Tag Archives: Victory Garden Cookbook

Chayote

Chayote_BNC

Chayote

Evidently, I’ve known chayote all along…..it’s been hiding in plain sight for DECADES right under my very nose. As it were.

JG Veg book

Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book

American pb edition 1981. $6.95 (that’s right – I’ve had this book since 1981 when it cost $6.95. I might have gotten it at Notes & Quotes in Kingston or else the Paperback Booksmith in Hanover)

Back cover text:

“Written with all the author’s customary warmth and erudition, here is a modern kitchen guide to the cooking of vegetables, from the well-loved cabbage and parsnip to the more exotic chayote and Chinese leaf.”

-The Times

Who’da thunk it?????

  • Chinese leaf is Chinese cabbage
  • Only a Brit could mention parsnips, cabbage and well-loved in the same sentence.
  • Chayote has its own chapter…..
  • From the glossary for the American edition in the back:
    1. CHAYOTE: choyote; christophine; mirliton, chayotte
    2. Other names: in Chinese: Buddha’s Hand Gourd
    3. Australia: chokos
    4. From the Aztec chayotl
    5. Also – choko, chaco, xuxu, christophene
      1. While were around the topic – is coyote an Aztec/Native word or European? Nahuatl coyotl .
  • Jane Grigson has a salad; a creole; a stuffed, New Orleans style; a meat stuffing; a cheese stuffing; also a chutney and a la grecque
  • Victory Garden CB
  • Marian Morash in Victory Garden Cookbook Under Squashes (Summer)
    1. “In the South you’d have good luck with chayottes (known as christophene in the Caribbean and vegetable pear or mirliton in the South). Substitute this bland tropical squash with all summers squash.” p. 270
  • Joy75
  • Joy of Cooking  (2006)(but I owned another earlier edition previous to this one)
    1. A tropical summer squash aka christophene & mirliton.
    2. “The harder the squash the better the flavor.”
    3. “ …unless you plan to stuff it, peel with a vegetable peeler working under running water to prevent being irritated by the sticky substance just under the skin, which disappears in cooking.”
    4. Boiled; Louisiana Style (stuffed with shrimps, ham, red bell pepper, hot pepper…
  • CD pasion veg
  • Crescent Dragonwagon  in Passionate Vegetarian  has them under Mirlitons a/k/a/chayote
    1. Stuffed Creole style

Sooooo….

I went the salad route

Chayote Salad

a la Jane Grigson

  1. Boiled 2 whole chayote  in salted water until fork tender, about 25 minutes.

  2. In the meantime, made a dressing of 3 Tablespoons lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard and 3 Tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper and a good amount of chopped parsley. Jane also recommends chervil , but I was right out…..

  3. Drain and peeled chayote under running water.

  4. Cut one in half, right through the seed….cut each half into 4 pieces and tossed into the dressing while they were still warm.

  5. I hard-boiled 2 eggs, because I decided on a more substantial lunch salad, versus side salad.

  6. Peeled and put the hot hard boiled eggs on my plate, topped with several pieces of the chayote, shared the dressing and ate with hot buttered toast.

adapted from Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book,pp. 198-9.

Notes:

I had 2 chayote and they were not from the same places…but they were in the same bin together…one was from Costa Rica – smoother, more pear shaped; the other, more ridges, was from Mexico.

chayoteCR

The Costa Rican chayote. Easier to peel, more texture then taste.

Chayotes

The ridge one was from Mexico – harder to peel, has a very faint, almost evocative taste of asparagus though

Antoine_Raspal_(1738-1811),_Intérieur_de_cuisine_,_vers_1776-80

Cuisine Provencale by Antoine Raspal in Musee Reattu, Arles

This image wraps around as the cover of the Jane Grigson Vegetable Book.

and a little more on chayote confusion: from wiki:

Chayote[1] (Sechium edule) is an edible plant belonging to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, along with melons, cucumbers and squash.

Globally it is known by many names including christophene or christophine,[1] cho-cho,[1] cidra (Antioquia, Caldas, Quindio and Risaralda regions of Colombia),

sayóte (Filipino languages),

guatila (Boyacá and Valle del Cauca regions of Colombia),

centinarja (Malta),

sousou or chou-chou (chow-chow) (Mauritian Creole),

chuchu (Brazil),

pimpinela (Madeira),

pipinola (Hawaii),

tayota (Dominican Republic),

mirliton (Haitian Creole),

pear squash, vegetable pear,[1] chouchoute, choko, güisquil (Guatemala, El Salvador[2]),

pataste (Honduras),

piskot or sikot (Meghalaya),

is-kus (Nagaland),

dashkush (Manipur),

iskut (Mizoram),

is-Kush (Nepal) [3]

su su (Vietnam).

Its tuberous and edible root is called chinchayote or chayotextle in Mexico and ichintal in Guatemala.

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Red Potato Salad

More of a pinkish mauveish reddish….pnkyredthat’s what happens when you mix red beet root ….

with just about anything.

In the Victory Garden Cookbook it’s called Russian Beet and Potato Salad. Not red potatoes, not this time.
I thought I could play up Spud/ Sputnik angle by calling it Spudnik, but then I thought it might go unnoticed…..or worse, you’d think that I could NOT spell, and  didn’t even know how to use Spellcheck.
Sheryl Julian who was with the Phoenix back in the day, now with the Globe – I have a whole lot of her Sunday Globe columns in my clippings file. Here’s a story with her Apron obsession, which doesn’t sound so obsessive to me…..

