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Shrimp stuffed eggplants

tl;dr recipe on the bottom


I was in the middle of a conversation the other day and aside from Covid, we also talked about food. Because what else could be more relevant to Covid. Vaccines? No. Social distancing and Protection? Nooo. Virus carriers that we happen to know? No, who cares!

Food. Just food. Besides that, as the conversation went down the rabbit hole, the said person claimed for some unknown reason that you can't put eggplants with shrimps together in the same plate, as there are no known recipes with both ingredients or even if there are any, they would taste bad. And there they had me. Challenge instantly accepted! Thinking this statement about challenges I start to worry about myself. I usually don't bother with anything until someone tells me that you can't do it or there is no way to do that. What the heck is wrong with me? I literally can't say no to things like that. I even had a relationship based on a bet (don't judge I was... younger back then). Anyhow, let's see how I did.


Making the eggplants


Ok, this will be easy. Preheat the oven to 170 Celsius (yes) and deploy your inner ninja because we are going to need a bit of speed here. Eggplants don't care about the appearance of your plate at the end. To be honest and clear, they might even try to make it worse every minute that passes. Have in mind that once you cut them in half, they will start to get brownish, so we need to have everything ready and cut the eggplants last. So take a baking pan, place some baking sheet and if you want to be a bit more excessive, brush it with some oil . In a bowl add two tablespoons olive oil, a shallow teaspoon of garlic powder and a tablesppon of tarragon. Mix them well. Now take the first eggplant and cut it in half. With the help of a spoon clear most of the seeds and create a weird boat that only Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland would appreciate. With a cooking brush add some of the oil mixture over the eggplant and place it on the pan. Do the same to the others as well, put the pan into the oven for 20 minutes.


Shrimp stuffing


It's totally your call to buy fresh or frozen shrimps, but I've heard that those that bought frozen went straight to Hell. I'm not implying anything though and I don't judge (I do) so I will just skip to the part that we already decided frozen and carry on with the recipe! Put the frozen shrimps inside a strainer and let them come to temperature. If they are not clean, take a toothpick and remove the black line on their back and wash them out. Let them drain from most of the water.

Open your cupboard and grab your favorite deep frying pan. On medium heat melt 1,5 tablespoons of butter and let it come to the right temperature. When you feel like sauteing, add the shrimps and stir. Take care not to let them long enough to one place, because the pan is naughty and will most likely try to become one with the shrimps. Add two cloves of garlic sliced as well, and let them make a unique aromatic union with the shrimps. Three minutes per side in medium heat is ok. They will get a bit smaller and get some color as well. The tricky part is that we need to finish with spirit that contains anise. Ouzo is fine, white Sambuca is ok, but if you happen not to have any of those, just add two pinches of grated anise and you are set. In case that you had any of those two, wait for the alcohol to evaporate, add a tablespoon of dried tarragon, mix and retract the shrimps from the pan. In the same pan, add another half a tablespoon butter again in medium heat, and add 1 diced onion, 1 diced red bell pepper and saute them. Open a can of diced tomatoes with their juice, salt, pepper, a swallow teaspoon of red pepper seeds, a teaspoon of dried oregano and let it for 15 minutes to reduce after the first boil. At the 15 minutes mark, bring the shrimps back in the sauce and let it for 10 minutes more until you have almost no liquids as shown on the masterful gif I created. Turn the heat off and with your hands take about 200 gr of Feta cheese, break them into little pieces and mix the stuffing well.


The Ungodly union between eggplant and shrimp


Now we have readied the eggplants and the stuffing and we are ready to do the most difficult part of the recipe.

Take a spoon, fill the eggplants at an acceptable level, put them back to the oven for 20 minutes. (170 Celsius, we said it, ok?)

When it's done, serve them hot drizzling some more bits of Feta cheece and tarragon.


Pro Tip

Don't eat the skin of the eggplant if your stomach is destroyed just like mine!


Ingredients

Prep time:15 minutes | Cook time: 50 minutes | Serves:3


  • 3 Italian eggplants

  • 300 gr frozen shrimps (Size matters, but feel free to pick your style)

  • 2 tablespoons of butter

  • 250 ml canned tomatoes with tomato juice

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1 diced onion

  • 1 diced red bell pepper

  • 1 swallow teaspoon of garlic powder

  • 1 swallow teaspoon of red pepper seeds

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons of dried tarragon

  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano

  • 200 gr Fera cheese

  • 2 shots of Ouzo (or white sambuca, or just two pinches of grated anise)

  • Salt and pepper at will


tl;dr version


For the eggplants

  • Preheat the oven at 170 Celsius.

  • On a baking pan add baking sheet and some oil with a brush.

  • In a bowl mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, a tablespoon of tarragon and a teaspoon of garlic powder.

  • Cut eggplants in half, remove most of the seeds to make it like a "bowl". Place them in a baking pan. With a brush spread the mixture over them.

  • Put the pan in the oven for 20 minutes.

For the shrimp stuffing

  • Saute shrimps and sliced garlic cloves (2) in a deep frying pan in 1,5 tablespoons of butter (Medium heat)

  • Finish with a tablespoon of tarragon, 2 shots of Ouzo, or Sambuca, (or just grated anise if you don't have any of the said spirits). In case you do have them, wait for alcohol to evaporate and place the shrimps inside a bowl.

  • In the same pan, let half a tablespoon of butter to melt, again in medium heat, and saute the diced onion and diced red bell peppers.

  • Add canned tomatoes for 15 minutes to reduce the liquids.

  • Bring back in the shrimps and wait for 10 minutes more.

  • Turn the heat off, break 200 gr Feta cheese in small pieces with your hands and mix well.

  • With a spoon stuff the eggplants, bring the baking pan inside the oven for 20 more minutes

  • Serve them hot with some more feta cheese on top and some tarragon.


Enjoy!


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