Grass-fed Ground Beef / Feta Cheese
Moss Farm - Rollins
Lowdown Farm - Moiese
Gallatin Valley Botanical - Bozeman
Amaltheia Organic Farm - Belgrade
Lowdown Farm - Moiese
Yellowstone Grassfed Beef - Bozeman / Tucker Farms - Victor
Calabacitas con Queso
The Mexicana squash variety we have this week is similar to zucchini, but lighter in color and a bit sweeter. You can typically use the two types of squash interchangeably. I recently picked up a cookbook at the Country Bookshelf called The Mexican Home Kitchen by Mely Martínez. It features unfussy, traditional Mexican home cooking like this recipe for summer squash with cheese in a quick tomato sauce. It can be made as a side dish, or a filling for veggie tacos, burritos, etc. Serves 4.
11 oz fresh tomatoes (~3 plum tomatoes or equivalent), roughly chopped
1 garlic clove
1/4 C of water
1/2 a jalapeño - adjust to your preferred spice level or omit entirely
13 oz Mexican Squash (~2 medium squash), diced
1 Tbs vegetable oil or olive oil
1 Tbs butter
1/4 C onion, chopped - sweet or white onions are best
2 sprigs of cilantro (optional)
7 oz Mexican Panela Cheese, diced - use queso fresco or feta if you don't find Queso Panela - panela is a mild, fresh cheese that has more of a curd-like texture and is less crumbly than queso fresco
Salt to taste - note that feta cheese is much saltier than panela or queso fresco
Put the tomatoes, water, garlic, and jalapeño, if using, into a blender. Blend until smooth and set aside. In a medium skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high. Add onion and cook until it starts to turn transparent, ~3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce from the blender and the cilantro, if using, then stir in the squash and season with salt to taste. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until squash is tender and tomato sauce is cooked. Just before serving, stir in the diced cheese.
*Calabacitas con Elote: You could use corn kernels instead of the cheese for a vegan version (subbing oil for butter as well), or use both! I would probably add the corn kernels about halfway through the squash cook time, 5-6 minutes.
Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen. Serves 4. Mexican street corn, if you've never had it, is charred corn cobs heavily seasoned with lime juice and dried chili powder, then slathered with Mexican crema and topped with cotija cheese and sometimes cilantro. It's a delightful street food, and you could certainly make it on the cob that way. Esquites uses the same flavors, but in salad form.
1 lime, juiced (~1 1/2 Tbs), plus more wedges for serving
1 1/2 tsp mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tbs sour cream or greek yogurt
1/4 C finely chopped sweet onion or scallions
1 jalapeño pepper, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into thin half-moons. (Adjust to taste)
4 ears of fresh corn, cut from the cob (~3 C)
1 Tbs + 1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 C crumbled cotija, farmers cheese, or grated parmesan
1 large or 2 small garlic clove(s), minced
scant 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/3 C cilantro, chopped
Salt to taste
Lime wedges for serving
To cut kernels from the cob, remove husks and cut the stem end off to make it flat. Place the cob upright in an empty pie plate or cake pan with the stem end down, holding it in place from the top (pointed end). Using a sharp knife, cut down the cob from top to bottom, rotate 1/4 turn and repeat until all kernels are removed. Transfer kernels to a clean bowl.
Combine lime juice, sour cream, mayonnaise, and 1/8 tsp salt in the bottom of a large bowl. Whisk until well-combined. Stir in the jalapeño slices and set aside.
Working in batches, heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in a skillet with a lid over high heat until shimmering. Add half of the corn and spread into even layer. Sprinkle with a big pinch of salt. Cover and cook, without stirring, until corn touching skillet is charred, ~3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and let stand, covered, for 15 seconds, until any popping subsides. Transfer corn to the bowl with sour cream mixture. Repeat with another 1 1/2 tsp oil and remaining corn.
Return now-empty skillet to medium heat and add 1 tsp oil plus the minced garlic and chili powder. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, ~30 seconds. Transfer to corn mixture and toss everything to combine well. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before adding cotija, cilantro, and sweet onion. Toss to combine, taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and extra lime juice, as needed. Serve with lime wedges.