Seafood Stuffed Mirletons (French Creole for Chayote Squash) have made their way to our holiday table for years. We learned about them when we moved to New Orleans after my father was stationed in Nebraska when I was a young teen. Though moving to New Orleans was a culture shock, we all soon embraced the food and history of our new city, including this recipe. Mirlitons are pear-shaped with a squeezed-in end that looks like it’s smiling at you. They look like they would have the texture of a zucchini, but the flesh is actually firmer and requires a little more cooking time. Hollowing them out, mixing the chopped and cooked flesh with seafood, and stuffing the shells is a common use of this squash in Louisiana. My version of the stuffing is a mix of chopped shrimp, crab meat, diced peppers, onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, and thyme. The stuffing in the squash shells is folded with breadcrumbs before being baked.
If you want to learn more about Mirletons, click here.
Yield: 12-15 servings
6 to 8 merlitons
2 sticks butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 medium bell peppers, finely chopped
½ stalk celery, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1 quart chicken stock or chicken broth
1 tablespoon whole thyme leaves
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 tablespoon oregano leaves
1 tablespoon sweet basil
Salt (to taste)
1 pound of Louisiana lump crabmeat
2 pounds (91/110) Louisiana shrimp
4 ½ cups Italian bread crumbs
Boil merlitons for about one hour or until tender. Let cool and peel off skin. Chop finely.
Add butter to pot and all onions, bell peppers, celery, green onions. Simmer until butter is melted. Add 1 quart of chicken stock or chicken broth. Cook until seasonings are translucent or for about 15 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until pink.
Add merlitons, all dry seasoning, and salt to taste. Cook for about 45 minutes on a low fire while stirring occasionally. Turn off fire and fold in crabmeat and Italian bread crumbs.
Put into casserole dish, sprinkle top with bread crumbs and bake for 20 minutes at 350˚ degrees.
Feature Photo: lisaiscooking.blogspot.com