Black Bean and Kabocha Squash Rancheros
Although it is still many, many moons away, if I am moving to Texas, I think I need to learn more about Mexican cuisine. While I have posted quite a few Mexican recipes, they are a tad nontraditional:
Tacos made with “BBQ jackfruit meat“
Raw burritos which are collard wraps filled with jicama, sprouts and a nacho-cashew sauce
Or how about a raw taco filled with walnut meat, cashew sour cream and a cherry tomato salsa
What can I say, that’s what happens when I veer away from deep fried and cheese-heavy meals. At least I know how to pronounce mole (moh-lay).
Glancing at the recipe, I could tell this was a going to be a dish with spicy tomato sauce smothering black beans, topped with hazelnut-infused caramelized roasted squash. But what makes this a rancheros? What is rancheros?
Turns out rancheros literally means Ranch-style. Huevos rancheros, a classic Mexican dish with a tortilla topped with an egg and tomato sauce means Ranch-style eggs.
So this, my friends, is Ranch-style squash!
A very simple recipe to prepare, basically you create a spicy silky-smooth cumin and coriander enhanced tomato sauce that coats black beans. The spiciness is juxtaposed beautifully against the sweet squash. Isa’s recipes rarely disappoint although I still tinkered with it.
I roasted my kabocha with hazelnut oil instead of walnut oil. Olive oil would work, too, no worries. I substituted 2 green chiles for the jalapeno and increased the garlic to 6 cloves. It had a nice zing for my palate, but for those who love heat, definitely add more chile.
Any plans for Cinqo de Mayo this weekend?
Mexican Black Bean and Kabocha Squash Rancheros
Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen
1 lb kabocha squash (or butternut), washed and sliced into 2 cm wedges
1 tbsp hazelnut oil (or oil of your choice)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced medium
2 green chiles, seeded, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp maple syrup or agave
2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed if canned
2-3 green onions, chopped, for garnish
1. To roast the kabocha, preheat oven to 425F. Slice the kabocha into wedges approximately 1-2 cm at its thickest (no need to peel!). Toss with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Evenly place on a silpat-lined baking tray (it just helps with the clean-up).
2. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes. Flip squash over and cook for an additional 15 minutes, until it can be easily pierced with a fork. Turn the heat up to broil. Place baking sheet under broil and cook for about 5 minutes. The squash should turn dark brown and start to caramelize in places. Some wedges may cook faster than others, so remove them sooner if necessary. Set aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile, heat a medium, heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Dry toast the coriander and cumin seeds in the pan for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and a few shades darker. Do not let them burn.
4. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the oil and saute the onion for 5 minutes. Add the green chilies and garlic and saute for 5 more minutes, until the onions are browned. Carefully add the tomato sauce (it may sputter!), salt and agave and cook for about 5 minutes.
5. Transfer to the blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If using a blender, make sure to release the steam.
6. Return sauce to the pan and add beans. Cook over medium heat until heated through, about 5 minutes.
7. To serve, use large shallow bowls. Pour a layer of saucy beans in the bowl and top off with 2 or 3 slices of squash. Garnish with green onions.