How to Prepare Chayote

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Chayote needs to be prepared in a very particular way for the best possible results. Prepare Chayote the proper way with help from the owner of the acclaimed Chef Allen’s and a James Beard Award recipient in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Regional Recipes
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm chef Allen Susser. A pleasure to have you here today. Very colorful, very diverse, lots of flavor, maybe a little bit unusual. A chayote. I'm not sure you've ever seen a chayote before. This is a squash actually. Squash has the flavors of the Caribbean as well as Florida. Here this chayote is called cristo or chow-chow, we call it chayote. So it's almost like a cross between a zucchini as well as a cucumber. So we can get started in the kitchen right now. Okay so this chayote here we cut right through. You'll see it's very easy to cut. It's got a nice skin on it. It has a slight seed in here which you can leave. It really does not hurt anything. So the chayote we're going to take it and dice this because this recipe for chayote is actually going to be a ratatouille, but a Caribbean ratatouille. So kind of taking all the flavors of the Caribbean, lots of color, lots of flavor, using this very Caribbean chayote for this dish. And you'll see all this is very simple. So it almost cuts like an apple. So very easy to cut through this chayote. We've got a good amount here so we're going to put this together. I'm going to go into the pan, start with a little olive oil. Kind of use a deep pan for that because there's a lot of cooking going on in this. Okay, preheating. So come take a look just at some ingredients. We've got a plantain, a calabasa, chayote, anaheim chile as well as onions. And we're going to put that in. The idea of these, I'm going to start off actually with the plantains, diced plantain. What you want to do is add them in according to how long they take to cook. The plantain actually takes the longest to cook. So what happens here, it starts to brown, get a little bit golden brown. That's what I'm looking for on this plantain because it's very starchy. So into that next is going to be the calabasa. Looks similar, very different taste. Calabasa is a pumpkin squash. A West Indian pumpkin is kind of what we call that. So getting in there, you're going to start to see these flavors come together. These take the longest but now I'm going to start to season this. So how do we season? A little bit of garlic, okay, a little bit of garlic and a little bit of onion, adding those aromatics in there. Lots of flavor. I'm going to season this, a little bit of salt and pepper and what I'd like to do also with this is a little oregano. Dry oregano into this. So we've got the nice aromatics. it's going to start to come and flow from this. You don't want to cook them too much because you're layering these flavors. The flavor layers is really what a chef does. Adding in these one by one, adding in the peppers now, sweet red peppers. As you can see they're coming in together. And now going to add in the chayote. Chayote cooks very quickly. So we've got that in there. Okay, really colorful. This is what ratatouille is about with this Caribbean ratatouille. I'm going to add in some green chilies. These are Anaheim chilies, they're sweet chilies but they still have some heat. They have some bite and some kick. So that's kind of what we want to do here. Okay so we've got all that going on. Into this now, what we're going to do is add a little bit of coconut milk. Okay, not sweetened coconut milk, but regular coconut milk. Just a little bit to bring that together. Wow, look at those colors going on here. This is great. Caribbean Ratatouille, chayote squashes, plantains, lots of great flavor. Look at that. A Caribbean Ratatouille. Chef Allen, cooking at Allied Kitchen and Bath. What a pleasure to be here. I hope you're going to love this.

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