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Chayote


April 28, 2015

“Lightness is not an attribute usually associated with enchiladas, the most comforting of Mexican tortilla foods. But these enchiladas, filled with a mix of blanched seasoned chard and succulent diced chayote and covered with a classic cooked tomatillo salsa, are both light and incredibly satisfying.

I didn’t skimp on oil to lighten them. When you prepare tortillas in oil that is hot enough, they absorb only a small amount. When I tested the recipe, I used about one-third of a cup of oil to get a half-inch of depth in the pan. After quickly frying 18 tortillas, I found that most of the oil remained in the pan, not weighing down the tortillas.

I take my enchilada-making cues from Pati Jinich, host of ‘Pati’s Mexican Table’ on PBS. Her instructions for frying are infallible. In the past, I’ve had trouble with tortillas cracking as I rolled them up, but because they were quickly fried, they remained light and intact…”

To read the entire article, click here.


August 29, 2014
mole de olla

I don’t think twice about eating a hot stew in the summertime. And, as far as I know, millions of Mexicans feel the same way.

You will see Pozole served in fondas in the middle of June, hot Caldo de Camarón as one of the most popular items on beach restaurant menus, and the famed Mole de Olla being ladled, sizzling hot from the pot, in markets all over the country at peak midday heat.

I’ve read that having something hot in the summer will actually cool you off. It turns out chiles are thought to have the same effect.  All these Mexican stews, quoted above, have rich broths that are usually flavored with one or more kinds of chiles.

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Mole de Olla

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CHAYOTE SQUASH AND PICKLED ONION SALAD
Ensalada de chayote y cebolla morada
Serves 6

INGREDIENTS
2 pounds chayote squash
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced

TO PREPARE
Place unpeeled chayotes in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil and cover the pan, then reduce heat to low; simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the chayotes are cooked through. A knife will cleanly go through them, but they won’t be completely soft or mushy.

Drain, and once cool, peel the chayotes. Cut them in half, then slice into sticks.

Combine the remaining ingredients, except for the onions, and whisk into a vinaigrette. Add the onions, mix well and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. It can also be made ahead a day before and left in the refrigerator.

Toss the chayote sticks with the vinaigrette and onions. Serve or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.


Simple, easy, home-style cuisine that you’d find in just about any Mexican home, recreated for the American kitchen. This meal was my favorite “everyday” meal growing up in Mexico, and one I regularly make for my own family today. I am proud to share the steps so that you can enjoy it too.


March 9, 2010
ChayoteSquash1.JPG

Chayote, also called chayote squash (it is from the squash family), choko, vegetable pear, mirliton and christophene, is a beautiful pear like shaped vegetable. Ironically, it has a texture similar to a pear that isn’t ripe, but less grainy. Yet the chayotes isn’t wholly sweet, it just has a sweet hint, barely a whisper, really. Its flavor is more neutral, like a cross between a pear and a cucumber… and zucchini. Well, you just have to give them a try.

Crispy, watery, very low-fat, with a clean and wholesome feel, chayote can be used many ways. Most typically in soups, as a warm vegetable side, a cold salad or very popularly stuffed either with a sweet or savory spin. They are most times cooked and best al dente, unless eaten stuffed.

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Chayote Squash

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