Posted by: njbrown | November 27, 2009

Galatoire’s stuffed eggplant and Emeril’s


November 27, 2009

In my recipe file, I found two eggplant recipes one of which was from an old Gourmet for Galatoire’s Stuffed Eggplant.  Growing up, we often had French-fried eggplant, and it was delicious, but I long ago gave up deep-frying.  Finding the recipe made me hungry for eggplant, and brought back memories of New Orleans.  Since no deep-frying was involved, it seemed a good thing to try.

My one and only trip to New Orleans was to visit friends about 1969.  I remember having the famous beignets late at night in the French Market and one of my two cups of coffee in my life.  (The coffee was flavored with chicory, and I was able to drink it because it tasted more like hot chocolate than coffee.)  We walked along Bourbon Street, and were faintly scandalized by the “exotic dancers.”)  We didn’t have breakfast at Brennan’s – the thing to do in New Orleans in those days – because my friends were students on a limited budget.  In previous years, I had read many of Frances Parkinson Keyes’ books set in New Orleans, and enjoyed seeing some of the places described in her stories of New Orleans society.  Those stories – most set before WW II – now seem terribly dated, but I’ve never found other books that explored Creole culture as she did.

So, last weekend, I bought eggplant and the other ingredients to try a New Orleans dish I didn’t have in New Orleans.  The recipe I used produced a pleasant dish, but not quite right, so today I Googled Galatoire’s and found the recipe below that seems to cover the need for some sauce for the filling.  I think some additional seasoning would enhance the dish perhaps garlic, and something spicy – perhaps some Emeril essence.

Stuffed Eggplant Galatoire’s Restaurant

  1. Halve lengthwise a 1-lb. eggplant and put halves, cut side down, into baking pan just large enough to hold them.
  2. Cover pan with foil.
  3. Bake eggplant in 375F for 50 min., or until it is tender.
  4. Scoop out pulp, leaving shells intact, reserve shells. Chop pulp.
  5. In skillet, saute’ 1/4 c. minced onion and 1 tbs. chopped parsley in 1/2 stick or 1/4 c. butter until onion is browned.
  6. Stir in chopped eggplant,
  7. add salt and pepper to taste, and
  8. cook mixture, covered, over moderate heat for 5 min.,or until eggplant is very soft.
  9. Add 1/2 c. each chopped cooked crabmeat, chopped cooked shrimps, and bechamel sauce.
  10. Put reserved shells in baking dish just large enough to hold them.
  11. Divide stuffing between shells and sprinkle each shell with 2 tbs. each freshly grated Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs and 1 tbs. melted butter.
  12. Bake at 425F for 10 min., or until topping is golden.

After writing the above, I decided to see if Emeril had a similar recipe, and sure enough, he does.  His seems to have “kicked it up a notch,” and even better, and he gives the recipe for his Essence for those of us who can’t find it in stores:

Stuffed Eggplant “Pirogue”

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2004

Prep Time: 30 min
Inactive Prep Time: hr min
Cook Time: 30 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants, peeled
  • 1 cup plus 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups fine dry bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Essence, or other Creole seasoning, recipe follows
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/3 cups milk
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar (may substitute other cheeses here, such as Gruyere or brie)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions

  1. Cut each eggplant into thirds lengthwise. Cut a thin flat slice off the curved side so that the eggplant pieces lay level, like little boats.
  2. 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. Reserve removed pulp for another purpose or discard.
  3. In a shallow bowl combine 1 cup of the flour with 1 tablespoon of the Essence.
  4. In a second shallow bowl combine the bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon of Essence.
  5. In a third bowl combine the eggs with 1 cup of the milk and 1 teaspoon of Essence.
  6. Season the eggplant pirogues with 2 teaspoons of the Essence.
  7. 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.
  8. Place eggplant pieces on a wire rack and set aside while you prepare the seafood sauce. Reserve 1/4 cup of the seasoned breadcrumbs and set aside.
  9. In a medium saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium high heat.
  10. Add the onions, red bell pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of Essence, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook until the onions are soft, about 4 minutes.
  11. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  12. Add the remaining 4 teaspoons of flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  13. Add the remaining 1 1/3 cups of milk, whisking continuously, and bring the sauce to a boil.
  14. Add the cream, return sauce to a boil, and cook until sauce is thickened and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  15. Remove from the heat and add the cheese, stirring until melted. Add the bay leaf and set aside, covered.
  16. In a large skillet melt 3 tablespoons of the remaining butter and, when hot, add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are pink, about 1 minute.
  17. Add the crabmeat, 1/2 teaspoon of Essence and 1/4 teaspoon salt, wine and green onions and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally but being careful not to break up the crabmeat.
  18. Add the reserved cheese sauce and stir well to combine. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly to avoid scorching the bottom of the pan. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  19. In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat several inches of oil to 350 degrees F.
  20. Fry the eggplants in the hot oil until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  21. Drain on paper-lined baking sheet.
  22. Lay the fried eggplant boats on a baking sheet and spoon about 3/4 cup of the hot seafood filling onto the top of each.
  23. In a small bowl combine the grated Parmesan with the 1/4 cup of reserved seasoned bread crumbs. Divide the cheese-crumb mixture evenly among the tops of the filled eggplant pirogues and broil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until crumbs are lightly browned. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Combine Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine ingredients thoroughly – yields 2/3 c.

——————————————————-

As they say in New Orleans, “Let the good times roll!”

Nancy

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