The New York Times also had an Apron photo essay/story recently….

But the season is good for beets and potatoes, and this salad is almost a stand alone meal, if you add a hard boiled egg – a cold one for a hot day and a hot one for a cool night. For now is that part of September that is still Summer, but encroaching Autumn.

Autumn Leaves - John Everett Millias 1856

Autumn Leaves – John Everett Millias 1856

Red Beet and Potato Salad

2 medium potatoes

¼ c chopped parsley

1/3 c chopped scallions (or chives or Vidalia’s)

1 cucumber

1 dill or half sour pickle (or 2, 2 pickles)

Salt and pepper

4-5 medium beets

Mayonnaise

Horseradish mustard

  1. Cook potatoes until just tender, peel as soon as they can be handled and cut them into ½ inch pieces.
  2. Peel cucumber, cut in half and remove seeds with a spoon. Cut into ½ pieces.
  3. Cut pickle in to ½ dice and add with spuds and cukes.
  4. Add parsley and scallions and mix gently.
  5. Cook beets, slip off their skins and cut to ½ pieces.
  6. Just before serving add beets and season to taste.
  7. Dress the whole thing with a mixture of mayo and horseradish mustard.
  8. The longer the beets sit with everything the more magenta the whole thing gets. Sprinkle with vinegar of it’s too flat. Salt and pepper everything, too.

Victory Garden Cookbook p. 25.

Victory Garden Cookbook - Marian Morash

Victory Garden Cookbook – Marian Morash

Fractals, chlorophyll and solstice - what's not to love about September?

Fractals, chlorophyll and solstice – what’s not to love about September?

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Two Many Tomatoes

Two is more than one. Quite actually, many, many, many more than one. One tomato is easy to handle. tomatoEat it. Maybe even out of hand. One perfect tomato sandwich to eat over the sink. Add it to just about anything.
More than one tomato, find other ways, many other ways, to eat them…..

one, two, three, four, FIVE. Five tomatoes

one, two, three, four, FIVE. Five tomatoes

So I learned to can. Cherry tomatoes.In a class. With Rosa Galano. But Friendship sauce is a post on it’s own.

This photo was on edible South Shore and South Coasts Facebook page, Michael Hart, photographer. I'm the big knife and part of a hand in front on the right side.

This photo was on edible South Shore and South Coasts Facebook page, Michael Hart, photographer. I’m the big knife and part of a hand in front on the right side.

and that was Wednesday night, and I had too many tomatoes on Monday afternoon. Not just cherry tomatoes. Big tomatoes. Big Ripe tomatoes. Big Ripe Juicy tomatoes. Lots of them. A BAG FULL. That needed eating NOW. Or at least very close to now. Thank you, Mindy.

Mindy was my Pilgrim sister. Here's she with Cindy.

Mindy was my Pilgrim sister. Here’s she with Cindy.

Stop drooling, start slicing.

A One, Two Tomato Punch.

These are guidelines more than recipes, which are what recipes really ought to be seen as.

Tomato salad.

1. Tomatoes, chopped/sliced/diced – whatever the tomato tells you it should be.
2. Fresh basil, eating fast because cold nights are coming and that marks the end of it, unless you’re clever and have already potted it up and brought it indoors and put it in a sunny window that you aren’t likely to leave open at night or you could have save yourself the trouble and just left it OUT in the cold….
3. Good oil.
4. Vinegar. Change out the vinegars – red wine, white wine, balsamic, raspberry (I have fruit vinegars for beets, but they’re good on tomatoes, too). Mint or tarragon vinegar when I’m not using basil. Just this is the basic salad.
5. Salad Improved: Add cheese – fresh mozzarella, or blue or feta or a few shavings of Romano.
6. And add a piece of bread to mop up the juices, and now it’s a meal.

The Happy Meal of My People!

And then…..

Tomato salad because Saucy

Tomato Sass

1. Cook a pound of spaghetti, or other member of the skinny-strandy branch of the Pasta Family.
2. In another pan, fry up a well chopped onion with a clove or 2 of garlic in oil. A pinch or two of hot pepper (or a spoonful of the chopped red hot peppers is nor amiss, either) if you like. Cook it up nice. If you have more fresh basil, add a little chopped now, too. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Drain spaghetti.
4. Add the onions and the oil, toss.
5. Add Tomato Salad, without improvements. 2, 3, even 4 cups worth. Toss again
6. Serve with cheese on top.

This is based/influenced on Victory Garden Cookbook

Victory Garden Cookbook - Marian Morash

Victory Garden Cookbook – Marian Morash

Cold Tomato Sauce with Hot Pasta. p. 320.

Very Loosely. Seeing the name alone set me on my way. Marian Morash has a slightly (very) different version that is also very good, or so say the splashes on the page.

Leftovers of this, mixed with eggs and fried , topped with more tomatoes and cheese, makes great fritatta.

There’s also a tomato jam somewhere…not in this cookbook, but in one nearby, one that I already trust. if/when there are more tomatoes. It’s still September, there are still more tomatoes.

Green_Tomatoes
And Green tomatoes. Emeril Lagasse has a green tomato pie with molasses ice cream, a combination that make me want to drool just reading the words, but I don’t have an ice cream maker (or I would make – and eat – one or two batches of ice cream every month/week/day/meal) so maybe I should be looking for some green tomatoes. But where in the Emeril world IS this recipe?????

Emeril Lagasse, 2009. BAM

Emeril Lagasse, 2009. BAM

 To be continued…..

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