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Chayotes Rellanos Con Queso

Chayotes Rellanos Con Queso:  Cheese Stuffed Chayotes
Or: Buddha's Palm Full of Goodness

NO, not stuffed Coyotes, and , we are not really cooking or stuffing Buddha's Palm. We are stuffing Chayotes today! This vegetable, a native from Central America (especially Costa Rica), is also used in Chinese cooking,  (consequently, often found in the Chinese section of the produce islands of  major supermarkets) where it has the name of "Buddha's Palm", because of its resemblance to palms together for a prayer.


This recipe for Chayotes Rellanos (by now, you probably know enough Kitchen Spanish to know, the word  "rellanos" usually refers to something stuffed or smothered) is easy and quick to prepare, and you will be glad to know, that it is also very healthy! Both the fruit and seeds are bursting with  amino acids and Vitamin C, while the leaves and the fruit is also known to have diuretic, cardiovascular and anti inflammatory properties. The tea made from the leaves of chayotes has been used for the treatment of arteriosclerosis, hypertension, and to dissolve kidney stones. (Simply said, it keeps pipes sparkling clean in the system!)  


Ingredients:
3 large chayotes 
1 large egg
2.5  cups low fat cheddar, or goat cheese, grated
1.5  cup of breadcrumbs
2 cloves of garlic finely minced
1/2 cup of finely chopped scallions
2 tbs butter
salt and pepper to taste. 
Split the chayotes in half. (as in photo above). Place them in a pot with cold water, bring to boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for about ten minutes. Do not overcook, or you'll end up with mushy chayotes!  Drain your cayotes and run them under cold water to cool off.
Scoop out both the flesh and the seeds with a spoon, leaving a rind of flesh in the skin. (About 1/8th of an inch). 
At this time, set the oven to preheat to 425 degrees.
Mince the flesh and the seeds.  
In a bowl, combine the pulp with one cup of  the breadcrumbs, two cups of the  cheese, the egg, the scallions, and salt and pepper to taste. 


Fill and pile the chayote shells, and smooth the stuffing with a spoon (or your fingers). 
Combine the half of cup cheese and half of cup breadcrumbs left, and sprinkle the mixture on top.
Butter a baking dish, place chayotes stuffed face (palm) up, and sprinkle butter on top. 
Bake stuffed chayotes at 425 degrees, until cheese is bubbly and golden color (about twenty minutes)


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