I saw this vegetable at the farmers’ market and thought it was a pumpkin. Turns out, it’s not a pumpkin. It’s a red kobacha squash, also known as a sunshine squash. The guy at the stand assured me it was delicious though, so I figured it would sub just fine in this recipe. It’s also the closest thing to a Halloween recipe I’ve got.
If you buy one, a word of warning. Sharpen your knives, clear your countertop, and summon your inner Freddie Krueger. This is quite a bit more difficult than cutting a sandwich in half. By the grace of God, goddesses, Xenu, and the Flying Spagetti Monster, I got this thing cut open without stabbing myself or breaking everything in my kitchen. I had a few near misses, but chopped it all up without incident
This is the first Rick Bayless recipe I’ve ever made, and I’m definitely interested in trying more now. This recipe was unusual. I don’t usually cook vegan meals, so it was a nice change. I served it over rice, making it also a gluten free meal, so this dish would be a great contribution to a potluck or buffet, if you have a lot of friends with various dietary restrictions. The recipe took a while to prepare, so it’s not really a good weeknight meal, but it makes a ton of food, so your labors will be worth it. The recipe says it serves four as a main course, but my husband and I ate it for dinner, then for lunch, and still had leftovers. To mix things up a bit, we the last of it as a taco filling, piling it on corn tortillas and topping them with cotija cheese – really, really good.
Smoky Braised Mexican Pumpkin (or Squash)
Recipe by Rick Bayless, via Martha Stewart