Mirlitons are my favorite vegetable to cook. I put it in everything. Outside New Orleans and Louisiana, mirlitons might have a different name. In other parts of the United Stated and the world, you might know the mirliton as a ‘chayote’, ‘pear squash’ or ‘vegetable pear’. When you go to your grocery store, if they don’t have mirlitons they should be able to help you find it with one of the other names.
8 small to medium mirlitons (6 cups smashed)
1 large sweet onion
4 tablespoons garlic
8 ounces parmesan cheese
12 ounces Italian bread crumbs
2 cups fresh shrimp* or 2 cups of chopped ham
½ stick butter
*Shrimp should always be fresh! But if you can only get frozen shrimp, be sure to cook the shrimp before you add it to your pot. Frozen shrimp are imported and pumped up with water to look nice. The water pumped into the shrimp will ruin your meal. So, cook the shrimp separately with Zatarain’s seasoning, then add it to your dish.
Boil the mirlitons in a large pot with the lid on for 1 hour or until you can stick a fork through the mirlitons. While hot, cut the mirlitons in half, then cut off both ends and remove the seeds. Mash the mirlitons while still warm. Add all the ingredients including raw shrimp to the mashed mirlitons. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees in a 9×14 baking pan for 40 minutes. Then uncover and brown for 10 minutes.
If you plan to add this stuffing to Crown Roast, don’t cook it. Cook it with the roast.
Tip #1: Don’t buy large mirlitons because they look pretty. Their skin is too tough and so it’s harder to work with.
Tip #2: My mother used to use ham instead of shrimp because she prefers ham in her mirliton dressing.