Chayote relleno

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
3 smalls Chayotes (about 6 ounces each)
½ cup Almonds
½ cup Sugar
3 \N Eggs
1 tablespoon Brandy
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 tablespoons Milk or cream
1 pinch Nutmeg
1½ cup Sponge cake or pound cake, crumbled into fine crumbs,
\N \N Plus 2 tablespoons for topping (see note)
½ cup Golden sultana or black raisins
3 tablespoons Slivered almonds
1 cup Softly whipped cream, barely sweetened

This is a use for chayote that I would never have thought of, but it sounds really good.

I love to shock people with the unexpected, such as serving these stuffed chayote shells for dessert. In this recipe, chayote's delicate texture and taste combine with almonds, sugar, brandy, eggs, cream, raisins and sponge cake to make an elegant pudding-like filling for the pale-green shells. They are abso- lutely delicious and something you might have been served in one of the fine old households of colonial Mexico.

Cut the chayote in half lengthwise and steam for 35 minutes, or until just tender. Do not overcook--you don't want the shells to collapse when you scoop them out.

Meanwhile, combine the almonds and sugar in a food processor and grind until the almonds are fairly fine.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

When the chayote is cooked and cool enough to handle, remove the seed, and scoop out the pulp, leaving a ½-inch-thick shell. Set aside.

Place the chayote pulp in the processor with the ground almonds; add eggs and process to a puree. Add the brandy, vanilla and milk or cream. Blend. Pour mixture into a bowl and stir in nutmeg, cake crumbs and raisins.

Spoon the pudding mixture into the chayote shells (you will have about 1½ cups left over) and place them in a greased baking dish.

Sprinkle slivered almonds and reserved cake crumbs over the tops.

Bake stuffed shells for 30 minutes. Pour remaining pudding mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake for 25 minutes.

Serve warm, topped with whipped cream.

Serves 6 lucky people. (The pudding loaf serves 4.) Note: I cheat and buy a frozen pound cake to use for this recipe.

PER SERVING: 420 calories, 10 g protein, 54 g carbohydrate, 20 g fat (7 g saturated), 192 mg cholesterol, 141 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.

From an article by Jacquiline Higuera McMahan in the San Francisco Chronicle, 6/2/93.

Posted by Stephen Ceideburg

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