Crab Meat & Shrimp Farci
Serves 4. Recipe by chef Leah Chase, of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, is from “New Orleans Classic Creole Recipes” by Kit Wohl (Pelican Publishing, 2014).
2 medium eggplants
1 stick butter
1 lb. Gulf shrimp (peeled, deveined and chopped)
1 cup chopped onion
1 tbl. chopped garlic
1 tbl. chopped parsley
1 tbl. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 lb. white crab meat, (preferably Louisiana blue crab) well picked-over
1/2 tsp. whole thyme leaves
11/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1. Cut eggplants in half. With a tablespoon, scoop out the insides carefully, leaving about 1/4-inch shells. Cut the removed insides into small cubes. Soak the shells and cubes in separate pans of water for 15 to 30 minutes to draw out any bitterness. Let shells and cubes drain well on paper towels.
2. In a heavy saucepan melt the butter and add the cubed eggplant, shrimp and onion. Cover and cook over medium heat for 40 minutes. Add the garlic, parsley, salt and cayenne, stirring well, and cook, uncovered, long enough to reduce as much of the liquid as possible. (Shrimp and eggplants give off quite a bit of juice.)
3. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Stir in the crab meat and cook for 10 minutes more. Remove from heat and add the thyme leaves and bread crumbs, stirring until mixed in well. Stuff the well-drained shells with the eggplant mixture. Place in baking pan and sprinkle with more bread crumbs. Dot the tops with butter and bake for 20 minutes.