Saturday, August 24, 2013

Corn and Chayote Tacos


Ever since I saw a tweet on Corn, Chayote, and Green Chile Burritos (I think via @MeatlessMonday), this has been one of my staples this summer. Per Vegetarian Times, where this recipe is from, “The star ingredient is chayote, a member of the gourd family.” “Chayote has a pear shape and a texture similar to zucchini.” Since I love chayote and nothing beats summer corn (especially from nearby Brentwood, CA), I thought this would be a great combination.

chayote tacos
Chayote Tacos with Cream Cheese

I have made my share of adjustments. When I see a great bargain for chayote, I usually get one. However, I usually don’t have chiles in my pantry, so every time I made this, I usually do not have chiles (that has now been changed). Jack cheese is also not usually in my pantry, but cream cheese is. So usually I substitute the cream cheese for jack. Also, I can’t have black beans (It gives me gout), so I’ve omitted them. Lime, however, I usually have. That adds a very refreshing touch.

chayote on chopping board
Chayote, ready to be sliced. Like my cat cutting board?
brentwood corn
Yum! Brentwood corn!


Corn and Chayote Tacos

Ingredients
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, halved and sliced (1 cup)
  • 1 small chayote (6 oz.), peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • Shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese or Cream Cheese (it’s not that bad, really!)
  • (About 8-9) mini corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 Tbsp diced green chiles, optional
  • 4 Tbsp crumbled queso fresco, optional

Directions   

1.     Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion until onions are sweating.
2.     Add chayote and corn until chayote is tender (I cover the skillet sometimes to let it soften via steam). Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
3.     Stir in green chiles, if you have them. Cook until heated through.
4.     Stir in cilantro, then stir in 1/3 cup Jack cheese.
5.     Divide chayote mixture among warmed tortillas. Sprinkle Jack cheese and queso fresco, if using, over filling. If using cream cheese, spread it on the tortilla. Serve with lime wedges (That is a must! No subs!).


Verdict

I love this recipe. The result is a very light, yet surprisingly filling taco. I have been cooking it all summer. I even substituted Upo for chayote, and the result is delicious! It is a new twist to one of my childhood favorites. I still have yet to try the zucchini version.

chayote and corn tacos with quinoa and kale
Chayote-Corn Tacos with Quinoa and Kale

More often, I’ve used this as a “clean-the-refrigerator” recipe. I’ve added quinoa to the mix and sometimes even kale. As long as the chayote remains the star, the flavor is still consistent.
  
I love using the mini corn tortillas – it seems like the equivalent of Mexican sliders. Besides if you’re not that hungry, you can just eat two instead of three.

What do you think? Let me know…

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