Can’t Stand the Heat: Calabacitas

I eat a lot of Mexican food. A lot. Not just because I live in Southern California, but because I’m also Mexican. I visit México twice a year since a lot of my family is there, so I’ve grown up with the best Mexican food around. I mean it. No Taco Bell for me. Well okay I do eat Taco Bell BUT I also get to eat delicious and legitimate Mexican food on the daily.

Apparently, ‘Calabacitas’ is Mexican food. The Spanish name should have given me some indication that it was, but in my house everything is in Spanish. I just assumed my mom was saying ‘squash’ in Spanish. Nope. Calabacitas is a Mexican dish that I’ve been eating and enjoying for years. I thought I’d share this awesomely traditional Mexican dish with the world.


gavel3-300x300What You Need:

2 lbs pork spareribs

2 Mexican squash

½ tomato

½ onion

1 ½ green bell peppers

½ can of whole kernel corn

2 tbsp olive oil

1 handful of cilantro

1 tsp salt

½ cup chicken broth powder

¼ cup water

(Disclaimer: This makes a LOT of food. I didn’t know I was cooking for a small party, but that’s what I did, so I guess I’ll have to throw one now. )

Step 1

Chop the spare ribs into strips along the bone. Go lightly over the strips with salt.

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Step 2

Put the olive oil in a pan and place the meat in to cook. Do this first so that it is cooking while you dice. Dice the tomatoes, onions, peppers and squash and take the corn out of the can.

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Step 3

The meat in the pan will start to look a weird ghostly grey. Start turning it around so it can cook all around. Then place the onions in the pan. Just the onions since they need to cook longer than the other vegetables. After 5 minutes, the onions should look golden brown. At this point add the bell peppers, tomatoes and squash. Let this cook on medium heat until all the vegetables are cooked and the meat is tender.

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Step 4

Add the chicken broth, water and cilantro and corn on top and mix it in well.  Leave it on low heat while the broth soaks in.

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Now let it cool a bit and enjoy this savory Latin dish. Feel free to serve with rice and beans. I did.

All photos by Itzel Ayala/Gavel Media.  Gavel ad