Archive | July, 2014

Shrimp Stuffed Fried Eggplant

We sure finished off mom and dad’s trip with a bang last night. I guess we saved the best for last because this was the dish of the weekend for me! Crispy fried eggplant is stuffed with sautéed Gulf shrimp & tossed in a creamy veloute sauce made with diced peppers and onion. The textures and flavor combinations in this dish are hard to beat. Frying the eggplant takes a little effort but you’ll see in every bite–it’s worth it.

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 Shrimp Stuffed Fried Eggplant

aka: Shrimp Pirogue

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant, peeled and cut in thirds lengthwise
1 c. all-purpose flour (+4 T flour)
1 1/2 cups fine dry bread crumbs
4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon  Creole seasoning
2 eggs
1-1/2 cup chicken stock
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion, diced
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup celery, diced

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 cup heavy cream
Vegetable oil, for frying
3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

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What you do: Cut each eggplant into thirds lengthwise, using a paring knife and spoon or melon baller, scoop out the flesh from the inside of the eggplant, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Set aside. Place eggplant in salt water to remove any bitterness.

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In a shallow bowl combine 1 cup of the flour with 1 tablespoon of the creole seasoning. In a second shallow bowl combine the bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon of creole seasoning. In a third bowl combine the eggs with 1 cup of the milk and 1 teaspoon of creole seasoning. Season the eggplant pirogues with 2 teaspoons of the creole seasoning. Working 1 at a time, dredge the eggplant pirogues in the seasoned flour, shaking off excess, then in the egg wash, and finally in the seasoned bread crumbs. Place eggplant pieces on a wire rack and set aside while you prepare the seafood sauce.

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In a medium saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions, green bell pepper, celery and 1/2 teaspoon of creole seasoning and cook until the onions are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Deglaze pan with white wine and add 1-1/12 cups chicken stock- whisking continuously, and bring the sauce to a boil. Add the cream, return sauce to a boil, and cook until sauce is thickened and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste.

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In a large skillet melt a pat of butter and when hot, add the shrimp (season with kosher salt and cracked pepper) and cook until the shrimp are pink, about 1 minute. Add a splash of wine and reduce, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

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In a large, cast iron or saute pan, heat several inches of oil to 350 degrees F.Fry the eggplants in the hot oil until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on rack. Next, strain sauce through a strainer and place back on heat until simmering, place shrimp in sauce until heated through. To serve, lay the fried eggplant boats on a serving plate and spoon about 3/4 cup of the hot seafood filling onto the top of each. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

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