Chayotes (8) Collection

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Chef R. W. Miller, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. Chayotes in White Sauce
    Creamy Herbed Chayotes
    Easy Baked Chayotes
    Stuffed Chayotes
    Chayote Soup
    Sauteed Chayote and Carrot
    Chayote Stuffing or Dumplings
    Chayote and Pork Rollups


    Description - Also known as the Vegetable Pear and the Marlinton, this
    vegetable is a member of the cucurbit family. The fruit is light green in
    color and pear shaped. The fruit is produced on vigorous growing vines
    that are cold sensitive.

    Culture - The entire fruit is planted in the spring after all danger of
    frost. The plants should be spaced at least 8 to 10 feet apart. The vine
    should be trellised to provide support for maximum production. Heavy
    fertilization should be avoided or excessive vine growth will reduce
    yields. As with all cucurbits, male and female flowers are borne on the
    same plant requiring bees for pollination.

    Availability - Chayotes are occasionally found on the market, usually in
    late summer and early fall. No commercial production occurs in Texas.

    Selection - Fruit should be firm and free of bruises and other damage. For
    eating purposes, avoid fruit that has started to germinate as evidenced by
    the emergence of the young seedling from the broad end of the fruit.

    Storage - Like all cucurbits, chayotes will shrivel badly if stored under
    dry conditions regardless of temperature. Place in container or plastic
    bag before storing in refrigerator to maintain high humidity conditions.
    Ideal storage conditions are about 50 to 59o F. and 90 percent humidity.
    Chayotes undergo chilling injury below 50o F. Nutrition Information -
    Chayotes are low in calories, 3 ounces contain 24 calories. They are low
    in sodium and a fair source of potassium.

    Preparation - Chayote can be very simply prepared, peeled, cut into
    quarters, steamed, drained, buttered and seasoned with fresh lemon or lime
    juice. Other possibilities include using it in place of potatoes for a
    unique chilled salad, marinated in vinaigrette dressing: combining with
    other vegetables in a fresh vegetable stew; stuffing with ground meat;
    serving au gratin, creamed, or breaded and fried. Chayote invites the
    cook's imagination with discovery of its versatility.

    Microwave Instructions - Wash, peel and cut about two pounds of chayote
    into quarters. Place in 1 qt. covered casserole with 1/4 cup water.
    Microwave on high 10-12 minutes.

    Chayotes in White Sauce

    Peel and chop one chayote, cut into 6 or eight wedges, depending on size
    of chayote, then cut each wedge into three. Boil chayotes in water for 8
    to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add cold water to the saucepan when
    chayotes are soft to the bite but still bright green in color. Add to a
    white sauce and garnish with your favorite herb, for serving.

    White Sauce:
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 tablespoon flour
    1 cup milk
    ground pepper

    Microwave butter in a microwave safe bowl until melted about 20 to 30
    seconds. Remove. Add flour to melted butter, stir vigorously until well
    combined. Add some of the milk and stir well to integrate. Then add the
    rest of the milk. Replace into microwave and cook for a minute on high.
    Remove and stir well. Return to microwave and cook on high for two
    minutes. Remove. Crack in some black pepper. Stir vigorously again. Cook
    for another to minutes. Remove and stir well again and sauce should be
    thickened to perfection. To the cooked sauce, add the cooked, drained
    chayotes. Stir so all the chayote is covered with the sauce. Stir in
    chopped fresh sweet herbs, parsley or whatever you fancy. Serve as a
    vegetable accompaniment.

    Creamy Herbed Chayotes

    2 tablespoons butter
    1/2 small onion, chopped very fine
    2 slices of bacon, chopped fine
    1 medium sized chayote, peeled and cut into chunky cubes
    a handful of fresh chopped herbs; either basil, coriander or parsley
    1/2 cup cream

    Melt butter and saute onions and bacon until onions are golden. Add cubed
    chayotes and saute for 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a casserole dish
    sprinkle with herbs and top with cream. Cover and cook in a 350F oven for
    about 25 minutes or until chayotes are soft but still bright in color.
    Serve as a vegetable accompaniment to a main dish.

