Eggplant Bayou Teche

A classic cajun meal derived from Paul Prudhomme's collection of Louisiana recipes

Servings: 6 people
Dry Seasoning Mix
  • 1+ tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp White pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tsp Dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Dried basil leaves
Vegetable Mix (the Holy Trinity)
  • 1/3 cup Onions, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Green bell peppers, chopped
For the eggplant and seafood
  • 3 Medium sized eggplants, peeled, halved and insides scooped out
  • 4-5 cups vegetable oil, 1/4 cup for sauteing vegetables, the rest for deep frying the eggplants
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Chicken or seafood stock
  • 3/4 cup Fine dried bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 6 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 lb Crab meat
  • 1/2 cup Scallions (green onions), finely chopped
  • 1 Clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs Shrimp (20 good sized shrimp)
  • 1 tbsp Pernod
  1. First mix all dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside. Next peel the three eggplants, cut them in half and scoop out the middle so that you've created little "boats", known as "pirogues" in Louisiana. Their "hulls" should be about 1/4"-1/2" thick. You will end up with 6 pirogues. Carefully stack them and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and set aside.

  2. Chop all the vegetables and set aside as well. Now make the roux. In a large skillet heat the 1/4 cup oil over high heat until it begins to smoke, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add 1/4 cup of the flour, whisking constantly until smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the roux is medium brown, about 1-2 minutes, being careful not to let it scorch. Remove from heat. Immediately stir in the reserved vegetable mixture and 1 1/2 teaspoons of
 the seasoning mix until well mixed.

  3. In a 1-quart saucepan bring the stock to a boil over high heat. Gradually add the roux mixture, stirring until dissolved between each addition. Cook about 
5 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook about 5 minutes more, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and strain liquid into 
a glass or ceramic container (discard vegetables); set this sauce aside.

  4. Returning back to the skillet you made your roux in, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Turn heat to high. Stir in the crabmeat, 1/4 cup of the green onions, the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of the seasoning mix. Continue cooking about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove to a bowl and wipe out the skillet.

  5. In the same skillet melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter over a medium
 flame. Add the shrimp, the remaining 2 tablespoons green onions and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the seasoning mix. Cook about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the Pernod and 1/2 cup of the strained sauce. Cook until shrimp are plump and pink, about 1 minute more. Remove from heat but keep warm.

  6. Now for the eggplants. Set up your “breading station”. A bowl of seasoned flour, a bowl of egg/milk beaten together and a bowl of bread crumbs. Sprinkle each eggplant pirogue evenly with a teaspoon
 of the seasoning mix, patting in it by hand. Just before frying, dredge the pirogues on both sides in the seasoned flour, shaking off excess; coat with 
the milk mixture and then dredge in the seasoned bread crumbs. Fry in the 
hot oil until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. 

  7. Place one eggplant pirogue on each plate. Top with crab meat and smother with the creole shrimp sauce. Then sprinkle with scallions and serve.

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