Last summer, my great-uncle gifted me with a “mess” of yellow crookneck squash. To those that don’t speak Southern, that’s a lot of squash. I fried some and made a handful of different recipes before I ran out of ideas. At that point, I pulled out an old Southern Living cookbook that my Grandma had bought in the 60’s titled “Vegetables.” I browsed through it and found a recipe called “Mexican Squash.” It sounded intriguing, particularly since it called for an ingredient called comino seed. A little Googling led me to discover that it was actually cumin. Even better. I tweaked the recipe a little, and what you see below is my version. This has become our favorite squash preparation; it’s savory and substantial, and it’s delicious served over rice.
- canola or other neutral flavored oil
- 2 pork chops, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds of summer squash (approximately 4-5 medium), seeds removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 10 oz. can of Rotel tomatoes and chilies (I use original, but choose according to how much heat you want.)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp Mexican oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried ancho chili pepper
- salt and pepper
- 1 C water
- 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan. Season the pork chops with a little salt and pepper, and fry the pork chops until they are golden brown. Add the onion and let it cook until clear, about 5 minutes. When soft, add the squash, garlic, Rotel, cumin, oregano, ancho chili, and the water. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and simmer until the squash are tender. This can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes, depending on how mature the squash are. Add the jalapenos for the last 15 minutes of cooking. Serve hot, over rice.