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Chayote-Au-Gratin

Chayote 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.

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 to 6
Author Tamara Douge

Ingredients

  • 4 chayotes peeled, cored, halved and cut into small cubes
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 cup cooked ham or low sodium turkey spam, cubed
  • 1 medium white onion chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. thyme leaves only, chopped
  • Black pepper to taste

Béchamel Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup grated cheese: Asiago Gruyére, or Parmesan
  • Dried breadcrumbs for topping
  • Additional butter and grated cheese for topping

Preparation

  1. Put cubed chayote in a pot with enough water to cover. Add salt to taste and bring to a boil. Cover ajar and let cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and drain well; discard water.
  2. In a frying pan, with oil, fry ham or spam cubes until they start turning light brown, then add onion. Stir to mix; add parsley, thyme and pepper to taste. Let mixture cook until onions are halfway cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Make the béchamel sauce: heat butter in a saucepan and add flour. Stir to blend (best to use a wooden spoon). Once butter and flour are well mixed, gradually add milk while stirring. When milk is fully incorporated, add grated cheese. Stir and let mixture cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on low heat. Mixture should be thick. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, mix chayote with meat mixture; fold in béchamel sauce.

  4. Add mixture to a prepared buttered dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and more grated cheese. Add a few dots of butter and bake at 375 degree F for 20 to 25 minutes until top is starting to brown. Remove and serve immediately with bread as an appetizer or a side dish.

Cook's Notes

The chayotes will release more water as they cook, so the béchamel sauce must be thick. Drain them thoroughly before mixing all ingredients.