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Stuffed Eggplant Pirogue

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“"A pirogue is a small, flat-bottomed boat of a design associated particularly with West African fishermen and the Cajuns of the Louisiana marsh." This recipe sounded so delicious but it seemed scary to me. I figured I'd bite the bullet and make it anyway! This is an Emeril Lagasse recipe :) Of course it uses Essence seasoning or other Creole seasoning, there are many recipes on zaar that can be used. I had help with this, the Chef here allowed me to think that I did all the work, nice guy! Recipe courtesy of the The recipe claimed 30 min prep it was more like 45 min.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  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. 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.
  2. 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.
  9. Reserve 1/4 cup of the seasoned breadcrumbs and set aside.
  10. In a medium saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium high heat.
  11. 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.
  12. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  13. Add the remaining 4 teaspoons of flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  14. Add the remaining 1 1/3 cups of milk, whisking continuously, and bring the sauce to a boil.
  15. Add the cream, return sauce to a boil, and cook until sauce is thickened and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  16. Remove from the heat and add the cheese, stirring until melted.
  17. Add the bay leaf and set aside, covered.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Add the reserved cheese sauce and stir well to combine.
  21. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly to avoid scorching the bottom of the pan.
  22. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  23. In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat several inches of oil to 350ºF.
  24. Fry the eggplants in the hot oil until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  25. Drain on paper-lined baking sheet.
  26. 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.
  27. In a small bowl combine the grated Parmesan with the 1/4 cup of reserved seasoned bread crumbs.
  28. 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.
  29. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve at once.

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