What the heck is a Mirliton? In New Orleans, they are called mella-ton. Mirlitons, also known as chayotes, are commonplace in New Orleans and have a texture similar to acorn squash. It is a pear shaped fruit and a taste similar to zucchini. This recipe brings back many fond memories.
4 or 5 medium size Mirlitons
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
2/3 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup green peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
3/4 cup butter or bacon drippings (may only use 1/2 cup)
3/4 lb. shrimp (raw) or crawfish tails
1 lb. ham, andouille sausage, ground pork or beef (or use 1/2 lb. and 1/2 lb.)
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt – may not need this if you use a salty Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cavendar’s Greek seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper or Cajun seasoning
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
1 egg, beaten, optional
Cover mirlitons with water and boil until tender, about 1 hour. Cool and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out tender pulp and reserve. Discard seeds and set shells aside for stuffing.
Saute onions, green onions, green peppers, celery, garlic, and parsley in 1/2 cup butter or bacon drippings for 5 minutes or until onions are transparent. Add shrimp and meat (your choice) and cook, stirring for another 5 minutes.
Add mirliton pulp, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, salt, pepper, Greek seasoning, Cajun seasoning or Cayenne pepper, and Tabasco sauce and cook, stirring for 10 minutes. At this point, if your mixture is too dry you may add 1/4 of the remaining butter or bacon drippings – mix thoroughly. Add egg (optional) and return to fire for 1 more minute. (I think the egg is a good binder, but not required.)
Fill hollowed out mirlitons and top with remaining bread crumbs.
Bake 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until bread crumbs have browned.
Can be prepared ahead of time. Stuffed mirliton can be frozen for a short time (6 months). Prepare everything to the point of putting the bread crumbs on (leave them off). Wrap each mirliton tightly in plastic wrap and put them in a Zip-Lock, don’t forget to put the date on it. You can also make a mirliton casserole by peeling the mirlitons with a potato peeler, slicing in half, removing the seed and using this same recipe.