This stuffed merliton recipe is a New Orleans favorite. Granny Boutte prepares it for all special dinners, including Thanksgiving and Christmas.
My first exposure to a merliton was my first Thanksgiving with my in-laws in New Orleans. I am from New Jersey and had never seen or heard of merlitons. People from New Orleans pronounce this meliton.
I have discovered that they are also called mirlitons, vegetable pear, and chayote, just to name a few variations. They are grown around the world, but primarily in Lousiana, Florida and California within the United States.
You can find these in Asian, Indian, Philippian, Caribbean, and Latin American ethnic markets.
Pictured is a Merliton
I have become so fascinated with this vegetable that I wrote an article for EzineArticles,"You Say Merliton, I Say Mirliton - A Merliton by Any Other Name Tastes Just As Sweet!"
Once you have tried this recipe, you'll want to find more. Pictured are stuffed merlitons oozing with shrimp and ham! Delicious!
Cut merlitons in half lengthwise and remove seed; boil in salted water until almost tender, about 30 minutes. Do not overcook.
When cool, drain excess water in a colander. Scoop out pulp and set aside, leaving a 1/4 inch shell.
Saute garlic, onions, celery in butter until the onions are translucent. Add shrimp and ham. Cook until shrimp is pink.
Add remaining seasonings, cooking for an additional 5 minutes.
Let mixture cool. Add just enough bread crumbs to make the mixture stick together.
Put mixture into merliton shells, top with bread crumbs and bake until brown at 350 degrees about 20-30 minutes.