|From Nola Cuisine|
Mirlitons (pronounced MILL-e-tahn) can be commonly found in grocery stores outside of Louisiana under the alias Chayote squash. In south Louisiana however they can be found hanging on vines just about everywhere. They are hard like a baseball so they need to be cooked for quite some time, and they don’t have much flavor of their own, but they will nicely absorb the flavors you surround them with, in this case, shrimp stuffing. Of course, I had to sneak a little of my latest batch of Andouille into the mix, which added a wonderful smoky flavor. Here is the recipe:
Shrimp Stuffed Mirliton Recipe
2 Large Mirlitons
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/2 link Andouille Sausage (6-8 oz.), finely diced
1/2 Large Onion, finely diced
1 Rib Celery, finely diced
1 Small Red Bell Pepper, finely diced
1 tsp homemade Creole Seasoning
2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1/2 lb small raw Shrimp, peeled and chopped
1/2 loaf, day old French Bread, sliced and baked in a 300 degree oven until crispy, but not browned. Ground in a food Processor to make bread crumbs.
1/2 Cup Green Onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt, Black Pepper and Cayenne to taste
For the Topping, combine the following ingredients:
1/2 Cup of the Bread Crumbs
1/8 Cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter melted
2 tsp Kosher salt
Cut the Mirlitons in half lengthwise, remove the seeds.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt as you would pasta water. Add a few Bay leaves and a bundle of fresh Thyme. When the water comes to a boil add the mirliton halves, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until tender. Cool.
When the mirlitons are cool scoop out most of the pulp, leaving a shell about 1/2 inch thick. Dry the shells by patting with a paper towel. Reserve 1/2 of the the pulp and drain on paper towels, as they hold a lot of water. When dry, chop.
For the stuffing:
In a large cast iron skillet melt the unsalted butter over medium heat, when hot add the andouille. Cook stirring often until slightly browned.
Add the onion, celery and bell pepper and the creole seasoning, cook for 8- 10 minutes stirring often until the onions start to carmelize and the vegetables are soft.
Add the garlic, Mirliton flesh and Thyme, cook for 2 minutes more. Add the shrimp and green onions and cook until the shrimp turn pink. Add 1/2 Cup water (or Shrimp Stock if you have any on hand) and 1 Cup of the bread crumbs. Stir until the mixture comes together. More bread crumbs or water may be needed. The mixture should be thick, yet moist, and it should hold together. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne.
Divide the stuffing amongst the 4 mirliton shells and cover with the topping. Place into a 350 degrees oven until hot and the topping is golden brown. Serve immediately.
Be sure and visit my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which features all of the recipes on this site.