Stuffed Eggplant “Shrimp” Boats

 

 



This was a dish that came to be because I thought the eggplants looked beautiful in the produce section of my grocery.  The purple eggplant color topped with a Chartreuse green stem was very eye-catching as I walked into the grocery on my Monday morning shopping adventure.  I thought that if I purchased them, Pinterest would have the perfect “stuffed”  recipe for them.  To my surprise, I did not find a recipe on  Pinterest that I thought would satisfy this girl’s Cajun root’s taste buds. 

Here in Louisiana, when we stuff something it’s usually with shrimp and crabmeat.  Which don’t get me wrong, Pinterest had a few recipes that fit that description but most of those were loaded with pieces of bread soaked in water, and others were filled with sausage and cheese.  Sausage and cheese sounded yummy for a fall/winter dish,  but when it’s shrimp season in Louisiana, we stuff with shrimp. (Like I said above, we usually stuff with shrimp and crab even when it’s not the season. If we are lucky, we stocked our freezers during the season.)  

My biggest pet peeve about cooking with shrimp and crab is when people skimp on those two yummy treasures of the dish.  Adding four pieces of water-logged bread to any type of stuffing that involved white lump crabmeat and shrimp should not only be against the law, it could mean only one thing to me……too much bread and not enough “treasures.”  I had to come up with my own version of a crab and shrimp stuffed eggplant which I am sure  it’s not all that original to south Louisiana.  I used what I know about the basis of every good dish.  Let me know if you know what that is!!!  Enjoy!

Stuffed Eggplant “Shrimp” Boats

Serves 4


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Ingredients
  1. 2 large eggplants
  2. 1 small yellow onion chopped
  3. 1 green bell pepper chopped
  4. 1 stalk of celery chopped fine
  5. 1 tbl of minced garlic
  6. 1 cup of Italian bread crumbs
  7. 1 lb. white lump crabmeat
  8. 1/2 lb. of med sized shrimp pealed
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
  11. 1 tbl of butter
  12. 3 tbl of olive oil
  13. dash of Old Bay Seasoning
Instructions
  1. Cut eggplants in half lengthwise.
  2. Boil eggplant halves in a pot of water for approximately 15 minutes.
  3. Remove eggplant halves from water and discard water.
  4. Spoon out the eggplant meat leaving about a 1/8 -1/4″ wall of meat in the skins of the eggplant.
  5. Place the eggplant meat in a bowl and place the carved out skins (boats) in a 9×13 glass baking dish.
  6. In a skillet on medium heat, sauté the onion, bell pepper and celery in the butter and olive oil stirring constantly until the vegetable are soft and onions are translucent. (Could be 7-10 minutes because I like to make sure they are soft.)
  7. Add the garlic to the seasoning and cook about another minute stirring constantly.
  8. Add the eggplant meat and cook another 2-3 minutes.
  9. At this time, I turn my heat to low while I put a dash of Old Bay Seasoning on my shrimp.
  10. Add shrimp to seasoning mixture and cook until shrimp are pink.
  11. Add bread crumbs, crabmeat, salt and pepper to shrimp and mix well. Mixture may seem dry but it’s all good.
  12. Spoon mixture in to the eggplant skins.
  13. Top each half with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs.
  14. Bake in a 350 oven for 30-40 minutes.
Notes
  1. After over stuffing my eggplant halves with the mixture, I had a little stuffing left over. I put it in a small ramekin dish sprayed with Pam and baked in the oven with the stuffed eggplants. This could be a side to a main dish or a main dish itself with a salad and/or green beans (or your favorite veggies).
  2. These are very filling served as a side. Each half could be split in half to serve up to eight.
  3. The tablespoon of butter used with the olive oil to sauté the vegetables is used so the garlic does not burn.
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