Sunday, November 19, 2017

Mirliton (Chayote Squash) Seafood Casserole

Mirliton (Chayote Squash) Seafood Casserole, a casserole made with mirliton, the trinity, shrimp, andouille, crab, bread crumbs and seasonings. Increase bread crumbs for a mirliton dressing.
Mirliton (Chayote Squash) Seafood Casserole, a casserole made with mirliton, the trinity, shrimp, andouille, crab, bread crumbs and seasonings. Increase bread crumbs for a mirliton dressing.

Mirliton Seafood Casserole

It's mirliton season in the Deep South! I'm guessing that some of you are likely thinking right now... what the heck is that?

Mirlitons, or in Cajun Country, Alligator Pears
Well, truth is, mirliton (pronounced mel-a-tawn) aka chayote squash, vegetable pears, or in Cajun Country, alligator pears, are the Unofficial Squash of the Deep South, most especially, Louisiana and more specifically, New Orleans.

With a very neutral flavor, somewhat similar to a cucumber, they were once grown in abundance along backyard chain link fences at many homes here along the Gulf Coast. Although some folks do still grow them, they are pretty much all commercially grown and imported nowadays. Though Spanish in origin, French influences in the New Orleans area are what later had them to become known as mirlitons.

Homegrown or not, fall is still the time they show up in the markets and on the holiday tables around here. Since they are fairly neutral tasting, they mostly act as a filler, absorbing the flavors of the ingredients they are paired with, often seafood, such as in shrimp stuffed pirogues, and casseroles like this. Be sure to taste and adjust seasonings when using mirlitons, but let's not be mistaken. It's really about the seafood far as we're concerned down here.

No worries if you can't get your hands on chayote squash, as this casserole is good with eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash as well, available now pretty much all seasons. Though this recipe is written as more of a casserole, this dish can easily be transformed into a dressing with the use of more bread crumbs and a couple of eggs. I'm using seasoned French bread crumbs, but dried bread crumbs may also be used, though you'll use less. A lot of folks like to use Italian seasoned bread crumbs and if you do, reduce or eliminate the dried seasonings in the recipe.

If there are any, I like to take leftovers, bind it up with some more bread crumbs, shape into patties and pan fry for a whole new dinner - so good! Scroll down the page for the full recipe with measurements, instructions and printable document.

Dig in!

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Posted by on November 19, 2017

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