Mirliton (Chayote) Casserole

Donna Graffagnino

By
@StillWild

In the south, or at least in Louisiana, we call Chayotes or Vegetable Pears, Mirlitons (MEL-a-tawn or MERL-a-tawn), depending on what New Orleans neighborhood you're from. It's a part of the squash family but it has a mild sweet flavor and can be used so many different ways. Here's my version of Traditional Mirliton Casserole.


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Rating:

Comments:

Serves:

A Lot

Prep:

45 Min

Cook:

3 Hr 15 Min

Method:

Stove Top

Ingredients

5 lb
about 8 medium mirlitons
1 lb
ground beef
1 lb
bulk pork sausage or ground pork
****or****
2 lb
shrimp, crab, crawfish, scallops, any seafood you like (cooked or raw)
2 Tbsp
olive oil
1 Tbsp
creole seasoning (tony cacherie's or emeril's)
2 large
onions, chopped
1 large
red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 large
carrot, peeled and chopped fine
3 stalk(s)
celery, chopped
1 bunch
green onions, sliced thin
1 large
jalapeno, seeded and minced (about 1/4 c)
1/2 tsp
dried thyme
1/4 c
garlic, minced (not a typo)
1 tsp
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c
fresh parsley, chopped or 1/8 c dried
3 large
eggs, lightly beaten
1+ c
seasoned bread crumbs, lightly toasted
3/4 lb
grated mozzarella or parmesan (optional)

Directions Step-By-Step

1
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the mirlitons and cook until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the heat, drain, and set aside to cool completely.
2
Sprinkle ground beef, pork or sausage with 1 tablespoon creole seasoning and brown in heavy skillet. Drain and set aside.
3
When the mirlitons are cool, cut them in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, peel, and coarsely chop. Set aside.
4
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, carrots, celery, green onions and jalapeno. Add remaining creole seasoning and the thyme. Cook slowly, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and lightly golden, about 30 minutes.
5
Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the mirlitons and cook, mashing them with a potato masher, until very tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes.
6
At this point, if you want a smoother textured casserole use an immersion blender or put mixture into a food processor or blender in small batches until everything is pureed. If you like a chunkier casserole then skip this step.
7
Add the meats or seafood, salt, black pepper, and parsley. Cook about 3 to 4 minutes stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat.
8
Add the eggs and toasted bread crumbs and mix well. You want the mixture to be tight, not too wet. Spoon the mixture into a 9 by 13-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella or parmesan cheese (optional), or with about 1-2 tablespoons of bread crumbs.
9
Bake at 350 until the topping is lightly browned and bubbly, about 40 minutes. Serve warm.
10
*NOTES: In a skillet, toast the breadcrumbs in a little olive oil over medium heat until it turns 2 shades darker. This will keep the casserole from being gummy.
11
If you make extra toasted breadcrumbs you can freeze them in a ziplock bag until you're ready to use them again.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Beef, Seafood, Casseroles
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: Southern
Other Tags: For Kids, Healthy, Heirloom