Monday, December 9, 2013

Creole Grilled Mirliton Ratatouille

Another way of  preparing Mirlitons (pronounced MEL-lee-tawns or MER-lee-tawns) the  type of squash I mentioned earlier) I ran across this recipe by Chuck Taggart who says if you don't want to grill the mirlitons and eggplant, you can instead brush them with olive oil and bake them on a sheet pan until half-cooked.

    2 pounds mirlitons (chayote squash)
    1 pound eggplant                                     
    1 pound onions
    4 red bell peppers
    2 pounds tomatoes (peeled, seeded and chopped)
    10 cloves garlic
    6 ounces olive oil
    2/3 cup chopped parsley
    2 bay leaves
    2 tablespoons Creole seasoning, or to taste
    1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cut the mirlitons in half and scoop out the seed, then slice into 1/2" slices. Peel the eggplant and slice into 1/2" slices. Slice the onions crossways 1/4" thick, then cut each slice in half to end up with semicircular pieces of onion. Core and seed the peppers and chop into 1/2" dice. Chop the garlic. Prepare the tomato concassé. ( a cooking term meaning to rough chop)

Brush the mirliton and eggplant slices with olive oil and grill (or bake) until about half-cooked. (Some nice cross-hatch grill marks would be particularly nice.) Sauté the onions and peppers in the remaining olive oil until half-cooked. Add the garlic, and sauté for one additional minute.

Cut the grilled mirliton and eggplant slices into large dice. Combine the veggies with seasonings into a heavy saucepan. Cover and cook in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes, or until the flavors are well-blended. If the vegetables are too juicy, cook uncovered on the stove top for a few minutes stirring frequently to avoid scorching. (Serve hot or cold)

YIELD: About 20 four-ounce portions. 

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