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Creole Eggplant Casserole

Eggplant with shrimp, baked with creole seasoning to a bubbly golden brown. A fabulous side dish or a special entree.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine: Creole
Keyword: eggplant
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 254kcal

Here's What You Need

  • 1 pound medium shrimp
  • 3 medium eggplants about 4 quarts-peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 8 tablespoons Butter in all
  • 3 cups yellow onion about 1 large onion-chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions about 1 cup chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic about 3-4 cloves-chopped
  • 2 cups peeled tomatoes 28 ounce can
  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning plus some for shrimp
  • ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • To Taste Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper

Here's What You Do

Preparation

  • Peel, clean, devein and rinse shrimp. Chop shrimp into a smaller size if desired. Pat dry with paper towels and place in a bowl. Add a generous sprinkle of creole seasoning, mix well and set aside.
  • Peel the eggplant and cut into small cubes about ½ inch square; place in a bowl and mix in a little kosher salt. Set aside.
  • Chop the yellow onions, green onions, and garlic. If using fresh tomatoes, peel them (see Hints and Tips). Drain the tomatoes if using canned. Measure the butter, creole seasoning, and bread crumbs.

Smother the vegetables

  • Melt 6 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven until bubbling.
  • Sauté the yellow onions in the butter until starting to clear, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and saute until the garlic is aromatic, probably about 2 minutes.
  • Add green onions, salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons of creole seasoning. Mix well and cook about 2 minutes.
  • Crush the tomatoes by hand as you add them to the Dutch oven and mix well. Don't add any accumulated liquid from the tomatoes. Saute for about 5 minutes.
  • Squeeze out any moisture that has accumulated with the eggplant. Add the eggplant cubes to the Dutch oven a little at a time but don't add any of the water that has gathered in the bottom of the bowl. Mix the eggplant cubes and sauteed onions together very well.
  • Lower the heat to medium and simmer until the eggplant is starting to soften and the accumulating liquid is cooking off, which will take about 15 minutes.
  • When the eggplant is soft and starting to reduce, smash it down with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the shrimp and mix well. Continue to cook, uncovered, for about 10 or 15 minutes or while the liquid evaporates.
  • Remove from the heat and add the bread crumbs a little at a time and mix well. The eggplant mixture should tighten up a little, but don't overdo the bread crumbs. Taste for seasoning.

Preparing to Bake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spread a thin layer of butter inside of an oven proof casserole or baking dish.
  • Pour the eggplant mixture into the baking dish and spread out softly.
  • Sprinkle a thin layer of bread crumbs on top and place the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, cut into 6 to 8 small dots, on top
  • Bake in a preheated 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for about 30 minutes or until it's bubbly on the edges and browned a little on top.

Notes

This eggplant casserole may even be more flavorful the day after you cook it.
Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 3 to 4 days if wrapped in airtight plastic wrap or aluminum foil. It may also be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months if in an airtight container.
Defrost the casserole in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until warmed through, probably about 30 to 45 minutes. 
To peel fresh tomatoes, bring about 10 cups of water to a rolling boil. Slice a crosshatch over the stem of the tomatoes and lower them into the boiling water for about a minute to a minute and a half, then remove them to an ice bath for about 5 minutes. Once the tomatoes are cooled, the skin comes off easily, pull the seeds out and give the tomatoes a rough chop, and set them aside.
If you prefer a vegetarian style this recipe can be made without shrimp. 
This recipe is fantastic using smoked ham in lieu of or in addition to the shrimp. Also, substituting bacon grease for butter is a flavor enhancer. If using ham, cut about 1 to 2 cups of smoked ham into small cubes. Begin by sauteing the ham in about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease or butter until browning on the edges. Remove the ham from the Dutch oven and proceed with the recipe from the beginning. Add the ham back to the Dutch oven when you add the eggplant. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 604mg | Potassium: 720mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1128IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 2mg

This recipe came from www.firstyouhaveabeer.com.