Friday, September 25, 2009

Seafood and Eggplant Dressing

Seafood and Eggplant Dressing, a breaded seafood dressing, sometimes referred to as a casserole, made with fresh shrimp, crabmeat and eggplant.
Seafood and Eggplant Dressing, a breaded seafood dressing, sometimes referred to as a casserole, made with fresh shrimp, crabmeat and eggplant.

Seafood and Eggplant Dressing

I was introduced to eggplant by my first mother-in-law. Eggplant was something that I do not ever recall my mother preparing, in any form, not one single time ... but my mother-in-law did cook it, and often. One of the ways she often made it, was in a wonderful seafood dressing.


Miss Ursula, that's what everybody called her, has passed on now, but she was a sweetheart. Actually my father in law was too - even after The Divorce, despite the fact that they were a staunch Catholic family, they never treated me any different and to the day they both passed away, they were always kind and welcoming to me anytime they saw me.

I used to love to sit and drink coffee with my father-in-law and listen to his war stories. And let me tell you, he liked his coffee. With chicory and super strong. My mother-in-law used to say you could stand a spoon in it! Didn't bother me - I just poured lots of cream in there and listened intently to his tales, of which he had many. A machine gunner in the Marines during World War II, he was one of thousands of young sailors who saw the American flag raised over Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima.  He had fought in many battles though - Saipan, Guam, and Okinawa - and was even recalled to active duty during the Korean War. You would never know that his eyes had ever seen a single war though. He was the kindest southern gentleman you could ever possibly meet, and full of obvious love for his wife. 

I will never forget my first experience having dinner at their house when I was dating my ex-husband, because you see, Miss Ursula had a slew of sons and not a single daughter. My ex-husband was 1 of 7 boys. Can you imagine? How they managed to do that between all of his tours of duty is beyond me.

I gotta say, the first time I had dinner at their house, goodness was it crazy! All the way up to Grace, things were calm and the boys were all very well mannered and polite, which I am sure they were warned to be, but at Amen all bets were off! There were arms slinging, and dishes passing, and hands flying and, little ole me, coming from a small family of 3 very quiet children - 2 girls and only 1 boy who was 7 years younger than me - well, I had just never experienced such a thing! I got used to it very quick though, which led to many such meals around that very large table.

I remember the first time that I tasted Miss Ursula's eggplant dressing. I had no idea actually what it even was that I was eating, but it was different and delicious and when I later asked and discovered it was eggplant I was stunned. Having never consumed it before, I guess I really didn't know what to expect from an eggplant, but after experiencing it in a few other ways, that eggplant immediately grew on me.


This is often referred to as a casserole because it regularly shows up as a side dish, usually on Sunday, and likely along with a nice roast. Seems pretty fitting as a casserole to me too ... I mean it's got shrimp, crab and eggplant in it - sounds like a casserole to me! You can also make this with just shrimp, though I love the combination of the two personally. Round this out with a green veggie and a mixed salad and you're in business with a mighty fine meal.


Salting is not always necessary with eggplant, especially if you have an eggplant freshly picked from your own garden, but, sometimes the seeds of an eggplant tend toward the bitter side, and salting helps to draw out those bitter juices. Plus the salting, in this manner, provides a little seasoning as well.


The Cajun, who has an open aversion to nearly anything closely vegetable related, and who would never knowingly touch an eggplant, gobbles this up. "That was delicious," he proclaims. I just tell him its a seafood casserole, and he thinks it tastes like stuffed crab. I tell him no different.


For more of my favorite casserole recipes, visit my page on Pinterest!



If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!





Yum

Recipe: Seafood and Eggplant Dressing

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 30 min |Cook time: 1 hour | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled & chopped (about 5 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked crisp
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama) or to taste, optional
  • 5 slices of white or wheat bread
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 pound of crabmeat
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, divided
For the Topping:
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
Instructions

Peel the eggplant and cut into chunks. Add kosher salt to a large pot halfway filled with water, stir, add eggplant and let soak in the water for 30 minutes, drain and set aside. Butter or spray a 9 x 9 inch (1-1/2 quart) baking dish; set aside. Cook bacon until crisp, reserving the bacon drippings. Drain bacon on paper towel and set aside to use as garnish, or reserve for another use.

