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Michelin Star Chefs are coming for Lunch, and I am the one who is cooking.

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10 days left to the lunch and I am looking at unusual fruits and vegetables to create a special festive spirit. Among many I found the Chayote which is grown here in the French Riviera. I am looking for ideas on how to cook it.

asked by Your Guardian Chef about 1 year ago
22 answers 1464 views
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added about 1 year ago

Prepare something simple. The only recipe you have ever submitted to Food52 is your version of stuffed pork tenderloin which is very, very simple. Two Michelin chefs who I know and who have restaurants in the Napa Valley are Thomas Keller and Christopher Kostow and they each have a fancy restaurant and a casual one (Christopher's will open next year). They eat simple food when they are on their own time.

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added about 1 year ago

Thank you for your reply. As I have replied below the Chayote is just a zucchini variety, so it is a very simple ingredient. I have submitted only one recipe on Food52 because I found it very time consuming to write everything again. In most other food communities you can just add a link to your website. Is there an easier way to submit recipes here?

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 1 year ago

If I were you, I would not look for things I have never prepared before. Chefs or no chefs, everyone loves seasonal foods prepared simply and well.

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QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

added about 1 year ago

I am with Susan on this. My advice would be not to cook things you have not cooked before. It's a risky business, unless you are willing to make the dish several times ahead of the dinner as a prep. But there is another reason... These guys are Michelin stars, they cook with unusual ingredients every day, it's a part of their job. I would suggest not competing with them in the cook-to-impress arena. That's a hard thing to do. They will appreciate something homey, something that comes from your heart and your family, something you excel at and you are proud to share with them. Just my five cents.

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added about 1 year ago

Thank you all for your advise. I do agree that simple is better and I would not compete with them. The Chayote is an unusual ingredients but it is actually a Zucchini variety, so it is very simple to cook. I though I would get much more ideas from this community but I guess it is not well known in the USA. Very common in Italy.

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added about 1 year ago

FWIW, agree with Queen Sashy. Perhaps choose something you love and have made often and knows pleases people, and/or some recipe from your family or background or a cuisine you often cook. Consider the reason for the occasion and maybe do some menu planning from that perspective...e.g., is it to mark an occasion, honor someone or something? So then, in your situation, I would select one or more dishes from my strengths that are suitable to the date or occasion...whatever you choose, good luck with the results.

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added about 1 year ago

I don't know these vegetables. I can't give you ideas but you have a good inspiration for new récipe.

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added about 1 year ago

Maybe I'm one of the few chefs who feels this way, but I think chayote squash is a waste of time and energy. At least zucchini has FLAVOR. Chayote is like water, in my opinion.But for what it's worth, i have seen recipes where it is stuffed with a meat mixture and baked. I would rather point you to a native American vegetable- jerusalem artichoke/"sunchoke" or topinambour in French. A root crop, easy to grow, WONDERFUL unusual flavor which I equate with a nutty carrot. No need to peel. Wonderful sauteed and added to a stew for just enough time to stay 'al dente' or roasted and pureed w/ some orange zest for a delicious creamy soup, or roasted as is. Goes very well with lovage(do you have that there? it is rare here in the U.S.)

Burdock Root(gobo) is a great Japanese root vegetable and delicious in many different preps.
Shiso, the cinnamony/basily green perilla leaf, is an unusual herb sometimes used in sushi bars (the purple perilla is used to color pickled vegetables.)
What about seaweed? It is abundant in your area and you could make a broth with it or a salad, depending on the kinds that grow near you. Kombu could be used to wrap a mousseline before poaching..... Nori (prepared sheets) could be used in a nori butter for seafood

Persimmons and pomegranates are also less seen here on the East Coast of the U.S.
Okra is a fantastically under-used vegetable in the U.S. (except in The South) and delicious.
Often easy to find in Indian markets.

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added about 1 year ago

I was thinking more about your chayote. You could halve and stuff it such that some mousseline/pate mixture coats the cavity in a 1/2" layer, then top that with an interesting risotto with some crunchy element like toasted pumpkin seeds, and top it with slivered nori for festive presentation.

you could also use one chayote per person, hollowed out w/ top reserved, to fill with/make a savory Japanese custard, chawanmushi , baked in a bain marie.
http://www.saveur.com/article...
The diner removes the top and all the aromas rise!

