Tag Archives: squash

Calabacitas Cornbread (Roasted Chile, Corn, and Zucchini)

Calabacitas Cornbread - Roasted chile, zucchini and corn all wrapped up in cornbread batter for a hearty and spicy cornbread. | mjskitchen.com

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We can’t let summer end without a calabacitas dish – a dish with corn, summer squash and New Mexico’s roasted chile.  In years past, I’ve dished up a few other versions of calabacitas which you can find listed at this end of this post.  This year’s recipe is Calabacitas Cornbread, cornbread with zucchini, corn, roasted chile and cheese.  With all of these ingredients, calabacitas cornbread is a meal in itself.  Just serve with a few homegrown tomatoes and you’re all set for an enjoyable and filling meal.  You can also serve smaller portions as a side for any meal that screams for a piece of cornbread.

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Three Sisters (Squash, Corn, Beans) with Green Chile Tomatillo Salsa

Three Sisters (corn, beans, squash) with leftover chicken and tomatillo-green chile salsa | mjskitchen.com

Three sisters” is the name given to three companion crops – corn, squash and beans, grown as major crops by Native Americans for generations.  If you are a gardener, you understand what is meant by companion crops – crops that aid each other in some manner.  For the three sisters it all starts with the corn.  Corn provides a tall stalk on which bean vines grow.  In return beans produce nitrogen in the soil that feeds the corn and the squash.  Squash spreads along the ground providing a mulch as well as shade for roots and plantings.

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Yellow Squash with Red Pepper

A simple side dish of sauteed summer squash with roasted red peppers | mjskitchen.com

Even though fall is my favorite season, I still resist the end of summer, primarily because of the abundance of produce.  Yellow squash is one of those vegetables that I hate to see disappear; therefore, I continue to buy it as long as it’s on the shelves.  There are so many ways to prepare it and most are relatively easy.  This Yellow Squash with Red Peppers is one of the easiest.  This dish is just yellow squash sauteed in garlic oil with some onion and red peppers.  You can use roasted reds (my favorite) or fresh reds.  You can use sweet peppers or medium/hot chile, depending on what you want or have.  Our favorite is a hot roasted red New Mexico chile.  It gives this dish a pleasant mix of sweet and spicy.

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Grilled Portabello Tacos with Red Chile-Yogurt Sauce

Grilled portabello tacos with sauteed summer squash and red chile. #vegetarian #tacos mjskitchen.com / yogurt sauce. mjskitchen.com

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These Grilled Portabello Tacos with Red Chile-Yogurt Sauce were inspired by some Beer-Marinated Grilled Mushroom Tacos that I saw over at Oh My Veggies when I was searching for meatless main ideas.   Kiersten’s tacos looked delicious, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients so I improvised (a great deal actually) with what I had on hand.  The result was outstanding.  Bobby and I enjoyed them so much that when we went to Pagosa Springs with some friends, this was the meal we chose to dish up on our night to cook.  I had to increase the recipe a bit in order to serve 9 people, and in doing so, found that it is a very easy recipe to make for a small dinner party.

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Stewed Cushaw and Yummy Deliciousness Cushaw Coffee Cake

Cushaw squash for stewed cushaw | mjskitchen.com

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Two delicious recipes from my sister Nadalyn – Stewed Cushaw and Cushaw Cake
Thanks Nadalyn for putting this delicious post together!!!!

“Coo-what?” It always amazes me how many people have never heard of cushaw, much less tasted its rich deliciousness. The cushaw is one of the oldest varieties of pumpkin-like squash in the western hemisphere and was an important staple among ancient people. Today it is still important in traditional cooking in southern Louisiana and among Native Americans. It is technically a squash but has many of the characteristics of pumpkin. The most common is the green-striped cushaw which average 10 to 20 pounds, grow to be 12 to 18 inches long and roughly 10 inches in diameter at the bowl. They are mostly grown in the southern and southwestern United States. Cushaw is more resistant to many insect and weather conditions than most other squash or pumpkins and after harvesting, it can be stored for up to 4 months.

