Calabacitas con Costillas de Puerco, Tatuma Zucchini Squash with Spare Ribs

RecipeDomingo GarzaComment

4 - 6 servings, accompanied with corn tortillas and white rice 

2  1/2 pounds of spare ribs
2  1/2 pounds of Tatuma squash, Mexican zucchini or regular zucchini
3 medium sized beefsteak plum tomatoes
1 medium sized white onion
4 garlic cloves
3 serrano peppers
1/2  green bell pepper
3 whole corns
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/3 cup corn oil

Chop spare ribs in 3.5-inch chunks. Heat oil until it reaches its smoking point. Sear the spare ribs with salt and pepper. Take them out of the pan as soon as they reach a golden-brown color on the outside (even if they’re not cooked inside), and put them to the side. Dice the squash, tomatoes, onion and green bell pepper in 1-inch chunks. Put the vegetables to the side. Deseed and devein the serrano pepper, and dice it. Mash the garlic cloves and mince them. Cut one of the  whole corns in 3 cm slices, and take the corn off the cob of the other two. Heat oil again in the same pan used to sear the ribs and add the onion, bay leave, garlic, diced serrano pepper and saute for 3 min. then add tomatoes and green bell peppers. Keep sauteing the vegetables until they’re soft. Then add the tatuma squash, the cilantro, all corn and start mixing. Then add the spices: cumin, ground clove, pepper, salt and mix well. Add the ribs with their cooking juice and mix well before adding the serrano peppers. (Be careful not to break them once cooked.)
Cook at low heat for 40 minutes. I recommend checking the bottom of the pot and readjusting the heat if necessary, especially during the first 15 minutes

Photos by Alejandra Martins.

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