Tuesday: Delicata Squash Tacos!

This summer’s CSA had a considerable amount of Zucchini in it (as well as other summer squashes).  I used to HATE all summer squash, which I blame on the fact that my first 6 months of solid food was entirely mashed squash from my grandfather’s garden.  However, now that I’m older, I don’t hate it anymore; I just didn’t know what to do with so much of it.  Until I came across this recipe at Epicurious.  I LOVE this recipe.  I was disappointed when we didn’t have enough zucchini to make this several times in one week.  We would cook it for dinner and then I would eat leftovers for lunch ALL WEEK.  There’s something about the combination of sweetly roasted corn and zucchini with the Monterey Jack cheese that I just can’t get enough of.  I prefer corn tortillas like the recipe calls for, but this is also good in flour tortillas (how Trav likes it) or served with Mexican Rice – I really like it any way imaginable.

So I got to thinking, “Why couldn’t we use some of that winter squash we had in a taco recipe like this?” and I came up with no reason at all.  Of course, it will take different steps to prepare, but I don’t see why that will be a problem.  I enjoyed my leftover roasted delicata squash from last week as a taco ingredient, so the rest of my squashes should work also, right?

 Here’s the recipe as well as my personal editing (I’m taking out these parts of the published recipe, and adding in these parts), based on what I actually have on hand:

Zucchini Delicata Squash and Corn Tacos

SELF  | July 2009

Chef Jimmy Shaw

Loteria Grill

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 cups fresh white or yellow corn kernels
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 medium zucchini, diced 1 delicata squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 1 cup canned black pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 leaves fresh epazote, (or 1 teaspoon fresh oregano), finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 warm corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup tomatillo (green) salsa
  • 8 teaspoons grated Monterey Jack cheese (or queso fresco)

Preparation:

  1. Brush squash with oil and cook in a  375 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, heat half of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Toast corn 5 minutes, stirring; season with salt. Remove corn; set aside.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in skillet. Cook onion, stirring, until it caramelizes, 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook 10 minutes.
  4. Once squash is tender, remove from oven and carefully dice.  Add zucchini; squash to onion mixuture, cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes; season with salt. Add corn, beans, epazote and pepper. Cook 3 minutes.
  5. Heat tortillas with cheese either in a cool oven (250 or so) or on a frying pan or grill. Split filling among tortillas; top each with 1 1/2 teaspoons salsa and 1 teaspoon cheese.

The Verdict:

Apparently, Trav’s over the oven theory with tacos, because he decided they should be cooked in a pan and folded (like burritos – sound familiar from maybe Sunday?).  I think he goes in phases, since there was a time that he wouldn’t think of using a pan when the oven does such a better job…

Anyway, I really liked these tacos.  They were really nothing like the summertime version (go figure – use a different squash and a different bean and the whole thing starts tasting different).  The delicata squash was pre-cooked, so it was already fairly soft when it got into the tacos.  Trav thought the texture was a little on the gooey or gummy side, and I guess I understand what he’s saying.  I still really enjoyed them and thought that this was a good use (at least for this Mexican-food-addict) of winter squash.  Trav thought that maybe it would be better if the squash were firmer (maybe less time in the oven?), but I think he might have meant that it would be better if the whole squash-bean-corn mixture had a little more moisture.  I didn’t compensate at all for the amount of water that zucchini holds (and then releases during cooking).  Maybe we’ll try next time boiling the squash (for a short period of time) as some other recipes call for.  Look for updated versions in later weeks as we experiment!

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1 Comment

  1. November 30, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    […] 4:52 pm (Uncategorized) I had a bit of time Sunday midday so I decided to try a reprise of our November 10th taco experiment.  I tried making theoriginal Zucchini taco recipe a little more to try to avoid the […]


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