Has anyone ever cooked with chayote? how do you r/o
Cristinas recipe sounds really great, it's easy and typically Mexican. I'd definitely try it. Anything you can do with a zucchini, you can do with a chayote/mirliton/cristophine.
Saute it in olive oil with some garlic and sliced onions. Slice it, dice it and add it to soups and stews. Stuff it using any stuffing recipe for zucchini or onions. It's very versatile and since it doesn't have a strong or pronounced flavor, it will often take on the flavor profile of whatever it's cooked in.
There is a long, flat, kind of oval seed in it. Some people remove it, some people remove it and eat it, and some just remove it and throw it away.
Chayote is an enormously popular vegetable here in Mexico. It grows on vines about four feet above the ground. At first sight, the vines look like grape vines. The pear-shaped chayotes hang down from the vine supports, under the foliage.
This is a favorite recipe of mine.
*Chayote with Tomato, Onion, and Chile*
2 large tender chayotes
3 or 4 rome tomatoes, diced
1 large white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 or 2 minced chiles serrano, depending on your heat tolerance
2 Tbsp EVOO
1/4 tsp dried crumbled Mexican oregano
1 Mexican bay leaf
1 Tbsp Knorr tomato bouillion powder
Water if needed
Salt if needed
Bring a pot of water to the boil.
Cut each chayote in quarters. Slice crosswise into 1/2" pieces. The soft white seed is edible, so use it too. Boil chayote until just fork-tender, but not overdone. Drain and set aside.
Heat the EVOO in a large heavy skillet. Sauté the minced garlic, the diced onion, and the minced chiles until the onion is translucent. Add the diced tomatoes and sauté until they release some juice. Add the boiled chayote. Add the spices and the Knorr tomato bouillion. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes or so, until the flavors blend. Add water if needed to prevent sticking/burning. Correct the salt.
Serves four as a side dish.
Here in Louisiana, they call it a mirliton, you might try looking it up that way.
Usually they boil it until tender (about 45 minutes, I think), then peel, cube, and add it to casseroles or dressing, like a shrimp mirliton casserole or something. It's very bland on its own.
Mirliton is delicious in an au gratin. Also nice parboiled and sliced, added onto a salad with bacon and toasted mirliton seeds. Creole ratatouille is good, with mirlitons instead of eggplant or in addition to the vegetables.
Gayla is right -- it's quite a versatile vegetable, and particularly nice with onions. It does have a tendency to get soggy, though, so be careful on your moisture.