Last Updated on July 17, 2018 by Chef Mireille
Blogging Marathon #35
Theme: Cooking with Corn
Since the US is in such close proximity to Mexico and there are many Mexicans living here, some of the words used for food ingredients are Spanish words, eventhough the rest of the English speaking world may call it something else. For example, coriander for the rest of the English speaking world is cilantro to us. What we call chayote is mirliton or christophene to everyone else. It’s called mirliton in French speaking countries and in New Orleans. In Jamaica and South Africa, they call it cho-cho – how it got that name over there I have no idea!
In my grandmother’s birthplace of Dominica where English is the official language, christophene is how we call it and it is very commonly utilized there, most often in soups, stews and curries. However, this stuffed version is another delightful option you can enjoy on the island. I added some veggies to make the stuffing a little more interesting.
There is an enzyme in christophene/chayote that might make your hand itch. For me, it is very bad – I think because I do have a slight skin allergy to other members of the squash family when raw. Once cooked, it does not bother me at all. I always wear gloves when handling christophene raw for this reason and if you have sensitive skin and don’t know how you might react to this vegetable, I recommend wearing gloves. This is why they are sold in individually wrapped little bags, so that people do not have to touch them when picking them at the market.
- 3 christophene/chayote squash
- 3/4 cup frozen corn (defrosted)
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1/4 large bell pepper, chopped
- 5 shadoe beny leaves (culantro/recaito), finely chopped (you can substitute cilantro)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 3 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs (I used 4C whole wheat)
- leaves of 7 sprigs of thyme
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, grated (you can also use cheddar or any good melting cheese)
Peel christophene. Half them lengthwise along the crevice and core them. (my Mom picked up this little gadget sold as a ginger scraper for me that works perfect for coring – it’s like a little spoon with a serrated edge – a handy kitchen tool)
Put cored out christophene in a pot with enough water to cover. Add a generous pinch of salt and cook on high heat until tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine corn, bell pepper, shadoe beny and scallions in a bowl. Add milk, breadcrumbs, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
As soon as the christophene are cooked, drain and run with cold water. Remove the flesh from inside, leaving about 1/2″ shell. Chop the flesh and add to the bowl with the corn and all the other ingredients.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Fill christophene cavity with stuffing and top with cheese.
Place in a lightly greased baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, until cheese melts.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#34
…linking to Pari’s Baked Goods event hosted by Kalyani, Drinks & Starters, Kid’s Delight hosted by Sandhya & Taste of the Tropics-Corn
Oh we make it as sambar or stir fry in South India and call it Chow chow..:)..this is really so new and sounds so good..
We call it chow-chow mir! ! I have never ever imagined this veggie cooked like this!! Very tempting mir, that too with melting cheese, it is ohooo!!!
wow thats an awesome christophene with chayota :)looks so delicious 🙂
New name to the chayote squash/chow chow..Love this vegetable..Gr8 idea to stuff it!
Interesting. I love this squash very much and was wondering what christophines are in your recipe title. 😉
Until I read the intro I had no clue! We use this a lot in sambars and dry curries. And when we were in China,a friend told me that, the word they use to call it when translated in English means 'Buddha's hands' [like when you fold your fingers in prayer]
Anyway,never used chow chow like this.Sounds very nice 🙂
As I read your intro I was clueless. thanks to the pics its called Sema baidnikai pr mul badnekai.. badnekai being brinjal I do not know why. This si a great way of getting my family to eat the chow chow. Thanks.
I didn't really know the reason why they are sold in plastic bags.. thanks for the info. Also I had no clue of the differenct names — chayote, chow-chow are the 2 English names I know.
Your stuffed chayote looks awesome.
I have made this vegetable only in our traditional South Indian dishes. Now i know where the name chow chow (as we call it) comes from. The other name that you mentioned is very new. Also love that little scraper. It is very useful to core. Lovely dish and thanks for linking it to the event!
Mir I made it. Waiting for hubby to get back in the evening. Will share with him.
You must let me know how he liked it