Crawfish and Mirliton Bisque

Mirliton, or chayote squash, was a gift from the Canary Islanders to the Creoles back in 1765. It is hard to imagine any bayou garden being complete without a mirliton vine growing over an arbor. It is truly one of Louisiana’s most versatile vegetables.


  • 6 mirliton
  • 1 pound crawfish tails
  • 1/2 pound tasso, julienned
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup red bell peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cup garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 quarts shellfish stock or water
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Split mirliton lengthwise through the center and poach in lightly salted water for approximately 45 minutes or until tender. The mirliton will be perfectly cooked when a fork can be inserted easily into the pulp. Remove and cool. Once cool, scoop the meat from the mirliton using a teaspoon, discarding the seed and shell. Drain and set aside. In a 2-gallon stockpot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic and tasso. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add nutmeg, tarragon and flour and using a wire whisk, stir until white roux is achieved. Do not brown. Add crawfish and shellfish stock, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly until all is incorporated. Add mirliton, blending well into the mixture. Bring to a low boil, reduce to simmer and cook 30 minutes. Add heavy whipping cream, green onions and parsley. Allow to cook an additional 5 minutes. Season to taste using salt and white pepper.

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