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Eggplant with Eggplant Dressing

From Betty Fussell, I Hear America Cooking

Serves: 4


  • 1/2 lb. shrimp, in shell
  • 1/4 (1 stick) butter
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1/2 large stalk celery, chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. each: black, white, and cayenne pepper
  • 1/16 tsp. each: thyme, oregano, and basil
  • 1-2 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1/4 lb. lump crab meat
  • 1/8 c. scallion tops, chopped
  • 1/8 c. parsley, chopped
  • oil for frying
  • corn flour (masa harina) seasoned with salt and pepper


  1. Peel shrimp, and make a fish stock of the shells by boiling them in water to cover and then reducing liquid to 1/4 cup.
  2. Heat 1/4 lb. (1 stick) butter in a skillet. Add onions, pepper, celery, and seasonings, and saute slowly until softened, about 10 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are firm and pink, 4-5 minutes. Remove the cooked shrimp, which will be used as a garnish.
  3. Bake one eggplant whole at 350F for 45 minutes. Split, scoop out the flesh, and mash with a fork, or puree in a food processor. Mix eggplant puree with strained shrimp stock and cooked vegetables, and simmer about 15 minutes to mingle flavors. Add crab, scallions, and parsley, and heat through.
  4. Slice other eggplant, skin on, into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Dip each slice in corn meal, and fry in hot oil a few slices at a time. Drain well.
  5. Arrange slices on a serving platter, heap the eggplant dressing on top, and decorate with the shrimp.


  • I cut the original recipe in half, from 4 eggplants to 2. Even so, as an appetizer or side dish it will probably serve 8. It is very rich. The original recipe calls for yet another stick of butter, but doesn't explain what to do with it.
  • For "corn flour," I used a stone-ground fine yellow corn meal called masa harina.

Keywords: Cajun, Vegetables, Eggplant.