Mirliton is a popular squash in Louisiana cookery but is globally known by other names and most common as Chayote. In Louisiana mirlitons are also known as vegetable pears and is part of the gourd family.
Growing up in the state, this dish was often served during the holidays or a special Sunday dinner which is the only time I seemingly prepare as an adult.The most common cooking method of a mirliton in Louisiana is stuffed with a mixture of protein and the filling of the gourd. Mirlitons are also served in soups, salads or sauteed. I can't say that I've had it cooked any other way but stuffed so here is a simple recipe that has proved delicious each time prepared. Try it out for yourself but look for Chayote when shopping at your local grocery store.
4 Mirlitons (Chayotes), boiled until tender
1/4 lb (4 ounces) medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 ounces onion, chopped
1 ounce bell pepper, chopped
1 ounce celery, chopped
1/2 cup + 3 ounces Italian bread crumbs
Salt, to taste
Black Pepper, to taste
Cayenne Pepper, to taste
Garlic Powder, to taste
1/2 stick of butter
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cut cooked mirlitons in half lengthwise then use a spoon to remove insides of the squash and place in a bowl. When removing the insides, the goal is to have an even medium to thin layer to act which is sturdy enough to hold the filling. In a saute pan, heat butter over a medium heat then add the chopped vegetables. Saute until onions become translucent then add shrimp and continue cooking for about two minutes. Once shrimp begins to cook, add the mirliton filling and 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs. Mix until well combined then add spices and remove from heat. Season mixture to your spice preference.
Stuffed each mirliton with a heaping portion of the filling then place in a lightly greased baking dish. Once filled, sprinkle the top with remainder bread crumbs then bake for 20- 25 minutes or until the top is slightly browned. Remove from oven and serve with your favorite meal.