Summer Squash and Corn Stew
The secret ingredient to this summer squash stew is half-and-half steeped with a potent mixture of fragrant spices and fresh herbs.
6 black peppercorns
6 coriander seeds
6 whole cloves
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro - divided use
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and sliced into sixths
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped mint leaves
1 cup half-and-half (light cream)
1/2 pound summer squash
1/4 pound crookneck squash
1/2 pound zucchini
2 ears corn, shucked
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
- Bruise peppercorns, coriander seeds and cloves with a mortar and pestle and add, along with half the cilantro, half the jalapeño, cinnamon stick and mint, to the half and half. Gradually bring to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and let steep while prepping the vegetables.
- Cut summer squash and crookneck squash into rounds 1/2 inch thick. Quarter zucchini lengthwise and then cut quarters into 1/2 inch chunks. Cut corn kernels off cobs. Combine all in a large bowl and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and when hot, but not smoking, add onion. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add reserved vegetables, remaining jalapeño and salt. Continue to sauté for 5 more minutes. Pour the half-and-half directly into pan through a strainer and add tomato. Simmer for several minutes, until sauce has reduced a little and squash are tender. Garnish with remaining cilantro and serve.
Makes 4 servings.