Saturday, November 5th, we went to the Mirliton Festival in Bywater. I thought it was something new, but apparently it has been in existence for twenty-two years. We stumbled across it when we, J and I, were out hitting "garage" sales. For those who are familiar with Bywater it's a bit funny because the neighborhood is chock full of shotgun houses that are practically sitting on top of one another and there are probably six garages in the entire neighborhood. It was more like stoop sales.
We had just purchased the top part of a buffet and were heading back to the house when we discovered this festival celebrating what is basically a bland squash that was going to be the . Back in the day I remember everyone had a mirliton vine in their back yard. Anyways, we scored some music, beer and a stuffed mirliton from Jack Dempsy's, which made for a nice side trip for the day.
|I kinda regret not getting the cook book. : (|
|J and his stuffed mirliton and Abita Amber.|
|NOLA fashionistas. Love the variety of styles!!|
Stuffed Mirliton Recipe
6 mirlitons 1/4c parsley 1/2 - 1 lb of small shrimp
1c onion 1 1/2 c Italian bread crumbs butter or olive oil
1c celery 2 eggs 2tbs of chopped garlic
1/2 c shallots/green onion salt and pepper to taste 1/4 c Italian bread crumbs & 1/4 c
parmesan cheese mixed together
Boil mirlitons for about 15-30 min. You should be able to easily stick a tooth pic or fork in one. Cool. Cut in halves; remove seeds. Carefully scoop out mirlitons; set aside skins for stuffing later. Saute chopped shallots, onion and celery in a bit of butter or olive oil on medium high heat for about six minutes then add 1tbs of garlic and parsley and cook for two more minutes and then set aside. Lightly saute shrimp in butter or olive oil if you are trying to be healthy and 1tbs of garlic, (no longer than 3 min.). Use a potato masher and mash up mirliton innards in a large bowl and then stir in the onion mixture, shrimp, beaten eggs, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into the mirliton shells. Sprinkle top with cheese/breadcrumb mixture. Place a pat of butter on each mirliton half and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
A couple of notes on this recipe: I go heavy on the butter and garlic on this and so I reduced the amounts, but if y'all are feeling all garlicy go for it. I also suggest olive oil if you are concerned about that butter thing. In all honesty, I do this one for holidays so I use the butter. You can also opt out on the shrimp, I understand that shrimp is expensive in other parts, but really, what New Orleans native is going to skip out on the shrimp? Oh, and to make it all fancy, I garnish with a garlic/butter sauteed jumbo shrimp on top. You can also just go ahead and do this as a casserole instead of trying to stuff those flimsy mirliton shells, sort of like instead of doing all those artichoke balls you just say, "aw heck I'll just do the casserole."