Who: Maudie Schmitt
Where: Café Rue Orleans
What: Crab and Shrimp Mirliton Stuffing
Insights from the Metro-billy: Chef Maudie Schmitt is the godmother of authentic, comfort food in Northwest Arkansas as owner, chef of Café Rue Orleans, one of the most successful, longest running restaurants around. She graced the pages of Citiscapes nearly 15 years ago with her famed Deep Fried Turkey technique, and hasn’t missed a beat with this classic Louisiana Chayote stuffing recipe that is certain to become a favorite for your family, friends this Holiday season.
Crab and Shrimp Mirliton Stuffing
6 Mirlitons, chopped
1 pound Jumbo Lump Crabmeat
1 pound (70–90 count) Shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ pound Butter
1 cup yellow Onion, diced
1 cup Celery, diced
½ cup Red Bell Peppers, diced
¼ cup Garlic, minced
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
Louisiana Hot Sauce, to taste
¼ cup chopped Parsley
2 cups Italian Bread Crumbs
1/2 pound Butter
Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Boil mirlitons in lightly-salted water 30–40 minutes or until tender. Remove from water and cool. In 12-inch cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Sauté mirliton, onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic in butter for three to five minutes, or until vegetables are wilted.
Add shrimp and cook two to three minutes or until pink and curled. Cook additional fifteen to twenty minutes, stirring until flavors develop. After most of liquid has evaporated, remove from heat, then season with salt, pepper, hot sauce and parsley. Fold in crabmeat, being careful not to break lumps.
Sprinkle in approximately 1½ cups of bread crumbs to absorb excess liquid and to hold stuffing. Place mixture in baking pan and sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.