Here’s a wild spin on an old favorite Calabacitas Recipe! Have you ever had that wonderful Mexican zucchini dish? Well, it’s one of my family’s favorites and I just made it better, if you can believe it.
If you’ve just started following me, you might not know that I live in Southwest Colorado with a view of New Mexico from my front porch. Those of you who’ve visited the area know that green chile is a staple, and finding a meal including it doesn’t take long. That also means that my Calabacitas include said chile.
We buy bushels of New Mexico’s Hatch Green Chile. We roast it, clean it, seal it up, and freeze it for later use. If you don’t want to go through this effort, you can always buy green chile in the freezer section at your grocery store.
I’m not sure if I ever shared another story, but I’ll make sure and do so, right now. In the area, there are many of us who hunt for our food. We’ve recently acquired the name “locavores” but in years passed, we were called hunters. I’m a hunter. I enjoy the organic meat that goes in my freezer, and this year I finally caught up to a cougar. No, not a lady who chases younger men. A mountain lion. I tagged one and yes, he went into my freezer.
Many people say, “Why would you kill an animal you don’t eat?” I say quite the contrary. Mountain lion is a delicacy, and I only have a small amount left because the calls for me to share came quickly. I am blessed to be able to share the fruits of my labor with others. You see, mountain lion hunting is truly the most arduous hunt in which I’ve partaken.
There’s something to be said about the effort that goes into putting the food on your table. While I won’t ever knock anyone who chooses to only buy their food at the grocery store, I do feel a huge satisfaction from doing the work myself. If you’ve ever had an herb or vegetable garden, you probably know the gratification of which I’m referring.
I cannot tell you how my friends prepare their lion meat, but I will share one of my absolute favorite recipes.
Mountain Lion Calabacitas
Start to finish: 30 minutes
(This is a recipe that is tasty also as a vegetarian dish, for my family and friends who don’t partake in meat eating.)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 small red onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound ground mountain lion (or other ground meat)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Dash of oregano
1/2 pound roasted Hatch green chile, seeded and chopped
3 zucchini, sliced and chopped
3 yellow squash, sliced and chopped
1/4 cup butter
In a large skillet, disco, or wok, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic. Sautee these until they are golden brown. Stir in the meat, breaking it up with a spoon or spatula. Sprinkle in the cumin and oregano. Stir until the meat is cooked through. Add the green chile, stirring the mixture until it becomes fragrant, about five minutes. Next, add the zucchini, yellow squash, butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover the mixture and cook until the squash is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve with whatever garnishes and sides you prefer. Almost all of my meals include tortillas, and cheese is always a must for my husband. Speaking of those two, you can roll, or fold, the mixture into a tortilla, add goat cheese and avocado, and you have a delicious taco or burrito.
Other optional additions include, but are not limited to, whole kernel corn, poblano chiles, and tomatoes. I indeed use some of these when I don’t have other ingredients. It’s great either way.
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