcha’s, a diner in Angel Fire, New Mexico. Their dish has a deep, smoky flavor which complements the chiles on the other side of the plate perfectly.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups calabacitas (mixture of zucchini and yellow squash), sliced into ½ inch rounds
- 1 ear of corn
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- ¼ cup red pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup green chiles, chopped
- ¼ cup broth or water
- 6 ounces cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
- Fire up the grill or oven broiler.
- Put calabacitas and ear of corn in a bowl. Lightly season with salt and pepper and toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil.
- Grill calabacitas and corn (or broil in oven), until lightly charred on all sides.
- Cool corn, then slice off kernels. Place kernels in cast iron or oven proof skillet.
- Add broth or water. Lower heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes until corn is cooked, but still crunchy.
- Add onions, red pepper, green chilies and garlic. Cook an additional 5-10 minutes, until onions are soft.
- Gently fold in calabacitas and heat thoroughly.
- Remove skillet from stove and cover with grated cheese.
- Place in oven under broiler until cheese is bubbling.