January 15, 2008

Wile E. Chayote

chayoteSomeone told me a while ago that they were asked to buy chayote for someone, and explained that they had never heard of it. It wasn't something with which I was familiar, before moving into this neighborhood. Even though I've seen it for the last 11 years or so, I've never eaten it.

When you start increasing your vegetable intake, the tried and true veggies with which we are all familiar start to get a little boring. So, on our last shopping trip I decided it was time we try it. I bought two chayotes not even knowing whether it was a fruit or a vegetable.

Got home. Looked it up on wikipedia. Found out that chayote is a squash. And I looked up some recipes. And of all the interesting recipes I found, I ended up using the recipe with which I was most familiar. I sauteed onion with tomatoes for 5 minutes and then added some peeled and chopped chayote. It's pretty much how I cook zucchini or string beans or most vegetables if I want to do something other than grill them or steam them or stick them in a soup.

I learned that chayote doesn't have much flavor as it picked up all the other flavors from the pan. Although, I did notice that the seedy part of the plant had a nutty bit of flavor.
Let's Hear It For Bok Choy
bokchoyAlso picked up some bok choy. I've eaten bok choy before -and I know this is completely unremarkable - but I've never cooked it.

You may be wondering how I prepared it. You may be asking yourself,"Self. How daring could Valerie be with bok choy?" Well. I'll tell you.

I found a recipe that suggested cooking the bok choy with some ginger. Actually, I'll share with you right now, what I saw when I read this recipe.

chop one blah
add some blah
blah blah blah ginger
blah vinegar blah

I fell back on my standard chopped and sauteed onion. But then I chopped up some garlic with some ginger. I let those ingredients sweat in the pan before I added some boneless skinless chicken thighs. I browned the chicken in the pot and then I set it up to braise by adding just enough water and vinegar to cover it. Once that cooked for about 10 minutes, I added the chopped bok choy. With the pot covered, everything cooked together nicely for 30 minutes.

Now I know that you know that bok choy is Chinese cabbage, so I was expecting that the taste would be similar to the kind of cabbage you might use for sauerkraut or coleslaw. WRONG. It had a really interesting licorice type flavor that I wasn't expecting.

I served it with some pasta and the dish turned out way better than I thought it would. I'm not being fair to myself. I had no expectation as to how the dish was going to turn out. But I was pleased in the end.

1 comment:

AddledWriter said...

Good for you for trying new things!