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Simple Lunch Recipes - Mirlitons Creole

Cajun and Creole have long lived side by side in Louisiana. Creole often draws on the best of French and Spanish cooking heritage for dishes of exquisite delicacy. Serve this delicious stuffed chayote with poached fish and a side dish of freshly steamed rice. This is such a simple vegetable recipe.

Make 6 servings

  • 3 tablespoons butter, plus additional for buttering and dotting

  • 1 small onion, minced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 medium size mirlitons (chayote), boiled whole in salted water to cover until tender and drained

  • 1/2 pound tiny peeled cooked shrimp, chopped

  • 1/2 to 1 cup fresh bread crumbs

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried

  • Hot pepper sauce to taste (optional but recommended)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Generously butter a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the chayote halves in a single layer.

  2. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium size heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. While the onion and garlic are cooking, cut the chayote in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Scoop out most of the flesh, leaving about 1/4 inch around the inside of the shell. Mash the flesh with a fork. Stir the mashed flesh into the skillet with the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring, until most of the liquid is evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp. Stir in the salt, pepper, parsley, and thyme. Stir in enough bread crumbs to make this filling hold its shape when spooned into the shells. Seasons with hot pepper sauce if desired. Fill the chayote shells with the shrimp mixture. Dot each with butter. Arrange the filled shells in the prepared baking dish. Bake until the filling is very hot and the tops are golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Variations:
For a heartier luncheon or supper dish, add 1/4 pound smoked ham, minced, to the stuffing at the same time as the shrimp.
 

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