Monday, February 11, 2013

mardi gras: the original recipes

My grandmother(Me Mere) and grandfather(PePere) grew up in New Orleans. They say they ate seafood when it was for poor people and days of the week were recognized by the meals they ate. People grew mirlition on their clothes line, it grew so well down there people had to give it away by the basket full. My grandfather says in order to cook like a creole, you never say that there is too much seasoning! He has Alzheimer's but he sat in the kitchen and told us how to cook the recipes from memory and all the stories that come with our family recipes. It was a fun day learning how to cook these two dishes, I hope you like them and give it a try! They are easy, I promise!

his official cooking hat: make gumbo, not war. 

Our first recipe is mirlition: it is squash stuffed with all kinds of goodness including ham, shrimp, and sausage 

mirlition squash (more commonly called chayote squash which can be found in most grocery stores, eggplant can be a substitute)
1/2 stick butter
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
3-5 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 cup italian bread crumbs
1/2 lb pork sasauge 
1 cup chopped shrimp (fresh or frozen, thaw if frozen)
1-1.5 cups finely chopped ham
salt and pepper to taste (bonus points for slap ya mama)

1. Cut mirlition in half and place in cold water. Bring water to boil, boil until tender 
(about 20 minutes) 

2. Drain mirlition and scoop out pulp leaving the shells. Be careful not to tear the shells

3. In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat. Saute crushed red pepper,  bell pepper, garlic, onion,  for about 10 minutes or until tender. Add squash, pork sausage  ham, and shrimp and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 20 minutes. 

4. Add breadcrumbs and seasoning and cook for another 15 minutes. 

5. Scoop mixture into shells, sprinkle with bread crumbs and a pat of butter (if desired) Bake in a large pan for 350 degrees for 30 minutes uncovered. 

Now eat! I did. I couldn't wait until dinner. 

Shrimp Etouffee: 

This is my brothers' favorites. We eat it way too much, way more than my favorite, Red Beans and Rice and that's saying something 

2 to 3 lbs fresh or frozen shrimp
1/4 cup oil 
2 celery stalks finely chopped
1 cup chopped onions 
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers 
3 garlic cloves
2 cups seafood stock
2 teaspoons cornstarch 
1/4 cup fresh parsley 
salt, pepper, and red pepper to taste

1. Season shrimp with creole seasoning (or salt and pepper) and set aside 

2. Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy pot. Add celery, onions, bell pepper, and garlic and cook until 
onions are soft. 

3. Add seafood stock and shrimp. Bring to boil and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally 

4. Dissolve cornstarch in a 1/2 cup of water and add to mixture. 

5. Add parsley and cook for another 10 minutes. remove from heat and let thicken for 5 minutes 

6. Serve over rice or pasta (pasta is way better though!)

Happy Mardi Gras! Let me know if you like it, we have to make gumbo later this week for my uncle 
who is coming, and I can add that recipe too

come back later for some Monday musings!


  1. oh my goodness, i absolutely love this post. your grandfather is adorable...and both of the recipes sound totally delicious! thanks so much for sharing your special family recipes, i will most certainly be giving these a try!

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

    1. I am glad you enjoyed it! Give them a try, they aren't hard at all! Hopefully, I will be putting more recipes up here. I LOVE to cook!


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