We should have published the recipe for Tayota Guisada con Longaniza Recipe (Chayote with Pork Sausage) a long time ago.
A couple of weeks ago one of our Facebook followers asked if I could share the recipe for Tayota Guisada, so I came to the blog to find the link. I was pretty shocked to notice that we did not have the recipe. Quite the oversight, as this is a popular traditional dish in the Dominican Rep. Worse yet, this was a staple at my home, and one of my mom’s favorites.
I knew I needed to remedy this unforgivable oversight ASAP.
If you are not from around here, you might be asking yourself:
“What the heck is a tayota?!”
Yeah, I don’t blame you. This isn’t the world’s most popular vegetable.
Tayota, name christophine or christophene in English, is actually best known as chayote. In cajun cuisine it is known as mirliton. Its scientific name is Sechium edule, and it is a firm fruit of a vine plant with roughly the size of a pear and a fairly tough skin. It originated in Mesoamerica, where it got the name chayote from the Nahuatl word chayohtli. It goes by other names in other Latin American countries, including the decidedly non-family-friendly-sounding “chocho”.
This vegetable has a very mild taste, which gives it a somewhat bad reputation as a food (though we still eat a lot of it). While it can be eaten raw, this is not the case in our country. It is served in salads, with eggs, and as a filler in meat dishes. It is a very good source of vitamin C and minerals, and very low in calories and carbohydrates, making it an ideal choice for a healthy diet.
We have written before about the many ways we Dominican “stretch” our meat dishes by adding vegetables, as a way to save money, tayota is possibly one of the two most popular “fillers”, the other being eggplants.
I have to say this came out very good, my mom would be proud.
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (corn, soy or peanut)
- 1 lb [0.45 kg] of longaniza (cornpepper-spiced pork sausage)
- 1 medium red onion , diced
- 4 cloves of garlic , crushed
- 1 cubanella or bell pepper , chopped
- 2 tayotas (chayote), peeled, pitted and diced
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 2 1/2 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon of oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon of salt (or more, to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly-ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
Browning the longaniza: Cut longaniza into 1" [2.5 cm]-long pieces. Heat oil in 3 qt [3 lt] pot over high heat. Add the longaniza and cook, stirring often until it browns (careful with splatters!). Discard excess fat (this will depend on how lean the longaniza is, it may not be needed).
Cooking tayota: Once the longaniza is browned, lower heat to medium. Stir in onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook stirring for 30 seconds. Add tayota and cook stirring for another 30 seconds, lower heat if it looks like it might burn.
Simmering: Pour in tomato sauce and water and add oregano, lower heat and simmer covered until the tayota is cooked through, stirring often to cook uniformly (soft, but not too mushy, it takes around 15-20 minutes). Once the tayota is cooked-through, season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the cilantro. Remove from the heat.
Serving: Serve hot with Arroz Blanco (White Rice) and avocado.