Stuffed Mirliton Riverboats
Yield 24 Dinner Servings
12 LARGE MIRLITONS
1/4 CUP ZATARAIN'S LIQUID CRAB BOIL
6 LARGE EGGS (Beaten)
1 TSP BLACK PEPPER
1 TSP WHITE PEPPER
4 CUPS SEASONED BREAD CRUMBS
3 QUARTS PEANUT OIL
1 CUP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1 LB ONIONS (Diced)
1/2 LB CELERY (Diced)
6 BAY LEAFS
1/2 LB TASSO (Chopped fine)
1 TBSP GRANULATED GARLIC
1 CUP WHITE WINE
1/2 CUP CRAWFISH FAT (Preferred) OR 1 TBSP LOBSTER BASE
3 LBS 21 -25 COUNT SHRIMP (Peeled and raw)
2 LBS CRAWFISH TAILS
1 TBSP LEMON JUICE
LOT SEASONED BREAD CRUMBS
1 QUART SMOKED SHRIMP SAUCE (See Recipe)
1 QUART LAZY CAJUN HOLLANDAISE SAUCE (See Recipe)
Use a large stock pot and over high heat, boil the mirlitons with the liquid crab boil seasonings. After about 20 minutes test the mirlitons with a toothpick, poke the mirliton in the thickest part; the meat should be tender but not mushy. When done, remove the mirlitons from the boil and allow them to cool to the touch. Cut the mirlitons in half lengthwise, remove the seed and discard. Scrape as much meat from the mirliton as possible, while being careful not to poke a hole in the skin.
In a small shallow mixing bowl add the eggs, black and white peppers. Beat the eggs to form a batter. Dip the mirliton boats in the batter then roll them in the seasoned bread crumbs.
Use a large Dutch oven and over high heat, add the peanut oil. Use a thermometer and when the oil reaches 375F add several of the boats. This will bring the oil temperature down to about 350F, the perfect frying temperature. Fry the boats until they are a golden brown. Hold uncovered for later assembly in a 125F oven. See Below our Alternate Method for cooking the boats.
Meanwhile, in a large cast iron Dutch oven and over medium heat; sauté the onions and celery in the olive oil until clear. Chop the mirliton meat into 1/4 inch cubes and add to the skillet along with the bay leaf, tasso, white wine and crawfish fat. Sauté the stuffing for 15 - 20 minutes (this will evaporate much of the water that the mirliton absorbed.) Add the shrimp and cook until pink, do not over cook shrimp. Add the crawfish and remaining ingredients (except bread crumbs), simmer for 5 minutes. The stuffing should be somewhat dry, if the mirliton meat absorbed too much liquid then add some bread crumbs to bring the stuffing together. (Maximum 2 cups) Remove from heat and serve.
IF you wish to reduce the calories, rather than frying the riverboats, roast the breaded boats on a baking sheet in a 350F for 30 minutes or until golden brown. This method is not only lower in calories, but easier to perform!
Also, as an alternate method replace either the shrimp or crawfish
with diced tasso. WOW, still great!!
There are several ways to serve this dish.
1. Arrange the boats in several 2" hotel pans, place the stuffing in a separate chafer. Allow the guest to fill their own boats. Also in separate serving bowls have the sauce toppings available for your guests. (Also include Louisiana Hot Sauce, freshly grated romano cheese and shallot tops.)
2. Pre-stuff the boats with the stuffing, serve in a chafer or on large preheated serving trays. Also serve the sauces on the side.
Mirliton vines grow like crazy in the South Louisiana climate. I have many friends that have them growing on the back yard fence, they (and their back neighbor) pick several hundred mirliton per year.
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Chef Emile L. Stieffel, Aurora Catering, Inc. email address: ChefEmile@CustomCatering.net
Copyright © 1995 Aurora Catering, Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: August 17, 2010.