Mirliton, Shrimp and Tasso Casserole
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Total Time:
- Yield: 12 side dishes
If you can’t get to Commander’s during the holidays, have a little Commander’s at home. This Louisiana comfort food is a great side dish for Thanksgiving.
The mirliton, the unofficial squash of Louisiana, looks like a large pear. We love it in New Orleans because its flavor is so mild that it tends to absorb the flavors of whatever it’s cooked with.
Chef’s Notes: Be sure casserole is not watery. If it is, pierce topping and lower temperature in oven and continue to cook until water is absorbed.
- 4 whole mirlitons (If you’re going to do this you might as well make enough for the next day)
- 1 gal water for boiling mirlitons
- 3-4 medium onions, finely chopped
- 21 toes (cloves) (YES!) garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cups Italian style breads crumbs
- 2 ¼ cups Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 tbl. Kosher salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 cup olive oil for drizzling
- In a large pot, add mirliton and cover with cold water. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 hour or until fork tender. (Pierce with paring knife and you should feel a little resistance.)
- Drain. Let cool on an open space. (Note: the mirliton should be treated as a root vegetable, which have very high water content. It is important not to overcook or shock with cold water to cool. This will cause the vegetable to lose its flavor and make the casserole watery.)
- Peel the skin from the mirliton with a paring knife. Cut in half from stem, top to bottom, de-seed, lightly mash. Drain excess liquid from mash.
- In a large pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon butter and sauté tasso for about four minutes or until brown.
- Add onions, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender.
- Stir in shrimp and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add mirliton and sauté for 3 minutes, constantly stirring. Remove from heat and season.
- Run 1 tablespoon of butter into 3 inch deep, large surface casserole dish. Add mixture and pat down lightly with hand.
- Optional: For custard, mix eggs, milk, and seasoning and whisk. Mix together with other ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- For topping, melt remaining butter. Add breadcrumbs, green onions, and seasoning and top casserole with mixture.
- Cover casserole with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown..