Cured Chilacayote with Salsa (Chilacayote Curada en Cal)
Pujol, Mexico City, Enrique Olvera - March 2014
For 4 servings
- 3 tsps. (14g) pickling lime
- 1 gal. (3,789g) hot water
- 1 lb. (454g) chilacayota squash (Cucurbita ficifolia), cut into 10” pieces
- 4 3/4 tsps. (28g) salt
- 4 3/4 tsps. (28g) sugar
- 1 bunch thyme
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 pasilla mixe chile (an Oaxacan passilla)
Dissolve pickling lime in 1 cup hot water in very large nonreactive pot; add squash; cover with 2 qts. hot water; cover; reserve in refrigerator 8 hours.
Bring salt, sugar, thyme, garlic, cinnamon, chile, and remaining 1 3/4 qts. hot water to a boil in large pot; drain squash; rinse; add to pot; cook until soft (about 1 hour); remove from heat; drain; place on baking sheet to drain; remove skin; cut some pieces into 3” by 1 1/2” rectangles; reserve.
Salsa de tomate:
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 pasilla mixe chile
- 1/4 cup (43g) white onion, cut into very sm. dice
- 2 Tbsps. (2g) cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- sea salt
Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat; add tomatoes; cook, turning occasionally, until skins are charred; remove from heat; let cool slightly; peel tomatoes; discard skins; return tomatoes to skillet; cook, turning, 10 seconds; remove from heat; place in a blender with chile (or pound in a molcajete); puree; place in airtight container; cover; reserve in refrigerator until cold.
Stir onion and cilantro into puree; season with salt; cover; reserve into refrigerator.
- 2 Tbsps. (28g) extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 basil sprouts
Heat oven to 350°.
Place cured chilacayotas on a baking sheet; roast until heated through; remove from oven; brush with oil; reserve (keep warm).
To serve, divide chilacayotas among serving plates; spoon some salsa over; garnish each with 3 basil sprouts.