Monday, September 26, 2011

Provencal Style Squid and Chayote

I love chayote. I already shared a few chayote recipes. Actually I just noticed that my firs post (on February 25 of this year) was on this particular squash.
On that day I shared the Chayote Gratin Recipe .Then one week later (March 1, 2011) 2 other recipes:  Sautéed Chayote, AND Chayote Soup.

As I already mentioned it chayote is called faht-sáu-gwâ in Cantonese which literally means Buddha - hand – squash.

Last Saturday I bought 2 large fresh squids and 1 medium size chayote at the wet market. I know that Cantonese people make a stir-fry dish with squid and chayote but I wanted my dinner to have a more Provencal style and planned to sauté the chayote with garlic and prepare another dish with squid, tomato, onion and aromatic herbs. I also wanted to add basil. I still have basil leaves in my freezer that I brought back from France this summer. I stored them to add in home-made tomato sauces or stews.

The 2 dishes were cooked and the rice was piping hot in the rice cooker. Then came dinner time.  What a surprise when I saw one dish only on the table next to my bowl of rice!  My domestic helper thought that the chayote had to be added in the squid dish and mixed the 2 dishes together. But after looking at the dish and tasting it I realized that her idea was brilliant! The light green colour of the gourd added a spring feel to the dish and the chayote’s mild flavour went very well with the Provencal sauce.  Thanks Jane for this idea! 

 Provencal Style Squid and Chayote

  • 1 lb squid (cleaned and sliced)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ large onion (chopped)
  • 1 tomato (remove skin and seeds) – diced
  • 2 sprigs dried thyme
  • 4 dried bay leaves  
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 sprig of basil
  • 100ml white wine
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 sprig spring onion
  • 1 garlic clove (sliced)
  • 1 chayote (peeled and sliced)

  1. Clean squid: cut tentacles from the head, pull out ink sac, insides (guts) and gristle; remove skin (membrane-type) and wash thoroughly the tube and tentacles.  (My fishmonger did it for me! Thank you)
  2. Wash well squid under running water. Slice it into thin strips. Pat dry with paper towel
  3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in saucepan; add squid and onion. Stir and cook until onion is translucent.
  4. Put dried thyme and bay leaves in a cloth sachet or tea packing paper
  5. Add tomato, the sachet/pack, garlic, basil (I put frozen leaves), salt, black pepper and white wine.
  6. Bring to a boil. Cover with lid. Lower heat.
  7. Cook on moderate heat for about 25 minutes.
  8. During this time heat 1 tbsp olive oil in wok or frying pan, add garlic and chayote and cook until tender (the flesh should not be too soft).
  9. When the squid is cooked turn off the heat and discard cloth sachet / tea packing paper.
  10. Mix sautéed chayote with squid.
  11. Serve with chopped spring onion on top and accompanied with steamed rice.
The white wine brought out the herbs flavours and the chayote blended perfectly well with the light Provencal style sauce. It was absolutely delicious.

Lovely colour accents and chayote/squid combination

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