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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Stuffed Chayote with Salsa Verde

This morning, I went to my local Mexican grocery to pick up some fresh produce. I didn't have a plan, I wanted to get stuff for salad and 1 or 2 exotic things that I hadn't worked with before.
Those items ended up being tomatillos (right rear) and chayote (center). I also got scallions and a bundle of cilantro; I've grown cilantro on my window and also used the dried kind before, but now that I know Tienda Morelos has bundles for 79 cents, I'll buy that from now on.
Cooked chayote has a mild flavor, somewhere between a zucchini and a pear.

Tomatillos are most commonly used in salsa verde, so I decided to make some. I started by dry roasting the tomatillos along with some garlic. You can dry roast vegetables by placing

them skin-on in a dry iron skillet turning occasionally until the vegetable is cooked and the skin is dotted with brown/black blisters. This took about 20 minutes.

To make the salsa:
In the food processor, combine unpeeled roasted tomatillos, peeled roasted garlic, 2 chopped scallions, 1-2 jalapenos, a big handful of fresh cilantro, 1 Tbsp lime juice, and a pinch of sugar. Pulse until it reaches desired consistency; you can make it rustic and chunky or blend it smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the stuffed chayote:
Slice the chayote longways and boil the halves for 30 minutes. Don't touch the goo that comes out when you cut it, I hear it causes skin irritation. Remove boiled halves and allow to cool. Scoop out seed and discard. Scoop out flesh and blend with fillings of choice in a bowl, I used chili con queso. You can use all kinds of veggies, meats, cheeses, rice, use your imagination!
Preheat oven to 350.
Fill each half with some of the filling. Cover and bake for 25 minutes, uncover and cook for 5-10 minutes depending on whether or not you want a crispy top.
Serve with the salsa verde.
(I reserved some extra chili and served tortilla chips on the side.)