Chancletas de Pataste (Honduran Egg-Battered Chayote Squash)
- 2 chayote squashes peeled, cut into 4 slices lengthwise
- 2 eggs whites and yolks separate
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 medium Roma tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 onion roughly chopped
- 1 small bunch cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8-10 ounces shredded Mozarella cheese (optional)
And you thought you only wear Chancletas. This dish got its name from the "shape" of a lengthwise cut of the pataste (chayote) slice, sort of similar to that of a flip-flop! That's what I grew up knowing. This meatless appetizer, low in calories and carbs, is great for keeping your waistline and is especially suitable for diabetics, given that patastes are very low in starch. You can have your chancletas, and eat them, too.
- In a medium pot, cover chayote slices with lightly salted water. Boil until fork tender. Drain and reserve.
- Meanwhile, using a blender or food processor, blend tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and cilantro leaves. If the mixture is too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of water, chicken or vegetable broth. Texture should be that of chunky salsa. Set aside.
- Beat egg whites to soft peak. Incorporate yolks. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.
- Once chayote has cooled down and with the help of a pairing knife, remove the seed being careful not to cut into the flesh.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over low-medium heat.
- Coat chayote slices with flour, shaking off excess. Then, dip into prepared egg mixture.
- Add oil to the hot skillet, and immediately after place the battered chayote. Cook until golden brown, turning just once. (About 1 ½ per side.) Remove from skillet.
- In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of olive oil. Add tomato mixture, cumin and dried oregano. Cool for about 5 minutes.
- (optional step) Return chayote to the skillet. Top with mozzarella cheese and put under broiler until cheese has melted and browned.