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Home Cooking

My Calabacitas Are Suboptimal

Kathryn Callaghan | Jun 25, 200310:52 PM     2

I was introduced to calabacitas when I lived for a spell in a west Texas border town. A lot of concoctions are referred to as calabacitas, but I'm talking about sauteed zucchini with onion, green chili and corn in a thick cheese sauce, eaten in tortillas.

I'm aggrieved that I've forgotten how to make them, and none of the recipes I've found looks quite convincing. I tried one tonight. The vegetables were sauteed until the zucchini was barely tender. I than added the milk, salt and pepper, and cooked briefly before adding the cheese off the heat.

The undercooked zucchini released water as soon as the milk was added. The cheese clumped instead of dissolving in the watery liquid. It all tasted o.k, except for the fresh anaheim peppers being too mild.

What should I do differently? Saute zucchini to a pulp before adding liquid? Use cream instead of milk? Canned chili or jalapeno instead of anaheims?

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