A few weeks ago I found the happiest little surprise in my grocery store. Guisquil. It wasn’t even in my specialty market – in the regular ol’ Safeway – just hanging out in a little basket. I did a little happy dance.
Back in San Salvador, our dinners were put together by the amazing Mama Trini. She could work miracles with rice and beans. One night she made this fantastic dish that she called Guisquil Rellenos. I’ve found a few recipes for it online, but truthfully they’re either in Spanish or don’t look like what I remember. So…..in my typical style, I winged it.
Mama Trini said she made this dish with potatoes, as well, so I’ve tried it that way. It was good – don’t get me wrong – but the quisquil is just so much better. And – when you find it – it’s EASY!
Peel the quisquil near the sink – the next layer under the skin can get sticky. Then cut it and core it like you would an apple. Or, just search online for “how to prepare a chayote” and follow their directions 🙂 Eventually you want some flat slices about a 1/4″ thick. Then cut up some cheese – like jack or mozz – and sandwich a slice between two pieces of the guisquil. Using the traditional egg / seasoned breadcrumb technique, batter your rellenos. I pan fried mine over medium heat for about 10 minutes per side – they were crispy, golden brown, with softened squash and cheese was oozing out the sides. I served mine on top of a dollop of salsa roja.
I didn’t get many of the quisquil, so it was mostly just an appetizer or side dish for us, though Mama Trini served hers as a main dish. I beefed my meal up with some black bean soup…..though my immersion blender broke and I didn’t want to get out the whole blender……so it wound up being more like beans and rice. Here’s my bean soup recipe – – – super easy, though I used veggie stock and added lots more veggies to the onion/garlic stage. It’s a flexible recipe, thankfully 🙂
Perfect stuff to warm up my belly and remind me of the tropical weather. I love winter in Seattle…..but the damp does get to you after while…..and this is a stellar antidote. I was immediately transported back to the Casa porch with the melamine plates, warm breezes, comida deliciosa and buenos amigos. Enjoy!