Mirlitons, also called vegetable pears in Louisiana, are more commonly know as chayote. A type of pale green squash, they have a clean, crisp texture and taste like a cross between a zucchini and a cucumber.
- 7 mirlitons
- 13 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1⁄2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
- 1 lb. peeled deveined rock shrimp
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 1⁄2 cups fresh white bread crumbs
- Pour water into a medium pot to a depth of 2″ and bring to a boil. Peel, pit, and cut mirlitons into 1″ chunks. (Some people are allergic to the flesh, so you may want to wear gloves.) Add mirlitons, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until mirlitons are very tender, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Drain well and mash roughly with a potato masher. Place mashed mirlitons in a colander in the sink to let all excess water drain.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Butter an 8″ × 8″ baking dish with 1 tbsp. butter and set aside. Heat 6 tbsp. butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the celery, onions, and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Add the rock shrimp and cook, stirring, until just pink, about 30 seconds. Remove the pot from heat. Stir in mirlitons and season with salt and pepper. Transfer mirliton mixture to buttered dish. Toss remaining butter with the bread crumbs in a bowl. Sprinkle the casserole with the bread crumbs. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 35–40 minutes. Set the casserole aside to let cool slightly, then serve.