Thursday, November 24, 2011

John Besh Is a Genius

Mom and I went to the grocery store on Wednesday night before closing. Crazy? Yes! But necessary. We did not have enough butter, heavy cream and whipping cream to complete our annual Butter Day feast. I was also on a quest to find the elusive mirliton to recreate a delicious dish that Aunt Rite made 3 years ago (Happy 3rd Anniversary Megan and Justin "Anything but Beiber" Bush).

The adventure began at Aldi where we were able to buy 8 dozen eggs and 12 cans of rotel tomatoes. (Don't ask.) Then we made a pit stop at Yogurtville (tasty deliciousness) before heading to Sprouts. Sprouts had a spot for chayote (the Spanish name for mirliton), but alas, it had been taken over by eggplant. Boo!

So off we went to Wal-Mart. Yes, that evil place. But, they came through with the mirliton. And so it began...

Mirliton, Andouille and Shrimp Dressing
Adapted from John Besh
TOTAL TIME 1 hour 30 minutes .

4 mirlitons (also called chayote)
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
2 yellow onions, in medium dice
2 bell peppers, in medium dice
4 stalks celery, in medium dice
2 bay leaves
Freshly ground pepper
Creole seasoning mix, to taste
1 baguette
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp (30 per pound), peeled and deveined
1 pound andouille sausage, or smoked Polish sausage, in quarter-inch slices
1 cup shrimp stock (see note)
1 bunch green onions, julienned
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups panko

1. Bring about a gallon of water, with 3 tablespoons of salt, to boil in a large pot. Add mirlitons and cook covered for 30 minutes. When tender, remove to a bowl of ice water. Once cooled, peel, then cut each in half and remove seed. Cut into medium dice and reserve.
2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Add onions, peppers, celery, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning. Cook for 25 minutes, until vegetables are soft, and butter browns slightly.
3. Meanwhile, tear up baguette and grind in food processor with metal blade attachment.
4. Add shrimp to vegetables. When shrimp begin to take on color, add ground bread. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, to fully incorporate bread and let it absorb liquid. Remove from heat and add mirlitons, sausage, stock, green onions, and cheese. Stir well and adjust seasoning.
5. Transfer to 9-inch-by-12-inch casserole and top with panko. Bake until warm and crusty, about 30 minutes.

For stock, simmer shrimp shells for 10 minutes in about 1 1/2 cups of water.


Erin said...

Yum ... Forget Mardi Gras! I need to celebrate Thanksgiving with your fam sometime!

Kaycee said...

Erin - you totally should! It's quite the experience. We're still whittling away at the leftovers!