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Paul Prudhomme's Eggplant Bayou Teche



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The Bayou Teche in Louisiana
The Bayou Teche in Louisiana

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Eggplant Bayou Teche

Chef Paul Prudhomme's
Louisiana Kitchen

by Paul Prudhomme, 1984,
William Morrow

Makes 6 servings

“A pirogue is a canoe commonly used to travel many south Louisiana
bayous. The pirogues can be hollowed out ahead of time; cover well
and refrigerate until ready to use.”

3 medium eggplants, halved lengthwise and peeled

Seasoning mix:
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons white pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
(preferably cayenne)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried sweet basil leaves

1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour, in all
1 1/2 cups Basic Seafood Stock
3/4 cup very fine dry bread crumbs
3/4 cup milk
2 small eggs or 1 large egg
Vegetable oil for frying
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, in all
1/2 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely
chopped green onions, in all
1/8 teaspoon [or more, to taste!] minced garlic
1 1/2 pounds peeled medium shrimp
1 tablespoon Pernod

Cut a thin slice from the rounded side of each eggplant half so it will sit
level. Carefully carve out the center, leaving 1/4-inch-thick sides and
bottom. (Note: Using a paring knife to cut a neat 1/4-inch wall all around
the cut sides of the eggplant halves. Then with the knife or a spoon whittle
out the pulp, being careful not to pierce through the bottom. Use the pulp
in another recipe.) Cover shells well and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a small bowl combine the seasoning mix ingredients thoroughly. In a separate bowl combine the onions, celery and bell peppers. Set aside.
In a large heavy skillet heat the 1/4 cup oil over high heat until it begins to smoke, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add1/4 cup of the flour, whisking constantly with a long-handled metal whisk until smooth; continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the roux is medium brown, about 1 minute, being careful not to let it scorch or splash on your skin. Remove from heat. Immediately stir in the reserved vegetable mixture and 1 1/2 teaspoons of
the seasoning mix until well mixed (switch to a wooden spoon if necessary).
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.
Place the remaining 3/4 cup flour in a pan (loaf, cake and pie pans work
well); add 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mix, blending well. In a separate
pan mix together well the bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon of the seasoning
mix. In a third pan beat the milk and egg(s) together until well blended.

In a large skillet or deep fryer, heat 3/4 inch oil to 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile, sprinkle each eggplant pirogue evenly with a scant 3/4 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 1 to 2 minutes per side (adjust heat as
necessary to maintain the oil’s temperature at about 350 degrees). Do not
crowd. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
Heat the serving plates in a 250-degree F oven.
In a 1-quart saucepan 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 from heat.
In a 2-quart saucepan melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter over high
heat. Add the shrimp, the remaining 2 tablespoons green onions and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the seasoning mix (use any remaining seasoning mix in another recipe). Cook about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the Pernod and 1/2 cup of the strained sauce (use any remaining in another dish). Cook until shrimp are plump and pink, about 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
Serve immediately.
To serve, place each fried pirogue on a heated serving plate. Spoon about
1/4 cup of the crabmeat mixture in the center, then top with about 1/2 cup
shrimp in their sauce.

More from Chef Paul Prudhomme:
Bienville Stuffing
Blackened Redfish
Seafood Dirty Rice
Featured Archive Recipes:
The Elegant Eggplant
Eggplants Filled with Sausage Jambalaya
Galatoire's Stuffed Eggplant
Emeril's Eggplant and Seafood au Gratin
Cajun Seafood Baked Eggplant

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