Shrimp and Eggplant Dressing
Whip up a new dish for your family with the Herald-Guide’s Recipe of the Week.
- 1 lb. gulf shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped (reserve the shells)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 bundle fresh thyme, tied with butchers twine
- Water – enough to cover the eggplant by 1 inch
- 1 splash liquid crab boil
- 4 to 5 small eggplant, peeled, enough to yield about 2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
- 4 toes garlic, minced
- 2 green onions, sliced thin, keep the green and white parts separate
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
- 1 cup bread crumbs (preferably homemade from leftover French bread)
For the topping:
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmeggiano, and Pecorin Romano cheeses
- 3 tbsp. melted butter
- 1 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
- A pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring the water to boil in a dutch oven. Add the bay leaf, bundled thyme, reserved shrimp shells, crab boil, any trim from the diced onion, and a handful of Kosher salt.
Boil for about 15 to 20 minutes, skim off the scum from the shrimp shells.
Add the eggplant and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender about 20 minutes.
In the meantime, melt the 3 tbsp. butter in a saute pan.
Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and a pinch of salt, saute until the onions are translucent, add the chopped thyme and the chopped shrimp, cook until the shrimp are just cooked through. Set aside to cool.
When the eggplant is very tender, remove with tongs to a colander to cool.
When cool, squeeze some of the liquid from it and chop.
In a large bowl combine the eggplant, onion and pepper mixture, egg, fresh basil, and parsley. Mix ingredients together well.
Add the bread crumbs a little at a time until the right consistency is achieved – it should be not too wet, not too dry. Check the seasoning. Season to taste with Kosher salt, cayenne, and black pepper.
Add the mixture to a buttered gratin or baking dish. Mix together the topping ingredients, top the shrimp and eggplant dressing with it.
Bake in the preheated oven until bubbly and the topping is a nice golden brown.
Makes enough for a side dish for 4.