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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
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine: Creole
Keyword: eggplant
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 271kcal

Here's What You Need

  • 1 pound medium shrimp
  • 3 medium eggplants About 4 qts-peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 8 tablespoons Butter
  • 3 cups yellow onion About 1 large onion-chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions About 1 ½ cups-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. Depending on the size of the shrimp, they can be chopped 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 (not much) kosher salt. Set aside.
  • Chop the yellow onions, green onions and garlic. If using fresh tomatoes, peel them using the boiling water blanch method (see Hints and Tips). Drain the tomatoes if using canned. Measure the butter, creole seasoning and bread crumbs.

Smother the vegetables

  • Melt butter over medium heat in Dutch Oven.
  • 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. Saute for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the eggplant cubes 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 temperature to medium, cover the Dutch oven and simmer until the eggplant is starting to soften, about 15 minutes. The eggplant will give off a lot of water that will partially cook off.
  • When soft and starting to reduce, smash down some of the eggplant with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the shrimp and mix well and 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 should tighten up a little, but don't over do 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 mix into baking dish and spread out softly.
  • Sprinkle a little bread crumbs on top and place about 6 small dots of butter on top
  • Bake in 350 degrees Fahrenheit preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until bubbly on edges and browned a little on top.

Notes

This eggplant casserole may even be more flavorful the day after you cook it. Keep leftovers in the refrigerator wrapped in airtight plastic wrap or aluminum foil for 3 to 4 days. It may also be kept in the freezer for up to six months. The best storage is in a zero degree Fahrenheit freezer, wrapped 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, give them a rough chop and set 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 the 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 crowing on the edges, then remove 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: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 173mg | Sodium: 734mg | Potassium: 698mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1024IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 3mg

This recipe came from www.firstyouhaveabeer.com.