This dish is a must try if you like Chayote and Asiago Cheese! Chayote au Gratin or Mirliton au Gratin is a delectable and versatile dish that can be served as an appetizer or a side dish. Because of its versatility, this dish can be eaten with bread or with a side salad or any way you want. The taste is almost similar to meat and cheese quiche but without the crust.
Chayote au Gratin is usually made with ham, gruyere cheese or parmesan cheese. My personal favorite is asiago cheese. Because chayote taste is bland, a tart cheese, in my opinion, makes this dish exceptional and therefore Asiago is the winner for me.
“Chayote (pronounced chahy-oh-tee) is a light green, pear-shaped fruit with a single, large pit and edible flesh and skin. The flesh of the chayote is mild in flavor and has a texture somewhere between a potato and cucumber.
Chayotes are native to Mexico but are now cultivated in warm climates worldwide. They are a popular ingredient in Central American cuisine, as well as in the Southern United States. Chayotes are also known as pear squash, mirlitons, cho-cho, chouchoute, or choko. (about.com, 2014)
In Haiti, chayote or mirliton as we call it is mostly eaten in meat stews or legumes and au gratin. When making this dish, I have found that it is best to use fresh spices or dried spices. Seasoning spices mixed with salt does not particularly go well with all the other ingredients added.
Even though the chayote has a bland taste, it needs a simple blend of fresh or dried spices to be enjoyable. Chayote au Gratin is made with ham or low sodium turkey spam, spices and baked in a bechamel sauce with Asiago cheese. For more flavor add my Mango Gourmet Hot Sauce. Just 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon should suffice.
So next time you shop at your favorite supermarket, pick up a few chayotes to make this wonderful dish. A word of advice, it is best to wear gloves when peeling a chayote because of the glue-like texture it leaves on your hand and to avoid washing your hands harshly.
Enjoy and don’t forget to leave me a comment!