Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mushroom and Herb Stuffed Chokos

When prepared in an interesting way, even the humblest fresh vegetable comes alive. This easy baked choko (also known as 'chayotes') dish, that can be enjoyed on its own as a vegetarian meal or served as a side to accompany meat, fish or chicken dishes, provides just one example. Recipe serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side.


2 large chokos (approximately 1 pound/500 g each)
8 ounces (250 g) field mushrooms
2 large onions
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
Pinch ground cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Wash and halve chokos lengthwise.
2. Boil some salted water and cook chokos until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, cut side down. When cool enough scoop out pulp with a spoon, leaving a thick shell (about 1/2 inch/1.5 cm). Carefully peel away the skin.
3. Dice the onions and chop the mushrooms finely. Heat butter in a fry pan and saute onions until golden. Add mushrooms, herbs, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, cooking until the mushrooms are soft.
4. Remove from heat. Cool slightly and stir in the Parmesan cheese and all but 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs.
5. Fill the choko halves with the mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs and dot with butter. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned. Serve hot.

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