Mirlitons Stuffed with Shrimp and Creole Tomatoes

Stuffed Mirliton with Shrimp and Creole Tomatoes and Roasted Carrots with Cane Syrup
Mirlitons Stuffed with Shrimp and Creole Tomatoes
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Mirlitons, stuffed with a shrimp filling made from sauteing the trinity (onions, celery and bell peppers) along with the mirliton fruit and sweet Creole tomatoes blended with fresh shrimp and creole seasoning. South Louisiana comfort food-hearty and delicious! Mirlitons, a peculiar looking squash, also known as Chayote or Vegetable Pear, is a Louisiana favorite-try this recipe and they will also be a favorite of yours!
Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time Calories Per Serving
8 to 10Servings 30Minutes 60Minutes 30Minutes 236
This Is What You Need
Units:
This Is What You Need
Units:
This Is What You Do
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Boil whole mirlitons for 30–45 minutes until tender. Remove from water and allow to cool.
  3. When cooled, slice in half lengthwise at widest point and remove the seed; scoop out to the meat leaving about 1/4 inch of shell. Set Aside. (See Notes)
  4. Chop the mirliton meat and set in a colander over a bowl to allow the water to drain, retain the liquid.
  5. Peel, devein and rinse the shrimp. Pat dry.
  6. Coarse chop the shrimp, mix in some creole seasoning and set aside.
  7. Parboil the tomatoes then place in an ice bath. Peel, remove the seeds then chop the tomatoes. (See Notes)
  8. Melt butter in a heavy bottom dutch oven over high heat until frothy.
  9. Add the trinity-yellow onions, celery and bell peppers and saute until the onions are clear, about 8 minutes.
  10. Add the aromatics-garlic, green onions and the Herb and Spice Blend (not the sugar).
  11. Stir and saute until aromatic, about 4 minutes.
  12. Add the tomatoes and saute a couple of minutes.
  13. Add the chopped mirliton meat and sugar, continue to sauté, cooking most of the water out of the mirlitons. Mash mirliton meat with a spoon as it cooks-its OK to have some chunks. About 5 minutes.
  14. Add the chopped shrimp and stir to mix well.
  15. Sauté until the shrimp have turned pink, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  16. Add about half the bread crumbs and mix well.
  17. Add more breadcrumbs until the mix tightens up-cook about 5 more minutes.
  18. Remove the dutch from the heat and allow it to cool-about 15 to 30 minutes.
  19. Remove the bay leaves from the filling and stuff the filling into the mirliton shells, pressing to make sure all the voids are filled.
  20. Place the stuffed mirlitons onto a prepared baking sheet or oven-proof baking dish. When they are all stuffed, sprinkle some breadcrumbs and a little Romano cheese on top of each one. Place a small tab of butter on the top of each one.
  21. Bake for about 30 minutes in the preheated oven until golden brown.
Recipe Notes

A mirliton is a peculiar looking squash that is commonly known as a Chayote or Vegetable Pear outside of Louisiana. Once it's all cooked, the skin will be very soft-it's fine to eat, in fact, it's delicious!

To prepare the mirlitons, add them to about 10 cups of boiling water and boil until soft-for about 30 minutes. Check them by probing with a tooth pick. If they are soft and offer little or no resistance, they are done.  If they are still a little tough, continue to boil and check every 5 to 10 minutes.  Make sure to let them cool before handling-it will be much more pleasant.  Once cooled, slice the mirliton in half lengthwise at the widest part. Scoop out the seed and the white part around it, then carefully spoon or scrape out the fruit into a bowl, leaving about 1/4 inch of the shell. The soft skin is easy to pierce or tear-but even if it gets torn, it will still be good for stuffing!

If you start with 5 mirlitons, you'll end up with 10 halves (no extra charge for the math lesson!). However, stuff as much filling as you can in them even if you don't have enough for all 10 halves. I usually end up with 8 or 9.

If you don't have Creole tomatoes, use any ripe tomato-home grown are the best. The important part is to use ripe tomatoes, but if there are none available, canned diced tomatoes will work perfectly!

The easy way to peel and seed the tomatoes is to parboil them. Cut a shallow cross with a very sharp knife on the top, crisscrossing the stem.  Bring about 10 cups of water to a heavy boil. Working with one or two tomatoes at a time, place them in the boiling water.  Boil them for about three minutes after the water returns to a boil. (placing the cover over the pot will help bring the water back to a boil quicker). Remove the tomatoes immediately into an ice bath (a large bowl filled with ice and cold water).  This will stop the cooking process and make them easy to peel. Let them sit in the ice bath about 10 minutes. When you remove them, grab a piece of the curling skin between your thumb and the flat of a knife blade and pull. Continue until the entire tomato has been peeled. To get the seeds out, slice in half or threes across the tomato's equator and scoop the seeds out with your fingers or a small spoon. Sometimes you can squeeze the seeds out. Its OK if you don't get every single seed out. Next, chop the peeled tomatoes and they are ready for use.

Some commercial creole seasonings have a lot of salt, so make sure you taste the filling before you add more salt to it.

