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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 FoodNetwork.com The recipe claimed 30 min prep it was more like 45 min.”
READY IN:
1hr
SERVES:
6
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

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. 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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