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Zucchini with Corn and Cheese (Calabacitas con Queso)

Photo: Andrea Arroyo

When we were growing up in Chihuahua, we ate this zucchini with corn and cheese dish (calabacitas) at least once a week.. We would groan every time we saw it. Now, I love it and not only because it reminds me of home.

l  l/2  pounds zucchini (5 – 6 young, tender zucchini), scrubbed but not peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2        tablespoons vegetable oil
l        large garlic clove, minced
l        medium onion, finely chopped (about l cup)
l        large tomato or 2 small ones (about 3/4 pound), chopped
2        cups fresh corn kernels cut from the cob (or use one 10-ounce       package frozen corn or one l6-ounce can plain corn  kernels, drained)
2        poblano chiles, roasted and peeled ,   finely chopped
l/2        pound white cheddar cheese, finely diced
l        five-ounce can evaporated milk or l/3 cup heavy cream

Cut zucchini into small (about l/4-inch) dice. Place in medium saucepan with l cup water; season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer covered over medium heat until slightly tender but still crunchy, about 2 minutes. Reserve without draining.

In large skillet, heat oil over high heat until hot but not quite smoking. Add garlic and onion; saute, stirring, until onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add tomato. Simmer until water is partly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add corn and roasted poblanos and simmer 5 minutes more.

Add zucchini and evaporated milk to corn-chile mixture. Bring to a boil. Add diced cheese and heat just until cheese melts. Serve immediately

Yield: Serves 4 – 6.