Bring the wonderful flavors of Louisiana into your kitchen with this mouthwatering Seafood Stuffed Eggplant Casserole – thick pieces of shrimp, crabmeat, salty diced ham, and a mix of flavorful vegetables underneath a cheesy crusted topping.
It certainly doesn’t help that all my friends from back home were posting all their Mardi Gras pictures on Facebook. I loved seeing all of the parade and party pictures, but I sure wish I had been in New Orleans celebrating with them.
It’s okay. I just brought a little bit of that “The Crescent City” feeling into my own home with this Louisiana inspired dish and actually, I completely okay with that.
This Seafood Stuffed Eggplant Casserole is totally reminiscent of the Stuffed Eggplant dishes I’ve enjoyed at various New Orleans restaurants. The real difference here is that I didn’t actually “stuff” the eggplant.
Usually, when making stuffed eggplant, the eggplant is halved and cooked, then hallowed out and stuffed with a seafood and eggplant mixture.
Instead of doing that, I peeled, chopped and boiled the eggplant, then combined the cooked eggplant with a delicious combination of ham, shrimp, crabmeat and seasonings.
I wanted to serve this “stuffed eggplant” casserole style, where I could spoon a portion into a bowl and enjoy it completely.
Here’s how this Seafood Stuffed Eggplant Casserole comes together…
Choose 2 small to medium sized eggplants. Rinse, dry, peel and chop into cubes.
Boil the eggplant in enough water to cover in a saucepan until tender.
Drain the eggplant and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and add cubed ham and sauté until browned.
Add chopped onions, celery and garlic and sauté until the onion is caramelized.
Add chicken base (a highly concentrated chicken stock which is found near chicken bouillon cubes and other soups in your grocery store), thyme, oregano, green onions and shrimp.
Cook for 10 minutes.
Add the eggplant and cook for a minute.
Now add the bread crumbs, eggs, cayenne pepper and black pepper.
Fold in the crabmeat, transfer to a large baking dish and top with shredded Romano cheese.
Bake the seafood casserole in the oven for 30 minutes.
If you’re serving this casserole to someone who isn’t a huge fan of eggplant, don’t worry. The eggplant taste is very mild. My daughter thinks she doesn’t care much for the taste of eggplant and had no idea there was eggplant in this dish. There are so many other wonderful flavors here; thick pieces of shrimp, salty diced ham, a mix of flavorful vegetables and the cheesy crusted topping. It is a rich dish too.
This recipe could easily serve 8 to 10 people along with a cup of soup, a salad or bread.
Seafood Stuffed Eggplant Casserole
- 2 cups small to medium eggplants (about 2 peeled and cubed)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 6 ounces ham , cubed (2 cups)
- 1 small onion , chopped
- 1 rib celery , chopped
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 tablespoons chicken base
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 cup green onions , chopped (about 4)
- 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp , uncooked, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 2 eggs , lightly beaten
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspooon black pepper
- 16 ounces crab meat , flaked
- 1 cup Romano cheese , grated
- Boil the eggplant in enough salted water to cover in a saucepan until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the ham and saute until browned.
- Add the additional tablespoon of oil to the pan along with the onion, celery and garlic and saute until the onion is caramelized.
- Add the chicken base, thyme, oregano, green onions and shrimp. Saute for 10 minutes.
- Add the eggplant and cook for 1 minute to get any water out.
- Stir in the bread crumbs, eggs, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat and fold in the crab meat. Spoon into a large, buttered baking dish and sprinkle with the Romano cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
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