Eggplant Casserole Acadiana

Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
15 min
1 hr

8 servings

  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 4 pounds eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup tasso, diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 pound ground or finely chopped smoked ham
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 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 oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  • Fill a large Dutch oven half way full of water and add 1 tablespoon of the salt. Bring to a boil and add the eggplant. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the eggplant in a colander, reserving 1 to 2 cups of the cooking liquid separately. Allow eggplant to continue to drain while you proceed.

  • Return the same Dutch oven to the heat and add the olive oil. When hot, add the onion, bell pepper and celery and cook, stirring, until very soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic, ground beef and tasso and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until the meat is brown, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, Essence, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and cayenne pepper and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the reserved eggplant, ham, and 1 cup of the reserved eggplant cooking liquid and stir gently to combine. Cook for 5 minutes. The mixture should be moist but not soupy. If it seems too dry, add a bit more of the reserved cooking liquid. In a small bowl combine the heavy cream, eggs, and green onions and add to the eggplant, along with 3/4 cup of the bread crumbs. Stir gently to combine.

  • Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch casserole and sprinkle with the remaining bread crumbs. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges and lightly golden on top.

  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

  • Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

  • Yield: 2/3 cup

  • Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch

  • Published by William Morrow, 1993.

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