When me and Daniel were first dating (possibly engaged) I use to cook him dinner 3 nights a week. Just look at us, man were we cute! 😉 Looking back, it was a little strange when you’ve only been dating for a couple weeks and the said person cooking didn’t actually cook… EVER! But what can I say, when you know you know? Anyways I decided to spice up the cooking I did, by selecting a new vegetable every week and then incorporating it into the meal. I tried to pick vegetables I’d either never heard of (ie yucca root), or a veggie that I’ve never cooked/tried (ie rutabaga). It was really fun for the the month or so it lasted, but then things got busy/crazy and so we stopped.
Well nearly a year later, I bring you this weeks’ vegetable of the week! …*drum-roll please*
What in the world is a Chayote? I had no idea! I just picked it off the top row in the vegetable “storm” area. As you can see, its a green pear-shaped vegetable. When I tasted it raw, it tasted like grass. So I searched the internet for all the information I could find about this gross tasting vegetable.
Turns out it belongs to the gourd family and has some similarities to a cucumber? I didn’t see it but oh well
So I looked up some recipies to try out on this new vegetable. Most of them were really heavy on the dairy. They were either smothered with cheese or cooked in cream. Mmmm. Now don’t get me wrong I LOVE dairy… Its probably my favorite food group. However, we recently did I detox and discovered that everyone in the house is sensitive to dairy…. no bueno. So I steered clear of the dairy recipes and found this one:
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 sm. onion, sliced
2 fresh tomatoes, sliced
1 doz. cooked shrimp with heads
1 c. shrimp juice (extracted from heads and shells of shrimp)
1/2 lb. ground pork
7 reg. chayote, peeled and cubed
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1-2 tsp. salt
Saute garlic in oil until golden brown; add onion and stir-fry until wilted. Add tomatoes and stir. Add the peeled shrimp, and stir. Add ground pork and stir-fry until brown and tender. Add the chayote, stir and continue cooking. Add the shrimp juice (extracted from heads and shells of shrimp by pounding using a mortar and pestle), adding to it one cup of water. Stir until it boils. When chayote is tender, add pepper and season with salt. Serve immediately.
I made a few alterations like only using one chayote, no shrimp head juice (sick), pork chunks instead of ground pork, and I threw in a seedless jalapeno with the chayote.
It was delicious! I added a little Tapatio (everyone else did Rooster sauce), put it on some brown rice, threw together a simple side salad and viola. A delicious, chayote dinner. Oh and for the record cooked chayote tasted a lot like a cucumber/zucchini… weird huh?