Cooking by kittee:

What the hell is a Mirliton? Some folks call these vegetable pears or chayote squash, but here in New Orleans, we just call em' mella-ton and eat 'em a lot. The most popular style is stuffed or in a dressing, but you can use them in any recipe the way you might use a regular summer squash. They are really interesting to eat, almost like a watery artichoke heart. I've also recently learned that these are easy to grow (zone 9 and up). I plan on having lots of them trellised in my garden next spring. You can find information on how to grow 'em here and here (with cool pictures).

What You Need:

What You Do:

  1. Cut each mirliton in half lengthwise, so that you get wide sides. (I cut my first one going the wrong way and I couldn't go back and fix it. See the pictures below and you will know what I mean.) Throw them in a big pot of boiling salt water, seeds and all. Cook for about 30 minutes until they are fork-tender. Drain and cool. Carefully scoop out the seed and discard. With a spoon, scoop out the flesh (leave about 1/4" around the sides and bottom) making cool mirliton boats. Be careful not to break through the bottom. I used a sharp knife to edge the sides before I started to scoop. Chop the scooped up mirliton, squeeze out over the sink and reserve.

  2. Saute "the trinity" with 3/4 of the garlic and creole seasoning until soft and turn on low heat.
  3. Brown the seitan and weird ass vegan shrimp with some creole seasoning and the remaining garlic. Add this to the trinity/garlic mixture.
  4. Bring the heat to medium and add the fresh herbs and chopped mirliton flesh. Cook for five mintutes to incorporate flavors.
  5. Add in the crumbled cornbread and stir to mix. It should be moist, but not wet.
  6. Stir in 1-2 tablespoons of tofutti cream cheeze to bind. Season to taste with salt and creole seasoning.
  7. Pack the dressing into each boat and mound on top. Mix a bit more of the cornbread with some paprika and pat firmly on each half.
  8. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes. The tops should be brown and crunchy.

*These are the weird ass vegan shrimp i used.
I found them at an Asian market, they are made of yam. They sorta disapeared into the stuffing, but they really freaked me out when I opened them. They're kinda squeaky and sorta fishy and even turn a bit pink when they're cooked. Next time I will probably just leave these out. Another good alternative would be to leave out both the seitan and weird shrimp and use Gimme Lean sausage and some mushrooms instead.

halved mirlitons
The finished product. We ate 'em with salad, marinated asparagus and roasted root vegetables.

Cooking by kittee: