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,
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)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Generously butter a shallow baking dish
large enough to hold the chayote halves in a single layer.
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.
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.
For a heartier luncheon or supper dish, add 1/4 pound smoked ham, minced,
to the stuffing at the same time as the shrimp.