    Easy Baked Chayotes

    This is so easy. The method steams the flesh to produce a juicy result. If
    you have chayotes with prickles, knock of the prickles with the blade of a
    peeler, but otherwise leave the skin on. Place a piece of baking paper in
    an oven proof dish. Cut chayotes in half and lay chayote, cut side down,
    on the paper in the dish. Bake in a 350F oven for about 40 minutes; test
    with a fork to see if cooked. To serve, place cut side up on plate. Make
    diamond shapes cuts into the flesh with a knife. Smother in butter and
    salt and pepper. Enjoy. If the chayotes are really young and fresh, you
    will find the skin is tender and quite edible.

    Stuffed Chayotes

    1/2 small onion
    1/4 cup grated carrot
    1/2 cup grated cheese
    1/4 cup cooked, leftover spaghetti noodles or orzo, if you prefer
    herbs and seasonings

    Finely chop the onion. Chop the spaghetti into about 1/2 inch lengths.
    Saute the onion in butter with the grated carrot until soft. Remove and
    mix together with the spaghetti, grated cheese and finely chopped fresh
    herbs from the garden. Halve chayotes, scoop out the nut and enough flesh
    to make a cavity to hold your stuffing. You may want to cut a small piece
    of the underside of the chayote so they sit nicely in the baking dish and
    on the plate. Fill the chayote cavities about 1/4 cup of the mixture in
    each cavity. Bake in a moderate oven until vegetable is cooked. Serve on
    its own as an entree or as a vegetable accompaniment to a main dish.

    Chayote Soup

    1 onion
    3 rashers bacon
    3 chayotes
    1 carrot
    1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
    3 cups water

    Chop onion and bacon roughly. Peel and chop 2 and 1/2 of the chayotes,
    into cubes. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Add onion and
    bacon and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chopped chayotes and saute for
    another 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chicken stock powder than add 2 cups of
    water. Stir well to combine. Bring to boil and simmer for about 20
    minutes. Put aside and leave to cool, then puree the contents of the
    saucepan, using a stick blender or whatever you have. If the mixture is
    too thick, you could add more water to bring to desired consistency. Taste
    and season with salt and pepper. While soup is cooking prepare the
    remaining half of the chayote and the carrot to make Sauteed Chayote and
    Carrot; see below. Add half of the sauteed chayote and half of the sauteed
    carrot to the soup along with a handful of chopped parsley. This adds some
    bright color to the soup, which through blending has turned a green tinged
    beige green. Reheat soup, do not boil. Spoon into serving bowls. Garnish
    with a tablespoon of fresh cream and the remainder of the grated carrot
    and chayote.

    Sauteed Chayote and Carrot

    Grate half a chayote and put to one side. Grate a carrot so you have about
    the same quantity of carrot as you do of chayote. Heat about a tablespoon
    of butter in a frying pan. Add carrot and saute until cooked. Remove. Add
    chayote and saute until cook but endure green has some hints of bright
    green. Add salt of plenty of black pepper. Serve as a vegetable
    accompaniment to a main course or use to enhance chayote soup; see above
    or as addition to stuffing or dumplings; see below.

    Chayote Stuffing or Dumplings

    3 slices bread
    a handful of fresh herbs from the garden; thyme oregano, rosemary sage,
    basil, parsley, basil and chives
    half a cup of sauteed chayote and carrot, see above
    salt and pepper
    1 egg

    Place slices of bread and washed and towel dried herbs into the blender.
    Blend until the bread is crumbed and the herbs are chopped very fine.
    Remove into a bowl. Add the sauteed chayote and carrot, salt and paper and
    the egg. Mix well. This mixtures sticks together very well. Either form
    into balls to cook as dumplings or stuff into a chicken for roasting.

    Chayote and Pork Rollups

    as many slices of pork schnitzel as you need, 1 or 2 per person
    rosemary and sage leaves

    Beat schnitzel until thin. Peel and quarter the chayotes. Layer a couple
    of sage leaves on the pork, place a piece of chayote on the leaves and
    rollup the pork. Secure with a toothpick. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a
    frying pan. Add the pork and brown on all sides. Remove to a casserole
    dish. Add salt and pepper to the pan and deglaze with 1/4 cup of
    chardonnay. Pour the liquid over the rollups in the casserole dish. Cover
    and cook in a 350F oven for about 40 minutes or until pork and chayote are

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