Mirliton, Shrimp and Tasso Casserole

Adapted from Commander’s Kitchen. Shannon gives his mirliton casserole extra oomph with tasso, a dry-cured ham often used for seasoning. If you can’t find tasso, roll regular ham in one part cayenne pepper and three parts paprika. If you can’t get small shrimp, cut large ones into bite-sized pieces.

  • 6 small mirliton, each about 9 ounces
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces tasso, cut in medium dice
  • 2 medium onions, cut in medium dice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound small headless shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 15 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 bunch scallions, green part only, thinly sliced

Place mirliton in large pot and cover with cold salted water. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 hour, or until fork-tender. Drain and let cool. Peel the skin with paring knife, cut in half top to bottom, remove seed and mash lightly. Drain excess liquid.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in large pot set over medium heat, add tasso and cook for about 4 minutes or until brown. Add onions, season with salt and pepper and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in shrimp and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add mashed mirliton and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Let cool.

Make custard by whisking eggs with milk and additional salt and pepper. Stir custard into cooled mirliton.

Use 1 tablespoon butter to coat a 3-inch deep casserole dish. Pour mirliton mixture into it. Preheat oven to 350F. Melt remaining butter in medium saucepan, add breadcrumbs, scallions and additional salt and pepper and spread over casserole. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Published on June 24, 2010