Here in the deep South they are also called Mirlitons...One popular idea is stuffed mirliton...using small bits of, or a combination of shrimp, crawfish, crab, tasso, andouille etc, along with a small amount of stuffing containing various vegetables, seasonings etc. They can be cut in 1/2, the seed removed, simmered until just tender, filled with a stuffing mixture and ran into the oven for a few minutes before service...Google can provide many different recipes.....Hope this helps!
re: Uncle Bob
Here's a recipe from my sister:
Cristofene au Gratin
1 tsp salt
½ stick butter
1 medium onion finely chopped
Black pepper to taste
2 T. dry bread crumbs
1 c. shredded parmesan cheese (approx 4 oz)
Preheat oven to 350.
1. Place whole crisofenes in pot large enough to totally cover with water. Add ½ tsp salt. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from water and cool enough to handle.
2. Slice each crstf in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seed and pithe (discard). Scoop out meat leaving at least ½ inch “shell” intact. Chop up the meat (but not the seeds!) and set aside.
3. Heat butter in deep frying pan. Add the onion and cook until soft and slightly translucent. Add the chopped crstf meat, the remaining salt and pepper and mix well. Cook for another 2 minutes stirring often. Stir in the bread crumbs and cook for 1 minute. Mix in ½ c grated cheese and remove from heat.
4. Fill each crstf shell with mixture and place them all on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.
Yep ... lot's of experience with the chayote. I'm currently patroling the borders of my garden on the watch for renegade chayote. They are prolific to say the least. They make kudzu look like underperformers.
Anyway here's a few notes from the year the choyote took over my garden and I had bushels of them.
Chayote chronicles part 1 – raw, fried, boiled, microwaved ... wonderful and so pretty
In addition to general info and links to recipes there were these ideas in that post
- chayote-based mole
- slice it thinly, brown it a bit and add it to stir-fries. It gives the stir fry a nice, satisfying crunch.
- *Chayote Estilo Cristina* (chicken stock, tomatoes, serranos, onions, etc)
- A thin slice or two on a chicken salad or tuna salad sandwich. The crunch acts like an apple -- same freshness too -- without all the sweetness.
- As the featured veggie in any number of South Indian dishes. It holds its shape well and takes to the aggressive seasoning beautifully while still offering its own flavor
Prickly chayotes gone wild
A few good suggestions from the above link
- mirliton slaw, which served as the foil for a fried softshell crab; it rocked...bright, crisp, slightly bitter--it nicely offset the richness of the crab.
- mash with butter and cayenne
- sweet stuffed chayote relleno
Due to my limited cooking skills I prefer them simple ...mashed with butter, added to soups, raw with salad. You can eat the seeds too ... they are tasty.
This old post had ideas for more complex dishes
- boiled them with chiles and topped with a little cotija cheese
- Mirliton Salad with Roquefort Dressing
- Smothered Mirliton (involves bacon ... hmmm ... I might try this with chipotle bacon)
- Salvadoran "Huisquil" The chayote is cut in half and stuffed with a white farmer's cheese and then broiled in a light tomato sauce. Sometimes it is also lightly breaded on the outside.
- Crawfish Magnifique (stuffed with crawfish etoufee)
- Soupe de Mirlitons (involves bacon, cream and jalepenos)
This post had some good idea's
- peeled, sliced and stir-fried with pork or beef
- Nicaraguan casserole - white sauce with a little ham and whatever else is available. cut the chayote into pieces and par boil it then dump it all into a casserole.
- they hold up well to stewing just long enough for them to "take up" the flavor of whatever the accompanying ingredients happen to be such as a fresh tomato sauce - wonderful with fresh herbs and freshly grated Parmesan on pasta
The Chow ingrediants database has a lot of info, nice picture, alternate names and other tips.
Serving Suggestions: Stuff chayote with fillings such as mixed seafood, ham with soffrito, pork, ginger, and scallions (or raisins, nuts, and brown sugar) and bake. Remove the outer skin, cut up, and sauté or deep-fry. Cut raw chayote into julienne strips and add to coleslaw-type salads.
Flavor Affinities: Chicken, chiles, cilantro, corn, ham, lime, onions, seafood, sweet peppers, tomatoes.
I purchased a chayote today because I saw a recent episode of Emeril Live where he used one in a cajun inspired dish.
I'm not a fan of cajun food, but when I saw the chayote in the supermarket, it caught my eye. I'll probably chop it up and saute it with zucchini and yellow squash.
Brazilians do a nice dish (this was my mother's favorite!) called Camarao com xuxu/chuchu (shrimp with chayote). Unfortunately I cannot find a recipe online in English.
The basic way to make it goes like this: take the shells off the shrimp and boil them in some slightly salted water to make a broth.
Saute some chopped onion in another pan in olive oil and then add some chopped tomato and garlic, maybe some hot pepper flakes, add the peeled cubed chayote and some of the shrimp broth and cook until almost tender, then add the raw shrimp and cook until the shrimp is done and the chayote is tender.
We always had it served over white rice with a little hot sauce. The sauce of this dish is nice.
Chayote has a very delicate flavor. I always remember a friend of my mother's saying that it took many years after she quit smoking to finally be able to taste the vegetable again.
I make mine St. Lucia (Caribbean) style, slightly modified to my likes. Cut the chayote squash in half lengthwise ( I use two or three); place them in a two quart pan and fill with water to cover, cook for about 30 minutes on medium heat with the lid loosely on the pan. Remove the squash from the stove, drain and cool down with cold water. Remove the seed and membrane with a spoon; peel the outer skin with a peeler. Next, chop them into inch pieces and place in a blender. Add about half of a chopped onion, two or three cloves of finely chopped garlic, seasonings (I like Mrs. Dash), quarter cup of flour, three tablespoons butter and half a cup of milk. Run the blender on the puree setting for a few minutes to blend all the ingredients. Pour into a skillet and sauté (uncovered) on a very low heat for about five minutes. Pour this mixture into an oven safe dish (corningware), sprinkle with bread crumbs and a couple pads of butter and bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven until crumbs are golden brown. Dobar tek! (that’s Croatian: “enjoy your meal”).
Oddly enough, I got this recipe from Walmart. They give out free recipe cards.
Chayote-Mango chopped salad.
1 12oz package of broccoli salw
1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbsp lime juse
5 tbsp light brown sugar
1/4/ tsp chipotle powder
1 chayote squash, halved, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 firm mango, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 tbsp olive oil
Basically, combine the first seven ingrediants.
Toss mango and chayote with olive oil and grill 3 minutes per side. place on plates and top with slaw.