Chef Blake Aguillard gave us his recipe for his favorite holiday dish.
Holiday | Side | New Orleans
“The best Thanksgiving dish has to be Shrimp and Pork Stuffed Mirliton,” says Chef Blake Aguillard of
. “My Mom’s version.”
Mirlitons, in case you’re not familiar, are somewhat like squash and are often stuffed with shrimp and pork. “It’s a tradition around New Orleans, but it's not a whole thing across America.”
While Chef Blake’s mother passed away a year ago, he said that this is the dish he wanted to share, because cooking with his mom and grandma is what got him into cooking in the first place.
“I think over the years, we kind of adjusted a little bit. The way she cooks it is the way a home cook cooks it, I take it a little bit further with some of the simple techniques. It progressed over time with me and her.”
It’s one of his favorite dishes to cook during the holidays because while he’s normally stressed and working in the kitchen, this is a great one to cook while snacking, watching a little TV, and just spending time with family.
To make it you, boil the mirliton, which has a potato-like texture before it’s cooked, scoop out the innards, and sweat it out in water. After sautéing ground pork, salt pork, onion and garlic and shrimp, you stuff them with breadcrumbs, herbs, and a pat of butter, and toss them in the oven.
mirlitons, sliced lengthwise
tablespoons butter, divided
pound ground pork
cup onions, diced
cup celery, diced
cup green bell peppers, diced
cup garlic, minced
cup thyme, chopped
pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped into bite-size pieces
cup parsley, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Granulated garlic, to taste
Hot sauce, to taste
cups Italian breadcrumbs, divided
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Preheat your oven to 400F.
Bring a pot of lightly-salted water to a boil. Split your mirlitons in half and boil mirlitons for 30 minutes, or until they’re easy to scoop out.
Use a small spoon to remove seeds and scoop out all of the meat of the shell. Reserve the meat and set aside.
Pierce the shells with a paring knife.
12-inch Frying Pan
, melt 6 tablespoons of butter on medium-high heat. Once melted, sauté your pork until golden brown. Stir until all juices have evaporated.
Add onions, celery, bell peppers, minced garlic, and thyme and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
Add in your chopped shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes, or until pink and curled.
Mix in your reserved mirliton meat and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring until flavors develop.
After most of your liquid has evaporated, remove the pan from the heat and add your parsley, and season to taste with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and hot sauce.
Sprinkle in 1 ½ cups of breadcrumbs to absorb any excess liquid and to hold the stuffing intact.
Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions and stuff into your hollowed-out mirlitons.
Place the stuffed mirlitons on
a sheet pan
and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of breadcrumbs. Top each with ½ tablespoon of remaining butter and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Once done, sprinkle with cayenne pepper, to taste.