Place eggplant back into the pot, and add enough fresh water only to cover the eggplant; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and low simmer for about 15 minutes, or until tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove eggplant to a colander to drain, but reserve the water, setting it aside to cool. To the bacon drippings, add 1 tablespoon of butter and saute the celery, onion, and bell pepper until softened. Add the garlic and green onion and cook another minute.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, dip the bread into the cooled eggplant water, so that it soaks in some of the water; place it into a colander to drain. Chop the shrimp; add to the vegetables and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, basil, sage, rosemary and Cajun seasoning. Stir together, remove from the heat.

Use a paper towel to press down on the bread and squeeze out most of the excess water, add to the skillet, along with the eggplant, stirring it in well. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Add the beaten egg and half of the Parmesan cheese. Stir well. Add the crabmeat and gently toss. Mix topping ingredients with remaining Parmesan cheese and sprinkle evenly over the top of the casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F, 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until heated through. Remove and garnish with bacon, if desired.

Cook's Notes: Double for the holidays. Scoop pulp out of eggplant halves, leaving peeling intact, if using this as a stuffing for the eggplant shells.

Tip: To easily pick out any shell, use a handheld blacklight device, or spread crab on a baking sheet in a single layer and place in a 200 degree oven for 3 minutes. The shell will become visible and easier to pick out.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

Requires Adobe Reader - download it free!
©Deep South Dish
Are you on Facebook? If you haven't already, come and join the party! We have a lot of fun & there's always room for one more at the table.

Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

Eggplant Josephine
Spicy Orange Garlic Shrimp
Crabmeat Au Gratin
Posted by on September 25, 2009

Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Recipes are offered for your own personal use only and while pinning and sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, do not copy and paste post or recipe text to repost or republish to any social media (such as other Facebook pages, etc.), blogs, websites, forums, or any print medium, without explicit prior permission. Unauthorized use of content from ©Deep South Dish is a violation of both the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and copyright law. All rights reserved.

Material Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.



151114
.

As an Amazon Associate, Deep South Dish earns from qualifying purchases. See full disclosure for details.




Hey Y’all! Welcome to some good ole, down home southern cooking. Pull up a chair, grab some iced tea, and 'sit a bit' as we say down south. If this is your first time visiting Deep South Dish, you can sign up for FREE updates via EMAIL or RSS feed, or you can catch up with us on Facebook and Twitter too!

Articles on this website are protected by copyright. You are free to print and sharing via Facebook share links and pinning with Pinterest are appreciated, welcomed and encouraged, but do not upload and repost photographs, or copy and paste post text or recipe text for republishing on Facebook, other websites, blogs, forums or other internet sites without explicit prior written approval.
Click for additional information.


© Copyright 2008-2021 – Mary Foreman – Deep South Dish LLC - All Rights Reserved

Material Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from the provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.

DISCLAIMER: This is a recipe site intended for entertainment. By using this site and these recipes you agree that you do so at your own risk, that you are completely responsible for any liability associated with the use of any recipes obtained from this site, and that you fully and completely release Mary Foreman and Deep South Dish LLC and all parties associated with either entity, from any liability whatsoever from your use of this site and these recipes.

ALL CONTENT PROTECTED UNDER THE DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT. CONTENT THEFT, EITHER PRINT OR ELECTRONIC, IS A FEDERAL OFFENSE. Recipes may be printed ONLY for personal use and may not be transmitted, distributed, reposted, or published elsewhere, in print or by any electronic means. Seek explicit permission before using any content on this site, including partial excerpts, all of which require attribution linking back to specific posts on this site. I have, and will continue to act, on all violations.





Email Subscription DSD Feed