Special Diet Information

Coumadin® (Warfarin)
This recipe is safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.

This recipe is safe for those who are lactose intolerant.

This is NOT a low sodium recipe.

GERD / Acid Reflux
This recipe contains GERD triggers and those with GERD may wish to avoid it.

Gluten Sensitivity
This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten. Use gluten-free bread in this dish. Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce is gluten-free.


"The kitchen really is the castle itself." -Mario Batali

The refrigerator light goes on...

Chayote squash is known as mirliton here in New Orleans. You can use it for almost anything – savory dishes, tacos, even desserts. I like this casserole because the spiciness is tempered by the mild mirliton and sweet shrimp. The bread crumb topping has a nice creamy texture and a bit of spice.

Substitute crab for the shrimp and you have a completely different dish with more robust seafood flavors.


This simple ingredient has so many different types.  It is important to read a recipe carefully and choose the correct breadcrumbs because they are important to the recipe’s final texture.  The two main types of breadcrumbs are dry breadcrumbs and fresh breadcrumbs.  Dry breadcrumbs usually make for a finer, crisp texture while fresh have a moist crumbly consistency.  

I don’t like to use stale bread to make dry breadcrumbs and prefer to use bread that has been dried in the oven. This is due to the fact that stale bread makes for stale tasting breadcrumbs.  When making dry bread crumbs you can either toast the bread or not – each way has a different flavor.  Toast bread in the oven at about 300°F turning a few times until it is evenly browned.  I let them cool on racks before processing in a food processor or blender, as the slight moisture that remains will make dry breadcrumbs moist.  

If you don’t want a toasted flavor, then simply dry the bread in the oven set on warm (this is 175°F on most ovens).  Let them cool and then grind.  

Fresh (sometimes called moist) breadcrumbs are just that – made with fresh bread.  I find that the food processor makes better fresh breadcrumbs than using a blender.  

Certainly you can use any type of bread to make your breadcrumbs – whole wheat, French, sourdough, rye, or even cinnamon raisin.  Keep in mind that breads vary widely in the amount of fat and calories.  I have not found a pre-made breadcrumb at the grocery store worth using.  


Shrimp Mirliton Casserole

Servings = 2 | Serving size =about 2 cups

Cooking Time = 60 Minutes

This recipe can be multiplied by 2,3,4.

This recipe makes very good leftovers. The mirliton can be cooked ahead of time - even the day before - and refrigerated until needed. If they are chilled when you assemble the casserole, allow a little extra cooking time so that they come to temperature.

2 slices whole wheat or gluten-free bread
3 quarts water
2 small mirliton (chayote squash) (about 16 ounces total)
2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic (sliced)
1 medium onion (diced)
1 medium rib celery (diced)
1 small green bell pepper (seeded and diced)
2 tsp Creole seasoning
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
8 ounces shrimp (peeled, deveined, and sliced lengthwise)
1 large egg
2 tsp Tabasco sauce

Shrimp Mirliton Casserole
Preheat the oven to 325°F

Place the bread in the oven to toast - about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crunchy. Set aside to cool.

When the bread is cool, place in a blender or mini chopper and process into bread crumbs. Set aside.

Place the water in a large sauce pan and add the mirliton.

Bring the water to a boil and cook for about 30 minutes, until a knife slips into them with just a little resistance. Remove and set aside to cool.

When they are cool, peel, cut in half and seed.

Cut into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside.

While the mirliton are cooking, place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir frequently.

Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir frequently.

Add the green bell pepper and celery and cook for about three minutes. Stir frequently.

Add the Creole seasoning, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, water, salt, and pepper. Stir.

Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Don't let all of the water evaporate. Adjust the heat so that there is a little bit of liquid in the bottom of the pan.

Remove from the heat and add the shrimp. Toss well.

When the sauce and the mirliton are done, place the diced mirliton in the bottom of an oven proof dish.

Top with the onion, green pepper, and shrimp mixture.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg together with the Tabasco sauce.

Add the bread crumbs and toss until coated.

Pat the bread crumbs on top of the casserole and place in the oven.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the bread crumbs are toasted and the shrimp are cooked through.


Nutrition Facts

Serving size = about 2 cups

Servings = 2


Amount Per Serving

Calories 389 Calories from Fat 97
  % Daily Value
Total Fat 10g 16%
    Saturated Fat 2g 6%
    Monounsaturated Fat 4g  
    Trans Fat 0g  
Cholesterol 278mg 92%
Sodium 567mg 25%
Total Carbohydrates 43g 8%
    Dietary Fiber 10g 40%
    Sugars 13g  
Protein 33g  
Vitamin A 22% Vitamin C 137%
Calcium 16% Iron 40%
Vitamin K 32 mcg Potassium 1049 mg
Magnesium 126 mg