Tag Archives: sam lupo

Shrimp and Eggplant Dressing Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

Shrimp and Eggplant are a perfect flavor match in this traditional Creole Italian dish, neither trying to overpower the other, just existing in perfect harmony, kind of like Oysters and artichokes, and Okra and Tomatoes.

Besides the Muffuletta, you don’t hear as much about the Italian and Sicilian immigrant contribution to Creole Cuisine as you do the French influence, this is just one.

By the way, there is a great little book from Pelican Publishing in Gretna called The New Orleans Italian Cookbook, a compilation of recipes from the Italian American Society of Jefferson Auxillary. It was first published in 1979, it features recipes from a lot of different people, from Chefs to homecooks, a great little book.

Back to the dish, it’s important to use small eggplant, because they have very few seeds, it’s just less headache. Also, you could alternately boil the eggplants whole, scoop out the pulp and save the shells to bake your dressing in, if you’re into that sort of thing.

As far as the shrimp, I only use wild caught American shrimp these days, if I can’t get American, I don’t eat Shrimp. True, they are more expensive than the flavorless Southeast Asian farm raised stuff out there, and harder to find for that matter, but they taste a whole lot better; and more importantly, purchasing them supports our own Shrimp fisherman who are absolutely suffering these days.

Anyway, back to the recipe, it’s hard to cook when you’re standing on top of a soapbox. 😉

I served this as a side to a big plate of Fried Chicken, Green Onion mashed Potatoes, and Cornbread.

Shrimp and Eggplant Dressing Recipe

1 lb Wild Caught American Gulf Shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped (Reserve the shells)
1 Bay leaf
1 bundle Fresh Thyme, tied with butchers twine
Water, enough to cover the eggplant by 1 inch
1 splash Liquid Crab Boil
4-5 small Eggplant, peeled, enough to yield about 2 1/2-3 Cups Cooked
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Large Spanish Onion, finely diced
1 Medium Green Bell Pepper, finely diced
4 Toes Garlic, minced
2 Green Onions, sliced thin, keep the green and white parts seperate
1 Egg, beaten
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, chopped
1 Tbsp Italian Parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
1 Cup Bread Crumbs (preferably homemade from leftover French bread)

For the topping:

1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup grated Parmeggiano, and Pecorino Romano
3 Tbsp Melted Butter
1 Tbsp Italian Parsley, chopped
A pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring the water to boil in a Dutch Oven. Add the Bay Leaf, bundled Thyme, reserved Shrimp shells, crab boil, any trim from the diced onion, and a handful of Kosher salt. Boil for about 15-20 minutes, skim off the scum from the shrimp shells. Add the Eggplant and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, melt the 3 Tbsp butter in a saute pan. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and a pinch of salt, saute until the onions are translucent, add the chopped Thyme and the chopped shrimp, cook until the shrimp are just cooked through; set aside to cool.

When the eggplant is very tender remove with tongs to a colainder to cool. When cool, squeeze some of the liquid from it and chop.

In a large bowl combine the eggplant, onion & pepper mixture, egg, fresh basil, and parsley, mix ingredients together well. Add the bread crumbs a little at a time until the right consistency is achieved; it should be not too wet, not too dry. Check the seasoning; season to taste with Kosher salt, Cayenne, and black pepper.

Add the mixture to a buttered gratin or baking dish. Mix together the topping ingredients, top the shrimp and eggplant dressing with it. Bake in the preheated oven until bubbly and the topping is a nice golden brown.

Makes enough for a side dish for 4.

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which links to all of the recipes featured on this site!

Related Posts:

Muffuletta Recipe
Shrimp Stuffed Mirlitons
Creole Stuffed Peppers
Creole Smothered Okra & Tomatoes Recipe

Muffuletta

I received an email from Kristen Browning-Blas, food editor for The Denver Post, the other day asking permission to use my Muffuletta recipe at the Denver Post website, I said of course. Here is the article about Serio’s Po-Boys & Deli.

As I browsed through the pics and recipes I realized I needed to have a Muffuletta as soon as possible, so Anna and I headed over to Ventimiglia’s Italian Market, here in the Detroit area, to gather the necessary ingredients.

But of course, as I’ve mentioned in the past, Muffuletta Bread is not to be found here in the Detroit area, so that had to be made as well.

I used my Muffuletta Bread recipe, Olive Salad recipe , my Muffuletta sandwich recipe, which I altered slightly by doubling the amount of meat and cheese, I figured what the hell, I’m going to all of this trouble, why not go the full 9.

By the way for a great Italian Market in the Detroit area check out:

Ventimiglia’s Italian Foods
35197 Dodge Park
Sterling Heights, MI 48312

Related Posts:

Be sure and check out Jason Perlow’s post on The Muffuletta at Off the Broiler!

Muffuletta Bread recipe
Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe
Muffuletta Olive Salad Recipe
Shrimp Po’ Boy Recipe
Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

In my humble opinion, the Central Grocery’s Muffuletta is the best. It’s the standard that all other Muffulettas should strive to emulate! There are a lot of bad ones in the city. The one at Napoleon House is pretty good, it’s a heated version with a more finely chopped olive salad. They use Pastrami on their version, I’m not crazy about that part, but it’s pretty good. Pretty good, but like all others, it’s no Central Grocery.
I watched Emeril Live the other night, Mario Batali was a guest, and Emeril made a Muffuletta. Now, the meats and cheeses he used looked phenomenal, his olive salad looked great, but then he came to the bread. He used a nice looking loaf of bread, but it was obviously too much of a rustic loaf for a Muffuletta, I like something a little lighter for the Muffuletta (with sesame seeds of course), but I guess I can live with that part. But then… he cuts the bread, right, and out of nowhere (dramatic pause) he plunges his meat hooks into it and digs out all of the wonderful center of the bread on both sides and discards it! I almost fell out of my chair! My skin is crawling just thinking about it. The moral of the story is this:

Don’t do that. It makes my skin crawl. Unless of course you like it that way, then to hell with me.

Back to the recipe, I make a pretty good Muffuletta, but I’ll be honest, it’s no Central Grocery, but it’s pretty darned good. The quality bread, as I just emphasized is important, you need about a 10 inch round loaf with a good coarse texture, and a nice crust (not too hard) and sesame seeds. Here is my recipe, with a deep, humble bow to Central Grocery:

My Muffuletta

1 10″ round loaf Italian bread with Sesame seeds My Recipe
1 Recipe Olive Salad
1/4 lb Genoa Salami (Oldani is the best, and I’m relatively certain it’s what CG uses)
1/4 lb Hot Capicola (this is my spin, you can use regular Ham.)
1/4 lb Mortadella (I use San Danielle)
1/8 lb Sliced Mozzarella
1/8 lb Provolone

Assembly:
Cut the bread in half length wise.
Brush both sides with the oil from your 1 week old Olive Salad, go a little heavier on the bottom.
Layer half of the Oldani on the bottom half of the bread. Then the Mortadella. Then the Mozzarella, then the Capicola, Provolone, and the remainder of Oldani. Top this with the olive salad. Put the lid on and press it down without smashing the bread. Quarter it. You’ve just created pure heaven.

Serves: 4 light eaters, 2 hungry hangovers or one bad to the bone eating machine!

From Nola Cuisine

My Other New Orleans Sandwich Recipes:

Roast Beef Po’ Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe

Related Posts:

Central Grocery