Redolent with honey, cinnamon, and aniseed, this stew highlights mild but exotic flavors typically associated with European cuisine, but which are also commonly used in Mexico. Calabaza is a pumpkinlike winter squash. Butternut squash is a good substitute. If you prefer a smoother consistency, use a potato masher to break up the squash.
5 poblano chiles (about 1 pound)
1 teaspoon aniseed
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick, broken
1 tablespoon peanut oil
3 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
10 cup (2-inch) pieces peeled calabaza squash (about 3 pounds)
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons Crema Mexicana
1/2 cup roasted pumpkinseed kernels
How to Make It
Cut poblano chiles in half; discard seeds and membranes. Place the chile halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 5 minutes or until blackened. Place in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel chiles; discard skins. Chop chiles.
Place aniseed and cinnamon in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground.
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add cinnamon mixture to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add chopped chiles, squash, broth, water, honey, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until squash is tender.
Drizzle each serving with Crema Mexicana; sprinkle with pumpkinseeds.
Very tasty! This is a wonderful way to use a large butternut squash. I added some lime juice and more aniseed for each serving, but that's only if you want more spice. Plain yogurt can sub for the crema. Avocado is nice on top too. A brilliant recipe!!