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Emeril's Crispy Fried Eggplant with Shrimp and Crabmeat Cream Sauce


Yield

6 to 8 Servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1 Serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons flour
1 3/4 cups plus milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
2 tablespoons minced green onions
1 cup flour
2 eggs
2 cups plain dry breadcrumbs or Panko
1 large eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch thick slices
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
Vegetable oil for frying
Chopped parsley, for garnish

Preparation

  1. In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil and butter until butter is melted. Add the onion and red bell pepper and chile and sauté until vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until fragrant but do not allow the flour to brown. While whisking, add the milk and cream in a slow, steady stream until completely incorporated. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, white pepper, cayenne, and thyme and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until sauce thickens, reduce heat and continue to cook until flavors come together, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook just until shrimp are cooked through. Stir in the crabmeat, Parmesan cheese, and green onions and set aside. Keep warm until ready to serve. (Do not allow sauce to boil.)
  2. Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Place the eggs and remaining 1/4 cup of milk in a separate shallow bowl, season lightly with remaining salt, and mix well. Place the breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl and add the Creole seasoning, stirring to combine. One by one, dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour, then the egg wash, then finally in the breadcrumbs. Repeat until all eggplant slices are breaded.
  3. Heat about 1/4 inch of the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan until hot. Add as many eggplant slices as will fit in one layer and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side, adding additional vegetable oil as needed. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and keep warm while you repeat with the remaining eggplant slices.
  4. Once all the eggplant slices have been fried, divide the slices evenly between 6 or 8 appetizer plates. Ladle some of the hot seafood sauce over the eggplant, and garnish with the parsley. Serve hot.

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