Recipe: Chayote Corn Stuffed Chilies with Red Sauce

Title: Chayote & Corn Stuffed Chilies with Red Sauce
Categories: Main dish, Vegetarian, Karen's
Yield: 10 chiles

10 lg Fresh long green chilies

1 tb Vegetable oil
2 ea Garlic cloves, minced
1/2 ea Onion, finely diced
1 lg Chayote squash
-- seeded, finely diced
1 c Corn kernels
1/2 ts Salt
1/2 ts Ground red chili pepper
Black pepper, to taste
2 tb Lemon juice
1/2 c Coarse breadcrumbs
1 tb Nutritional yeast (optional)

1 c Cornmeal
2/3 c All-purpose flour
1 ts Baking powder
3/4 ts Salt
1 1/4 c Water
Vegetable oil, for frying

MMMMM-------------------------RED SAUCE------------------------------
1 c Tomato sauce
2 ea Garlic cloves
1/2 ea Onion
1 1/2 c Water
1 tb Ground red chili pepper
1/2 ts Salt (or to taste)
1/4 ts Cinnamon
1/4 ts Ground cumin

Roast chile peppers according to your favorite method. (I don't have
a gas stove or other type of open flame, so I heat the oven to the
hottest temperature, then bake the peppers on a heavy-duty baking
sheet, turning if necessary to char all sides. The roasted peppers
are placed in a bowl, covered, then allowed to steam a few minutes to
help facilitate removal of the peels.)

Carefully remove peels from roasted peppers, leaving stems attached.
Remove seeds by cutting a slit along one side of each pepper and
gently scraping and rinsing out seeds and attached membranes. Pat
dry and set aside.

FILLING: In a heavy skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add garlic,
onion and chayote; cook until onion is translucent and mixture begins
to brown, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat and add corn,
chili pepper, salt, black pepper, and lemon juice, stirring to
combine well. Gently mix in breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast.

On a flat surface, open up one pepper at a time and spread about 3
tablespoons of the filling mixture down the center of each.
Carefully roll sides of pepper around filling to enclose, pressing
firmly to shape. (Chiles may be prepared ahead of time to this point,
covered, and refrigerated up to 24 hours.)

BATTER: In a pie plate or shallow dish, stir together cornmeal, flour,
baking powder and salt. Gradually mix in water to form a batter of
medium consistency.

Heat 1-1/2 inches of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Lightly roll each stuffed chili pepper in flour. Carefully coat each
pepper with batter, as evenly as possible, using stem to help drag
chili through mixture, and a spoon to spread batter over top of chili
if necessary. Fry chilies in hot oil, two at a time, until lightly
browned, turning once. It should take about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Remove and drain on absorbent paper. (The temperature and freshness
of the oil is important. If conditions are right, each chili will
absorb LESS than 1 tablespoon of oil.)

(If chiles must be prepared in advance, reheat just before serving by
placing them on a baking sheet in a preheated 350 F. oven until hot
and crisp.)

RED SAUCE: In a food processor or blender, puree garlic and onion with
tomato sauce. Transfer to a saucepan and add water, ground red chili
pepper, salt, cinnamon and cumin. Cook sauce over medium heat for 30
minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.

TO SERVE: Spoon a little sauce onto each plate, spreading it around
in a spiral fashion with the back of the spoon to form a large
circle. Place a chili onto circle of sauce, drizzling a bit of
additional sauce over top if desired, and garnish with a few slices
of avocado and/or some finely minced cilantro leaves. A black bean
salad and slices of cooling fresh melon and/or tropical fruits would
be nice accompaniments.

Copyright 1995 Karen Mintzias

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