June 8, 2009

Stuffed Mirlitons


Mirlitons, 

also called vegetable pears in Louisiana, are more commonly know as chayote and are a pale green squash. They have a clean, crisp texture and taste like a cross between a zucchini and a cucumber.

Stuffed Mirlitons  
4 servings  
  • 2 -8 ounce mirliton squash (also known as chayote) 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine 
  • 8 ounces chopped, cooked ham or bacon 
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs, toasted (about 1 1/4 slices) 
  • 2 tablespoons snipped parsley 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper 
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • Celery leaves, minced 
  • Green onions (optional)  
Cover squash with boiling salted water, enough to cover and cook about 40 minutes or until tender. Drain. When cool enough to handle, cut mirlitons lengthwise in half. Remove seeds. Scoop out pulp to within 1/2 inch of skin. Set shells aside. Chop pulp. Drain. Squeeze pulp between paper towels to remove excess liquid. Set aside. 
For stuffing, cook onion, celery, and garlic in butter or margarine until tender. Remove from heat. Stir ham or bacon, mirliton pulp, toasted bread crumbs, parsley, salt, red pepper, and black pepper into onion mixture.
Spoon stuffing into squash shells. Place shells in a 10x6x2-inch baking dish. Bake stuffed squash, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven about 30 minutes or until heated through. 
Garnish each serving with celery leaves and minced onions if desired.

Stuffed Zucchini - Prepare as directed above, except substitute two 8-ounce zucchini for the mirlitons. Cook zucchini in water for 10 to 15 minutes. To bake, arrange shells in a 12x7 1/2x2-inch baking dish. Continue as directed above, except bake 20 minutes.

Toasted Bread Crumbs - To toast bread crumbs, spread crumbs in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 10 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally.

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