The flesh of the cushaw is yellow and buttery looking when cooked. In fact, in some areas it is called cushaw butter. There are infinite ways to cook it or cook with it. The most popular is to use it in pie just as you would pumpkin or sweet potato. Some like it best bake in the oven, still in the rind, with butter, sugar, and cinnamon sprinkled on top. To eat it this way, remove the seeds, quarter or cut into large chunks. Score the large pieces with a fork, sprinkle with a little sugar and cinnamon, top with a pat of butter, and bake in the oven until a fork pierces it easily.

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Sweet Kabocha Pudding

A sweet pudding made from kabocha squash

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A few days ago I roasted a Kabocha squash with the intention of making a soup; however, when I tasted the pulp it was so sweet, I decided to make a dessert instead.  Because roasted kabocha is so creamy, it just seemed the perfect fit for a pudding. And thus, a sweet Kabocha pudding was born.

The main ingredients for this Kabocha pudding are squash pulp and almond milk. A little maple syrup is used as the sweetener and agar as the gelling agent.  Because I used agar, the texture isn’t the same as pudding made with eggs and milk, but it is still very creamy and smooth.  Bobby grabbed a pudding from the fridge thinking it was butterscotch. He took a couple of bites and then said “I have no idea what I’m eating, but it’s damn good!”  Need I say more? 🙂

Because I only used 1 cup of pulp to make this pudding, I still had 2 cups left to make a small batch of Kabocha and Fennel Soup. A completely different use of the Kabocha and oh so good!

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Butternut Squash with Apples and Manchego

Roasted Butternut squash with apple, sage and Manchego cheese


Last week on our road trip through northern New Mexico, we bought two baskets of apples, one being Winesap and the other cameo.  Winesap apples are crisp and tart with a touch of sweetness.  Cameos are crisp, juicy, and sweet.  With this butternut squash with apple recipe I discovered that the tartness of the Winesap was a perfect complement to the sweetness of roasted butternut squash.  Add a little sage and you have the perfect fall dish.  But wait, there’s more! Let’s throw in some of my favorite cheese to eat with apples:  Manchego – “a cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep of the Manchega breed” (Wikipedia).   Now the dish is complete and what a delicious dish it is!

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Sausage with Vegetables Cooked en Papillote (in Parchment)

Sausage with vegetables are wrapped in parchment and grilled for a quick & easy, 1 pot meal. #recipe @MJsKitchen


June was extremely hot here.  In fact, it went on record as being the second hottest June ever for my fair city.  In an effort to keep the heat out of the kitchen, we’ve been grilling and making lots of salads. Like every summer, we try something new on the grill to expand our grilling repertoire. This summer it was Cooking en Papillote (pah-pee-YOHT) or cooking in parchment.  Our first dish was this Italian Sausage with Vegetables.


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Kabocha Squash Fennel Soup

Kabocha Squash Fennel Soup with toasted Pumpkin Seeds. @mjskitchen |mjskitchen.com


Yes, it is the end of the winter squash season here, but I just couldn’t help myself when I heard the last of the Kabocha squash on the gourd shelf speaking to me – “Make soup! Make soup!”  I’ve been lusting after all of the wonderful soups over at Cooking’s Good, so I knew it was time to make my own.  I’ve been making this Kabocha Squash Fennel soup since last winter and have shared it a few times with family and friends with great reviews.  Now I’m sharing it with you.

I discovered Kabocha squash, or Japanese squash, last winter when my produce guy recommended it. As we were talking another shopper picked up a couple of Kabochas so I asked her how she cooked them. She recommended roasting with the seeds in and then using the squash in the same manner as you would use any other winter squash.  I did exactly that and she was spot on! The pulp was creamy and sweet, and had a flavor like no other winter squash.  I was in love.  I’ve only just begun to experiment with the ingredient, but everything I’ve tried thus far as been excellent! At the end of this post I’ve provided links to other Kabocha squash recipes.

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