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Squash/Pumpkin in Mexican recipes

I'm looking for mexican recipes that will utilize the 80+ lbs. of winter squash, gourds, and pumpkins that has been donated to my cooking class. I'm familiar with the use squash in mexican cooking, but don't have any recipes to use. Thanks in advance

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  1. http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

    I haven't made this yet, but it's on my to do list. Hedi is usually spot on with the recipes she posts. It's from Denis Cotter's Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CeeBee

      Mmmm, I saw this too! It's on my schedule for next week. Has anyone tried it yet?

    2. I've seen cooked squash used as a quesadilla filling with black beans. Top with tomatilla salsa and queso fresca.

      1. I made a sausage (used hot italian sausage) and black bean chili last weekend and threw in a ton of cubed butternut squash. It turned out really well.

        1. Martha Stewart has a great spicy pumpkin enchilada recipe on her website.

          1. This dish from Rick Bayless is out of sight if you like lamb or mild-flavored goat


            I also like to make chile rellenos using poblano chiles stuffed with seasoned roasted squash pulp, topped with a bit of shredded mild cheese, and "dressed" with a tomatillo-guajillo salsa


            1. * Candy it in piloncillo and canela syrup (you can add other stuff as well)
              * Use it in place of meat in lighter moles and pipíanes (such as verde, amarillo or coloradito)
              * Make beef stew, hollow out the squash, fill and bake
              * Season (sweet or savory, you choice) and cook them to taste, mash, and use as a filling for quesadillas made with fresh masa, or a pastry crust for empanadas. Lightly oil a griddle to cook so outer crust is crisp and crunches when bitten into
              * Substitute the pumpkins where ever sweet potatoes are called for.

              7 Replies
              1. re: DiningDiva

                love the candied idea...is the called dulce? I've been researching puebla cuisine and read that the nuns are really into candying fruit...has anyone ever made it at home?

                1. re: sixelagogo

                  I have a recipe for you that I'll post tonight. It's pretty easy. Yes, it's a dulce, or at least the recipe I'll post is.

                  1. re: sixelagogo

                    Okay, here you go, the recipe for candied squash. This is the perfect season for this dish, as it is often found during Day of the Dead celebrations. It's also a dish that can be found in all primary areas of Mexico, with slight variations of course.

                    DULCE DE CALABAZA
                    1 Calabaza de Castilla
                    1 Kilo Piloncillo (1 Kilo = 2.2 pounds) in small pieces (see note 1 below)
                    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
                    1 Cup Water
                    Corn leaves (see note 2 below)

                    This recipe doesn't happen to call for canela, but you could add 4 or 5 sticks of canela in step 4 below. You could probably throw in 3 or 4 allspice berries or a few cloves too, if desired.

                    This recipe was originally for a clay cazuela. If you don't have that use a big (very big) casserole dish (or deep half hotel pan if you've got it)

                    1. Cut the squash into pieces. Remove the seeds and any stringy fibers, but do not peel
                    2. If using a clay cazuela, invert a small plate into the bottom of the cazuela to help prevent the dulce from sticking. If you're using a big casserole dish/pot or stainless steel hotel pan you can invert a dish or just spray really well with pan release. The whole purpose of this step is to make the cooking pot more or less non-stick
                    3. Line the side of the cooking vessel with the squash with the skin against the side of the dish and the flesh to the interior of the dish. There should be a space of depression of sorts in the center of the cooking dish.
                    4. Put the piloncillo pieces. Mix the baking soda and salt into the water and pour over the piloncillo pieces in the center of the pan.
                    5. Cover the top of the pan with the corn leaves to form a lid for the baking dish
                    6. Place the pan/pot over a low flame on the range top and cook until the squash is very tender and the piloncillo has penetrated it very well. More water may need to be added as the dish cooks so that it doesn't evaporate and cook dry.

                    Note 1 - piloncillo is extremely hard. Don't try and process it into smaller pieces in a blender or food processor. The piloncillo will win and you'll be buying a new blender jar or food processor bowl. An easy, if somewhat unorthodox, method for breaking it up is to put it in a zip lock bag and whack away at it with a hammer.

                    Note 2 - you can use either fresh or dried corn husks in this recipe. If using dry, rehydrate them first before covering the casserole dish with them. It will help keep the dried leaves from absorbing moisture away from the squash.

                    Calabaza de Castilla is a very large, eliptical to pear shaped squash with hard skin. The flesh is bright orange and the rind kind of a varigate blackish, greenish color. It's a fairly sweet squash with a flavor reminescent of butternut squash. Even if your squash are not Castillas, any of the winter squashes with hard rinds are a good candidate for this type of treatment.

                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      Totally want to try this out!...couple of questions:
                      -what is the end result of the squash...dry and sugary or moist?
                      -about how long does it take on the stove?

                      thanks so much

                      1. re: sixelagogo

                        The end result is syrupy. The squash should be very tender but still able to retain it's shape (which is why you leave the skin on, for support).

