Squash with Mushrooms

Squash with Mushrooms

My MexicoFrom My Mexico
A Culinary Odyssey With More Than 300 Recipes

by Diana Kennedy

This is my all out favorite dish. Even without the cream and cheese it makes a delicious vegetable side dish and with all the rich things, served in individual gratin dishes, makes a wonderful first course or main vegetarian course. I have modified the cooking method given to me. By cooking the mushrooms separately, the flavor is intensified. The small tender clavitos (Leophyllum decastes) literally "little nails" known as Fried Chicken mushrooms in the U.S., are my preferred mushroom for this recipe, but any small, juicy mushroom may be substituted.

1 pound (450 gms) zucchini or green squash
3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 heaped tablespoons finely chopped white onion
1 large poblano chile, charred, peeled, cleaned and cut into narrow strips
salt to taste
1/2 pound (225 gms) mushrooms (see note above) rinsed and shaken dry
1/2 cup (125 ml) loosely packed, coarsely chopped cilantro
4 ounces (115 gms) queso fresco or domestic Muenster cut into thin slices
1/2 to 3/4 cup (125-188 ml) crème fraîche

Rinse, trim and cut squash into 1/4-inch (3/4 cm) cubes. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil, add the onion and chile strips with a sprinkle of salt and cook without browning for about 1 minute. Add the squash, cover the pan and cook over a medium heat, shaking the pan from time to time to avoid sticking, until the squash is almost tender -about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the mushrooms in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil, sprinkle with salt and stir fry for about 5 minutes or until the juice that exudes has become almost gelatinous. Add to the squash. Sprinkle the top of the vegetables with the cilantro, cover with cheese and cream. Cover the pan and cook over a gentle heat for about 5 minutes until the cheese has melted.

Excerpted from My Mexico by Diana Kennedy Copyright© 1998 by Diana Kennedy. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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