When I think of signature Louisiana holiday side dishes I always think of shrimp-stuffed mirliton. My mom used to make these for the holidays ahead of time and freeze them. For those unfamiliar with mirliton, it is in the squash family and also referred to as a “vegetable pear” or “chayote.” My sweet neighbor gave me a large bag of them and I just had to stuff them!
First you have to boil them whole until fork tender but not mushy. Once cooled, slice in half and scoop out the seed.
In a separate bowl scoop out the flesh but leaving enough in to hold its shape when it’s stuffed.
Mash the flesh with a fork, drain most of the liquid. Set aside.
To make the stuffing, see directions in the recipe below.
Stuff those babies!
Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture on top, then a little pat of butter. Time to bake them!
A real treat!
Shrimp Stuffed Mirlitons
6 large Mirlitons
1 stick butter, divided
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, plus more for topping
1/4 cup Kraft grated parmesan
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1. Boil Mirlitons whole until fork tender but not mushy.
Slice in half and scoop out seed(s).
2. In a separate bowl scoop out the flesh, leaving enough for the shell to hold its shape.
Mash the flesh with a fork, drain most of the liquid. Set mirliton aside.
3. Melt 1/2 stick butter in a skillet. Sauté shrimp (seasoned with salt and pepper) on both sides for a few minutes until cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Add veggies to the skillet and cook until tender. Add mirliton and cook for a few more minutes.
5. Add panko, bread crumbs, cheese. Stir well to incorporate. Add shrimp back in the pot.
6. Stuff the mirliton shells with the stuffing. Sprinkle additional Italian bread crumbs on top of each stuffed mirliton. Take the other 1/2 stick of butter and slice in small pieces to top each stuffed mirliton.
7. Bake covered for 20 minutes, uncovered for 20 or until bread crumbs are golden brown.