Listening to every heart
Mirlitons, also called chayote squash or vegetable pear in other parts of the world, are a delicious vegetable (actually, they're technically a fruit) with a mild, delicate squashlike flavor. They're very popular in New Orleans, and grow like wildfire; anyone who has mirlitons growing in their backyard is invariably always giving away bushels of them.
Sounds like zucchini....
4 good-sized mirlitons, cut in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
1/2 pound shrimp, chopped
1/2 pound smoked ham, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 large pinch each oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup green onions (scallions), chopped
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped fine
About 1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup shrimp stock, fish stock or water
In a large pot, boil the mirlitons in water to cover for 1/2 hour, or until soft. Drain the water and set them aside to cool. While they're cooling, heat your oven to 350įF and grease a 8 inch square baking dish with butter.
When the mirlitons have cooled, scoop out the seeds carefully and discard them. Then scoop out the "meat", leaving about 1/4" all around. Chop the "meat" and put it in a bowl, setting the mirliton shells aside.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp, ham, garlic and seasonings. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the mirliton "meat", milk, onion, green onion, and 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring well. Remove the skillet from the heat and spoon the mixture into the mirliton shells. Top each of the filled shells with about 1 tablespoon of the bread crumbs.
Put the mirlitons in the baking dish and carefully pour the stock into the dish around them.
Bake, uncovered for 1/2 an hour. Eat and enjoy.