Chuchu recheado com carne (Meat Stuffed Chayote)

Chayote is an herbaceous perennial climbing vine, native to Central America. It is easily digestible and has a delicate flavour.  
Chayote is a cheap and common fruit in Brazil, often deemed not "important" culinary ingredient. Fortunately there are lots of simple homemade recipes and natural cooking recipes that disprove this culinary prejudice! 
I propose to you my mom's stuffed chayote recipe. It is a very popular homemade recipe, with endless variations. If you can not find chayote I suggest you use the zucchini.

Ingredients

  • • 1 kg chayote
  • • ½ kg ground beef
  • • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • • 1 garlic clove
  • • 1 bay leaf
  • • 3 tablespoons all purpouse flour (50 g)
  • • 150 ml milk, approximately
  • • 1 tablespoon salt (about 10 g) and ground pepper
  • • 1 egg and breadcrumbs for the coating

Preparation method

1. Peel, cut the chayotes in half lengthwise, remove and discard oval seed under cold tap water (chayote exude a sticky liquid when peeled). 
2. Cook them in a pot of boiling salted water until tender. It takes 15-30 minutes. 
3. Drain and let "chayote" cool while you prepare the filling. 
4. Put the oil in the pan, add meat, garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. When there is no more liquid in the pan add the flour and saute for 1 minute. Then, add the milk stirring constantly until thickened. Allow to cool and remove the bay leaf and the garlic.  
5. Using a spoon, scoop out a little bit of the pulp from the halved cooked "chayote". Place chayote flesh in a sieve to remove excess water, mash and add it to the beef filling, mixing well. 
6. Stuff the chayote halves with the beef filling. Shape the whole fruit in your hand. 
7. Coat them first with the beaten egg (with a pinch of salt) and then with the breadcrumbs. 
8. Deep fry in the hot oil until golden brown and crispy. To check the temperature put a toothpick into the oil: if bubbles start to form around the woodand float up, your oil is hot enough. Place them on paper towels to drain excess oil. 
9. Serve with white rice
Posted on: 26 September 2014
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