                        How long it takes is going to depend on how much squash you've got in the pot and how long it would take it to get tender. Since it calls for a low flame I'd say a whole pot of squash would take at minimum 90 mintues, probably longer. I'd check the water after the first half hour and then every 15-20 mintues thereafter. The piloncillo and water will make a syrup that will cook the squash. You need to make sure the syrup doesn't simmer away.

                        1. re: DiningDiva

                          I've seen this dulce in an Ecuadorian cookbook as well.

                          Last time I made it, I used pieces of a rather large kambocha squash. Butternut would also work. Leaving skin or not is your choice.

                          The simple version is to just make the syrup by simmering the raw brown sugar in water, with added seasonings like cinnamon stick, cloves, allspice. You don't need to break up the cones - they'll dissolve.

                          Then just cook the squash pieces in this syrup as you would in plain water. Any sauce pan would do. The squash can be cooked till soft, but I prefer some substance. I let the squash cool in the syrup. The squash takes up the color of the syrup, a bit like dark watermelon rind pickles. Time depends on the size of the pieces. 15 minutes may be enough for smaller ones.

                          Sweets like this are often served with fresh cheese.

                          The favorite 'dulce' (sweet) in Ecuador is made with firm figs, dulce de higo. Laylita has a wonderful description of this. In step 7 she makes the same sort of syrup.

                          If you don't have the pilloncillo, you could make a similar syrup with sugar and molasses. Dark brown sugar might do, though I like a stronger flavor. Or if you live in the NE, try C grade maple syrup.

                  2. re: DiningDiva

                    Speaking of the masa, it seems like a natural for tamales as well. I'm sure there are plenty of recipes out there. There is also a Pumpkin Mole by Rick Bayless that is served with grilled chicken.

                    I wonder of the squash, or pumpkin, would work on the grill itself? Dust it with a little ancho powder and salt, grill until just soft and then a squeeze of lime at the end. Maybe even on skewers...I'll have to give it a shot one of these days...

                  3. I use diced winter squash or pumpkin when I make my Southwestern Succotash - black beans, corn, hominy, diced green chiles, and diced squash simmered together with a dose of toasted cumin and maybe a splash of hot pepper sauce if you like it hotter.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: KiltedCook

                      I'm going to attempt a variation of this. If you're pressed for time (as I am), this could be a good option. What I'd like to do is incorporate some diced fresh calabaza with a can of Muir Glen Southwest Black Bean soup. If all goes as expected, I think it will yield succotash. I just need some hominy and some cumin.

                      KiltedCook, what do you usually serve with yours? ☼

                      Muir Glen --> http://www.muirglen.com/products/prod...

                    2. The only authentic Mexican recipes that i know (i´m from the north of mexico) are "dulce de calabaza" or "calabaza en tacha" and "empanadas de calabaza"....i personally don´t like any of them. My grandmother used to bake for me "empanadas de calabaza Y PIÑA" ...these i liked. ..There´s a sweet dish from Yucatán called camote con coco, and camote con piña, those are v-e-r-y good, i´ve tried them but don´t know the recipe...

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Xacinta

                        =) There is a reason why people from Central & Southern Mexico make fun of northerners....

                        Basic pumpkin soup made throughout the heart of Mexico. For interesting recipes... you need to get down to a Mexican bookstore there are several books devoted to Pumpkins... particularly those for Indigenous cooking.


                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                          I am from the north but i lived in Mexico City for 22 years...and i learned a lot from cooking classes, recipe books, tv shows, friends and specially from my house keepers. I am a Mexican living in Mexico and for a long, long time.

                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                            I am from the north but i lived in Mexico City for 22 years...and i learned a lot from cooking classes, recipe books, tv shows, friends and specially from my house keepers. I am a Mexican living in Mexico and for a long, long time....but i didn´t know gluten was part of our traditional cooking, i don´t think those IMSS recetarios represent authentic Mexican dishes, they must be good and healthy, though.

                            1. re: Xacinta

                              Hmmmm then I guess my grand uncle's wife whose family has been cultivating Pumpkins, Ducks, Huitlacoche, Huazontle and Acociles in the Xochimilco area since Pre-Colombian times, and who grew up speaking Nahautl as her primary language, and makes one mean Pumpkin soup doesn't represent authentic Mexican cooking.. porrrr favoooor.

                          2. re: Xacinta

                            If you're good with baking, I'd try making the empanadas de calabaza.
                            The ones sold in Latino markets here are probably made with pumpkin filling and are just slightly sweet (my preference) - MUCH better than the gluey, fake pineapple filled ones.

                          3. Is the candied squash a dessert or is it a 'vegetable' dish that I could serve with Orange Chipotle pork tenderloin?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sarah galvin

                              It's more of a sweet than a vegetable side dish. The orange and the chile might cut the sweetness enough to use it with your pork.