Have you heard of chayote squash? Also known as a pear squash or vegetable pear. I’ve come across many people who are not familiar with it. Growing up, chayote squash was a treat in my family. From all the Salvadoran dishes my mom made, chayote squash was my favorite (yes, more so than pupusas!). She would make it for me on special occasions or sometimes when she just wanted to spoil me. My mom recently taught me how to make it and it has now become one of the hubby’s favorite dishes. Try it… maybe it’ll become one of your favorites too.
STUFFED CHAYOTE SQUASH
They kind of look like a fly eating plant, huh? But no worries, they won’t bite back…I hope!
So, in El Salvador these little vegetables are sliced up, stuffed with cheese, battered and deep fried. YUM-O!! They’re traditionally eaten with a homemade tomato sauce and some white rice. You can’t beat that combo.
Start off by washing and peeling the squash then cutting them in half.
Cut the halved squash in half again. Try keeping the slices even. You should end up with 12 slices.
Place squash slices in a saucepan, cover with water and boil until fork-tender (about 20 minutes).
NOTE: You want to be able to pierce the squash with a fork, but not too easily. If you cook the vegetable too much it will get soft and fall apart. It needs to maintain it’s shape.
Place the squash on a couple of paper towels and let them drain and cool a bit.
In the same hot water that you cooked the squash, place the tomatoes and let them boil for about 5 minutes or until the flesh splits.
Place the water, tomatoes, onion, garlic, achiote seasoning paste and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking (adding more achiote condiment and/or salt).
After sauce is blended until smooth pour into a saucepan, add olive oil and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat and keep warm.
While sauce boils, beat egg whites and yolk until soft peaks form.
You can use mozzarella or cheddar cheese. I used pepper jack this time around.
Start off by heating vegetable oil in a frying pan.
Place flour and salt on a plate and mix.
1) Lightly flour both sides of two pieces of squash. Sandwich a slice of cheese in between the 2 slices of squash.
2) Dip the chayote “sandwich” in the egg batter.
3) Generously coat with batter.
4) Place in hot oil (make sure oil is hot. You can check this by spooning a small amount of batter, if it sizzles, then it’s ready).
Repeat steps 1-4.
NOTE: Make sure to not over crowd the frying pan. Fry in batches, if needed.
Fry until golden brown (for about 1-2 minutes, keep an eye out on them).
Flip and fry for another minute or two or until both sides are golden brown.
Place fried, stuffed chayote squash on paper towels and let drain.
I served my chayote squash with plain, white rice. That’s the best way to go so it can absorb the yummy tomato sauce.
Place rice, water and margarine in a saucepan or rice cooker. If cooking rice on stovetop; bring to a boil then lower heat to low and cook until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
Serve the stuffed chayote squash on a bed of rice and top with tomato sauce.
mmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmmm!
Look at that cheese.
Enjoy everyone and thanks for stopping by!!
RECIPES (serves 3-6)
STUFFED CHAYOTE SQUASH:
- 3 medium sized chayote squash
- 6 slices pepper jack cheese
- 3 egg whites
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons flour
- pinch salt
- 1/4-1/2 cup vegetable oil, for frying
- 5 tomatoes
- 1/2 white onion
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons achiote rojo seasoning paste***
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon margarine or butter
***Achiote rojo is a spiced seasoning paste consisting of vinegar, salt, garlic, spices and other things. I find this seasoning at my local Latin Market.
Achiote Rojo seasoning paste