This shrimp stuffed mirliton is a tasty Louisiana treat, and a perfect Thanksgiving side dish.
Louisiana Shrimp-Stuffed Mirliton
Mirliton, a squash variety that thrives in Louisiana, is stuffed with Gulf shrimp.
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- 12 mirlitons (chayote squash), halved
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 4 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 bunch celery, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds smoked ham, chopped
- 2 to 3 pounds peeled fresh shrimp, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs, plus more for topping
- In a large Dutch oven of water, boil mirlitons until tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from water; when cool enough to handle, halve lengthwise, remove seed from each, and discard seeds.
- Remove mirliton flesh by delicately scooping, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Set flesh aside, and turn the shells upside-down on a cooling rack to drain.
- Preheat oven to 300°.
- In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery, and cook until onion is translucent. Add ham, shrimp, salt, pepper, and garlic, and cook until shrimp are pink and firm. Add reserved mirliton flesh, and cook 5 minutes.
- Gently fold in bread crumbs. (Because mirlitons are watery, you may need more bread crumbs to reach the desired consistency.) Add additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Cook 5 minutes more.
- Place mirliton shells in a large casserole dish, and gently stuff with shrimp mixture. Top with additional bread crumbs, cover, and bake 20 to 30 minutes.
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