Eggplant and Shrimp Beignets

about 2 dozen
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and chopped (about 1 pound)
  • Salt and cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • Oil for frying
  • Essence, recipe follows
  • Garnish:
  • Remoulade Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons brunoise red peppers
  • Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Preheat the fryer. In a mixing bowl, season the eggplant with salt and cayenne. In a saute pan, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, saute the eggplant for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the eggplant is soft. Add the onions and saute for 3 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Add the shrimp and saute until the shrimp turn pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and baking powder together. Season the batter with salt and cayenne. Add the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, whisking until all is used and the batter is smooth. Fold the eggplant and shrimp mixture into the batter. Drop a tablespoon of the batter at a time into the hot grease. When the beignets pop to the surface, roll them around with a slotted spoon to brown evenly. Remove from the oil and drain. Season the beignets with Essence. Spoon the sauce in the center of the plate. Mound the beignets in the center of the sauce. Garnish with grated cheese, green onions, and peppers.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

  • Yield: about 2/3 cup

  • Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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