Tex-Mex Stuffed Caigua

Tex-Mex Stuffed Caigua

One of the most fabulous things about living in a wild, exotic country like Bolivia is that you run across fabulous new things to cook with, like caigua.

This is caigua, or achojcha, a bland vegetable that tastes a little like zucchini (and you can also make this recipe with zucchini, or even okra), but caigua has a lovely hollow center perfect for stuffing.  In fact, in the Andes, this veggie is sometimes known as “stuffing cucumber.”

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Here is a fabulous authentic Bolivian recipe for Achojcha Rellena.  My recipe is not at all authentic, but it is delicious.  If you love Tex-Mex.  Which you must.

Tex-Mex Stuffed Caigua

  • 5 large caigua (or 3 medium zucchini, halved and hollowed)
  • 5-6 slices of bacon
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2/3 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup white Mexican cheese (or if you must, mozzarella)
  • 1/2 cup cooked white or brown rice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (200 Celsius).

Slit open each caigua and remove seeds.

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Place in boiling water and cook for 5 minutes, until softened but not mushy.

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Meanwhile, cook bacon in a thick skillet until crispy.  Remove to a plate covered with paper towels to catch drippings.  LEAVE the bacon fat in the pan.  Yes, it’s a very good idea.

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Slit the chicken breast in half and fold it open onto the skillet.  Sprinkle half the pepper and half the paprika on the top of the breast.  Cook for 5 minutes, covered.  Flip the breast over and sprinkle on the rest of the spices.  Cook for another 5 minutes.  Make a small cut in the chicken to check for any un-cooked parts.  If chicken seems under-cooked, flip over once more and cook another 5 minutes.

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Chop bacon and chicken into small pieces.

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Mix chicken, bacon, salsa, cilantro, cheese, and rice.  So, all the ingredients.

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Oops, forgot the rice.  Don’t forget the rice.

This will not look as pretty once its all mixed together.  But trust me, it tasted heavenly.

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Fill each softened caigua shell.

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Stop a second to admire your work.

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Cook at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted through.

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This is a picture perfect company meal.  An adventure, yes, but a sure-fire one.

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