We are into the first week of August and the eighth week of Farmer Kev’s CSA program. Eight more deliveries to go. I must say that developing and sharing a recipe each week has really stretched me as a cook. (It seems that old dogs really can learn new tricks.) My friend Alice Johnson has been a big help, and her stuffed bread has become a favorite with Clif. My personal favorite is a quiche with zucchini and basil—a recipe I’ll share next week. I’m not sure I would have made either of these dishes if I hadn’t been writing for Farmer Kev. Thanks to him—and Alice—I have two new recipes that will become staples in our house.
This week, along comes a third favorite, a fajita with summer squash and peppers. There has been a lot of summer squash in the CSA bin, and one night I thought, “Why not use some to make a fajita?”
Why not indeed? That night, Clif was available to help in the kitchen, and he diced the squash and the peppers. We wanted them small so that they would easily fit in the small tortillas we had. I minced some garlic, which is my go-to allium, and I use it many, many dishes. Unfortunately, raw or lightly cooked onions upset my stomach, and I use garlic as a substitute for onion. So please note: In most of my recipes that call for garlic, onion could be substituted. (Fortunately, I can eat onions that have been simmered a long time, say, in a soup or tomato sauce. But still, this intolerance is a pain, and I consider it a food handicap.)
From my cupboard I took chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Making sure the covers were off, I lined the spices next to the stove along with salt. (No, Shannon, I did not measure the spices.)
I put about a tablespoon, maybe a little more, of oil in a skillet, and heated it up. Then I added the peppers and summer squash and sautéed them until they were soft but still a little crunchy—for about five minutes or so. I didn’t time them. I just watched and tasted until they were cooked to my liking. I added some cooked chicken sausage and the garlic. Next came the spices. I sprinkled in some chili, a little less cumin, a pinch of red pepper, a shake or two of salt. I tasted. Clif tasted. In went more chili and more red pepper. There, it was just the way we liked it. The trick when not measuring is to start with a little of the spices. You can always add more, but you, of course, can’t add less.
We warmed the small tortillas between two damp pamper towels in the microwave for about 45 seconds. (They could also be warmed in the oven in foil for five or ten minutes. We spooned the mixture into the warm tortillas, topped with grated Monterey Jack cheese, and voilà! A new favorite that I’ll be making repeatedly.
This recipe, like so many of the ones that I make, is another one of those flexible ones. Mushrooms could be added, especially if you wanted to keep it vegetarian. The aforementioned onions could be used in addition to garlic, and steak or pork instead of chicken.
We cooked some rice as a side. Somehow, rice always goes with fajitas.
What a tasty way to use summer squash. Or, pretty darned good, as Clif might say.
Fajitas with Summer Squash and Peppers
Serves 3 or 4, depending on appetite. (This recipe could easily be doubled or even tripled.)
- 1 summer squash, cubed
- 1 sweet pepper, cubed
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Chili powder, to taste
- Cumin, to taste
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- 6 ounces of pre-cooked chicken sausage, cut in half-rounds
- 1/2 cup of shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
- Small tortillas
- Optional ingredients could include lime juice, cilantro, sour cream, salsa, or parsley.
- In a medium-sized skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil.
- Add the squash and peppers and stir-fry for five minutes or until they are cooked to your liking.
- Add the sausage and garlic. Stir-fry for a minute.
- Sprinkle, to taste, the chili, cumin, red pepper, and salt on top of the mixture and stir in. Remember to start small and adjust upward.
- Spoon into tortilla shells and sprinkle with cheese.
- Add optional ingredients, if desired.
- Roll and eat.