Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the mirlitons and cook until tender, 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from the heat, drain
, and set aside to cool completely.
Meanwhile, combine the shrimp with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon Essence in a mixing bowl and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
When the mirlitons are cool, cut them in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, peel
, and coarsely chop. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven
over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and jalapeno. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon Essence and the thyme. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and lightly golden, 4 to 6 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the mirlitons and cook, mashing them with a potato
masher, until very tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes. Add the shrimp
meat, salt, black pepper, green onions, and parsley
. Cook, stirring, until the shrimp turn pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Add the eggs
, 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs, and the pepper sauce. Mix well. Grease
a 6 compartment Texas-size muffin tin with the melted butter
and coat with 1/4 cup of the remaining breadcrumbs
. Spoon the mirliton mixture into the muffin tin. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese evenly over the top of each muffin, then sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons bread crumbs. Bake until the topping is lightly browned and bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes. Allow the dressing
to cool for at least 15 minutes, then lay an inverted baking sheet covered with lightly oiled parchment paper on top of the muffin tin
so that the parchment paper is touching the tops of the dressing. Invert the muffin tin and turn the dressings out of the tin. Serve warm, cheese side up.
Yield: 6 servings