Nutrition Facts
Mirlitons Stuffed with Shrimp and Creole Tomatoes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 236 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 103mg 34%
Sodium 370mg 15%
Potassium 597mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 25g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 9g
Protein 17g 34%
Vitamin A 32%
Vitamin C 91%
Calcium 12%
Iron 15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Roasted Carrots with Cane Syrup

Roasted carrots with cane syrup and thyme

Roasting will bring out the natural sweetness of the carrots. Add some butter and cane syrup and sprinkle in a little thyme and you have a wonderfully special side dish that’s perfect for any entree.

Roasted carrots with cane syrup and thyme
Roasted Carrots with Cane Syrup
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Roasting will bring out the natural sweetness of the carrots. Add some butter and cane syrup and sprinkle in a little thyme and you have a wonderfully special side dish that's perfect for any entree.
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
30 minutes 269
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
30 minutes 269
Roasted carrots with cane syrup and thyme
Roasted Carrots with Cane Syrup
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Roasting will bring out the natural sweetness of the carrots. Add some butter and cane syrup and sprinkle in a little thyme and you have a wonderfully special side dish that's perfect for any entree.
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
30 minutes 269
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
30 minutes 269
Here's What You Need
Here's What You Do
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a shallow baking sheet by covering with aluminum foil and a coating of non-stick oven spray.
  2. Clean and slice carrots in about 1 to 1 1/2 inch lengths; half or quarter thicker pieces.
  3. Add the carrots to about 4 to 5 cups of boiling water with a pinch of salt and the sugar. Parboil for about 3 minutes (after water comes back to a heavy boil) until they just start getting soft.
  4. Drain off the water but leave the parboiled carrots in the same pot. The pot should still be warm, so add the butter and mix well until all the carrots are liberally coated. Don't skimp, use a little more butter if you need to.
  5. Add the thyme, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and mix well.
  6. Pour the carrots onto the prepared baking sheet; spread out until the carrots are in a single layer, add the fresh thyme sprigs on top of the carrots.
  7. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until the carrots are beginning to brown and the butter is getting a little bubbly.
  8. Remove them from the oven and pour the cane syrup over all the carrots and mix well with a rubber spatula or spoon, careful not to break the carrots.
  9. Return the carrots to the oven and roast for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cane syrup and butter begin to form a glaze.
Recipe Notes

Roasting really brings out the natural sweetness in the carrots, adding sugar to the parboiling water and the honey at the end really plays well against the thyme.

If you choose not to parboil the carrots, increase the roasting time-start out the first 10 minutes or so covered with aluminum foil to get a little steaming action going. Make sure to check them for tenderness after about 20 minutes.

If you don't have cane syrup, you can substitute maple syrup or honey.

Nutrition Facts
Roasted Carrots with Cane Syrup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 269 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 25%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 43mg 14%
Sodium 342mg 14%
Potassium 288mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 31g 10%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 21g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 106%
Vitamin C 9%
Calcium 5%
Iron 7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Smothered Cabbage

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Sweet Daddy D's Smothered Cabbage
Smothered Cabbage is first rate comfort food and often overlooked. Smother it slowly in in its own juices, flavored with creole seasoning and a few herbs and spices and some delicious pork fat. The natural sweetness is drawn out and renders a warming and satisfying creole treat. It's too good for just New Years Day!
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Course Side Dish
Servings
Ingredients
Herb and Spice Blend
Course Side Dish
Servings
Ingredients
Herb and Spice Blend
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Instructions
  1. Sprinkle the pork chops with kosher salt and pepper and creole seasoning and set aside.
  2. Remove the outer leaves and cut out the hard stem of the cabbage. Slice cabbage in half, then slice each half across in 4 to 6 pieces.
  3. Slice onion into thick rings and then cut the rings in half; rough chop the garlic
  4. Heat bacon grease in a Dutch oven over medium high heat.
  5. Brown the pork chops on both sides in the bacon grease. When browned, remove the pork chops from the pan and set aside.
  6. Add the onions and sauté until starting to soften and brown on the edges.
  7. Add the garlic and stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
  8. Add in the cabbage a handful at a time. Stir well and allow to cook down a little before you add more. You may have to let it cook down a bit before you add all of the cabbage.
  9. Add the herbs and spices, sugar and the bay leaves. Mix well.
  10. Add back the pork chops. Lower the heat to medium low and cover the pot. Check in about 10 to 15 minutes and stir. The cabbage should be giving off some water so add chicken stock only if needed.
  11. Add no more than a 1/4 cup of chicken stock and only if needed, there may adequate liquid rendered from the cabbage and no need to add any additional, mix well. If you add a little too much stock, just let it cook a little off.
  12. Allow the cabbage to simmer uncovered for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  13. Cover and continue to simmer for about 30 minutes until the cabbage is completely cooked down. Then remove the cover, increase the heat and allow some browning and some of the excess liquid to cook off. Then its done!
Recipe Notes

If pork chops are not available, other cuts of pork can be used as the seasoning meat like smoked ham hocks. Try to use something with a little fat.

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