Baked Stuffed Chayote
Chayote (Sechium edule) is a type of squash that belongs to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae.
It originally hails from central Mexico and various parts of Latin America but is now grown all over the world. It’s also known as mirliton squash or chocho.
Chayote is loaded with an array of nutrients and antioxidant compounds that provide many potential health benefits. It is especially high in Folate and fibre. It loves to grow in a multitude of conditions, and is gaining popularity around the world and a pest resistant health food.
The young chayote are delicious eaten whole, skin and all, similar to a zuccinni (see the fried Chayote recipe in a previous post).
The mature Chayote have a thicker skin which can't be eaten. So you either peel them first, or, like the following recipe, bake them in the shell.
Baked Stuffed Chayote
Start by slicing your Chayote in half, length-wise, and placing them in a pot of boiling salted water. Cover and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, until a fork easily runs through the flesh (don't poke the skin! You want to to remain intact).
Then scoop out the innards, leaving just enough flesh so that the shape doesn't collapse. Keep the seeds! They are delicious too. Mash the chayote innards (if you watched our FB cooking show, we pulverised the innards in a food processor, but our panelist of taste testers have concluded that mashed is better than pulverised - we prefer a slightly chunky texture), mix with your favourite stuffing options, then top with a white sauce (or just grated cheese to keep it even simpler).
Keep it simple - just white sauce
Seafood (traditional in New Orleans cuisine, of course!)
Basic white Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 ½ cups shredded cheese (whatever is your favourite)
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; whisk flour into butter until smooth. Pour milk into butter mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Cook and stir until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Add cheese and stir until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.
Smother your chayote in white sauce (you can add some crushed nuts or bread crumbs on top). Then broil in the oven for about 10 minutes to brown the top.
Vegan White Sauce
2 tablespons coconut oil
2 tablespoons flour