Ma Ma's Mirliton, Shrimp And Crabmeat Casserole
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 7 pounds mirliton peeled, and cut into 1" thick slices (or a 7-lb green pumpkin) *see note
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 3/4 cups finely-chopped yellow onions
- 1/3 cup finely-chopped garlic
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly-ground black pepper
- 2 pounds shrimp peeled, deveined
- 1/2 pound lump crabmeat picked over for shells and cartilage
- 1/4 cup finely-chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup finely-chopped fresh parsley
- 1 pound Gruyere or mozzarella finely grated
* Cooks note: any type of bland squash can be substituted for the mirliton or green pumpkin in this recipe (merlitons, yellow squash, or zucchini) Long green Italian squashes would work great too. Regular pumpkins can also be used (not the kind for pie, but the big, bland ones more often used for Jack o'lanterns). Butternut or acorn squash does not work with this recipe. The original recipe uses 1 (7 pound) green pumpkin.
Place the mirlitons in a large pot and add enough water to come 1-inch up the sides of the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Continue to cook over medium-high heat until the mirliton is very tender, about 40 to 45 minutes. Strain in a large colander. Using the back of the spoon, press on the pumpkin to release as much liquid as possible. Discard any liquid.
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mirliton, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the mirliton is very thick and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 30 to 40 minutes. (Be careful near the end of the cooking time that the mirliton does not burn on the bottom of the pot.)
Preheat the oven broiler.
Add the shrimp, crabmeat, green onions, and parsley to the pumpkin mixture and gently stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Transfer hot pumpkin mixture to the prepared dish and spread the grated cheese evenly over the top. Broil until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
This recipe yields 8 to 10 servings.