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added about 1 year ago

Actually it is a very well known fruit. You made it sound like it was exotic so we tried to find a solution to your problem. If Chayote was what you were exclusively trying to find a recipe for, you should have been more straight forward. It has many names and recipes world wide. The Food 52 community is much more world smart than you apparently think!

Voted the Best Answer!

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added about 1 year ago

Goodness gracious...

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added about 1 year ago

Thank you Le Bec Fin, you have great ideas and I am definitely interested in the Burdock Root, but I would not venture for it on this occasion.
I chose the Choyote because they sell it in every supermarket now but it is not an obvious ingredients and would like to give my readers some ideas on how to use it.
Thank you for the link you sent, I will definitely look at it and explore your ideas.
I don't have any cooking accreditation, so feedback from this community are very helpful. I am just an Italian who loves cooking, the Chefs are well aware of that.
So if I succeed, anyone can!

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added about 1 year ago

guardian, i am wanting to reply to you but the Reply button is not around, so i'm writing this here instead. I was thinking about a Timbalo. I wonder if you could use the chayote as a substitute for the metal bowl:
Cut the chayote 'globe' in half, Scoop it out, line it with overlapping slices of prosciutto, fill it with cooked pasta mixed with beschamel and an apple-sized surprise in the middle- maybe a baked baby eggplant with a meat filling, covered up w/ the pasta. Bake in a bain marie and then flip out the timbalo onto the serving plate...? that way, the chayote's lack of flavor wouldn't be a noticeable element.

Being someone who enjoys the concept of concentric layers of flavor, and surprise, I really like this recipe for a vegetable 'turducken'. Maybe you could use a chayote, halved lengthwise, as the outermost layer, with butternut squash and eggplant as the other 2 layers....

http://www.epicurious.com...

i think i forgot to mention that chayote is of Mexican origin, i believe. Which is why, in the u.s. , you usually only see it near Mexican populations- California, of course, and Chicago and the southwest states. And I would feel safe betting that one of the cuisines least familiar to most European Michelin starred chefs- would be Mexican, a complex robust fascinating cuisine, to be sure!

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QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

added about 1 year ago

I fall into a camp of cooks who have yet to find a dish with chayote that will take them to heaven. Having said this, here is a simple recipe that uses chayote with braised chicken, it might work nicely for the occasion, http://www.chowhound.com...

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added about 1 year ago

Thank you, that looks very nice. Below the outcome of my weekend testing!!

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added about 1 year ago

Le Bec Fin, you make me laugh. It is true the Chayote does not have any flavour. I did some experimenting this weekend and I found that the strength of the Chayote is its glue-iness (?). When boiled and blend it makes a nice smooth soft foam, ....... with no flavour.
So I am going to try to work with that adding flavours somehow.
As I have already bought 6 bottles of Sicilian white wine, I have to stay with fish.
I was planning a dish with stoccafish as a main course and tried it this weekend.
My husband and sons has CATEGORICALLY dismissed it, so to play safe I think I will make my well tested fish pie. IT SEEMS A SIMPLE SOLUTION!
The dinner is on Tuesday and unfortunately Europe is not like USA: Monday there is no fresh fish!!!
No wonder the Chefs were available on Tuesday =[
Serving Starred Chefs frozen fish?
I am starting to get stressed!!!

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added about 1 year ago

How exciting- your so lucky to host them! Have you tried a chayote soup yet? This would be delicious with some homemade Tartine sourdough bread, a fancy-cut cucumber salad, and maybe a Smitten Kitchen apple tart to finish it off? Mmmm, especially with that wine. I hope you have a wonderful time at your lunch party!

http://lolascocina.com...
http://cooking.nytimes...
http://smittenkitchen.com...

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added about 1 year ago

Thank you Christie, the soup is a good idea and I wonder if I can add fish fumet instead of chicken broth, since fish is my focus for this meal.
I should haven't looked at the sourdough bread article, it looks delicious. I have been up till 4am testing recipes .. and Chayote. Have not had breakfast yet... 6 days to go!!
It is 8am here now, going for school run and will have to stop at a boulangerie !

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added 12 months ago

The event has been posted on my website:
http://yourguardianchef...

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creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added 12 months ago

It sounds like a wonderful day! Thanks for the update.

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added 12 months ago

For those who are interested, I am running the current contest with my Chayote Mousse !

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