A Slice of Life: A Southern Thanksgiving

Sampling local cuisine is one of the best parts of a vacation. If you’re traveling during Thanksgiving, the Southern holiday favorite stuffed mirliton will be a great addition to your dinner menu.

What’s A Mirliton?

A mirliton, also known as “chayote squash”, is a pear-like vegetable, originally grown in Mexico. Today it’s a staple in southern holiday meals. Although there are many different recipes for mirlitons, a common favorite in Bayou Country is stuffed mirlitons with a Cajun twist as with the recipe below. Keep in mind, however, that this versatile little vegetable is delicious simply fried up in a pan.

Ingredients

6 mirlitons, sliced lengthwise

1 lb crabmeat

1 pound shrimp

1/4 butter

1 cup diced onions

1 cup diced red bell peppers

1/4 cup minced garlic

1 tbsp chopped basil

1/4 cup chopped parsley

2 cups Italian bread crumbs

The Method

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Boil sliced mirlitons in lightly-salted water 30–40 minutes or until meat is tender enough to scoop from shells.
  • Remove seeds and scoop all the meat out of the shell. Set the meat and shells aside.
  • In a pan, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic, shrimp, and basil until vegetables are tender.
  • Add chopped meat from mirlitons.
  • Once tender, remove from heat and season with salt, pepper, hot sauce and parsley. Add in crabmeat, being careful to not break lumps.
  • Drain liquid
  • Sprinkle in approximately 1½ cups of bread crumbs to absorb any excess liquid and to hold stuffing intact.
  • Use mixture to stuff shells. Place stuffed mirlitons on a baking pan and sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs.
  • Top each mirliton with 1 pat of butter. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve 1 mirliton half as a vegetable or 2 halves as an entrée.

Be sure to share with family and friends this holiday season!

 

 

 

 

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