I had intended this to be something very different. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons I wasn't able to make the dish I originally intended to make and the meat I intended to use went bad. These things happen sometimes and it's incredibly frustrating when they do. Still, sometimes time and events get away from you and you just have to accept it and move on. I found myself left with a pile of vegetables that were threatening to go bad just as much as the turkey thighs and needing space in the refrigerator for the next week's entertaining. I decided that I was going to sit down and cook every single leftover vegetable in the fridge. Every single one. And I did it, too. There was probably far too much food for my family, but I did not care. At least we made the attempt to use it all.
This one was remarkably easy to make, and it taught me one very important lesson: the flavor I'd been craving for weeks, the one I couldn't put a name to, was poblanos. I don't know why I'd been craving poblanos, but I can tell you why I couldn't put a name to it. Poblanos often take a back seat to other flavors in the kind of Mexican cuisine we get here in the northeastern part of the United States. They're an important flavor, but more part of a chord than a standout melody note. In this dish they stand out and do so admirably, cutting through some of the sweetness of the squash. Otherwise the rest of the ingredients are fairly simple, just things I had lying around or things that I didn't want to go bad. And it was delicious. It was really the main dish of our meal that night, but it would be a equally delicious side dish for a holiday meal.
Two-Squash Stew with Poblano Chiles (serves 4; approx. $2.76/serving)
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
2 onions, peeled and chopped
6 onions, peeled and crushed
3 poblano chiles, seeded and sliced
2 zucchini, thickly sliced
2 cups vegetable broth (I use low-sodium, but you can use what works for you)
2 tablespoons olive oil
About 1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
- Dutch oven
- Heat the oil in the Dutch oven.
- Add the onions, garlic and chiles. Saute until well softened.
- Add the butternut squash. Saute until browned.
- Add the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until the squash is vaguely tender, at least 20 minutes.
- Add the zucchini. Cook until the zucchini and butternut squash are both tender.
- Add the cilantro. Cook for about a minute.