- 3cupsJapanese eggplants, halved lengthwise and sliced(cubed if using regular eggplant)
- 1tablespoongrapeseed oilor extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2cupred bell peppers, chopped
- 1smallyellow onion, chopped
- 2garlic cloves, minced
- 7ouncesraw shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1/4cupfresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2cupunsweetened soy milkor nonfat milk(cow)
- 2extra large egg whites
- 1 extra largeegg yolk
- 1/4teaspoon freshground nutmeg
- 1ounce hardparmesan cheese, grated(divided between custard and topping)
- 2ounces lightfarmer cheese, grated(divided between custard and topping)
- 2brown rice cakes(I used Lundberg brand sesame tamari flavor)
- 1/2teaspoonOld Bay Seasoning(see Chef notes, last line of instructions)
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the eggplant in a colander over the sink and salt well; toss and let drain for half an hour to extract the bitterness.
- While the eggplant is draining, prepare the custard; Whisk to combine the milk, egg whites, egg yolk, nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper; stir in half the grated cheeses and set aside.
- Prepare the crumb topping; Place the rice cakes, the remaining cheese, Old Bay seasoning, salt and pepper to taste in the bowl of your food processor, fitted with the steel blade; pulse several times until the mixture is crumbly and combined; set aside.
- Heat a 10″ cast iron skillet or other oven-proof baking dish over medium heat on your stovetop.
- Add the grape seed or olive oil to pre-heated skillet; Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the onions, garlic, and red peppers and saute until the onion is softened (a few minutes).
- Squeeze the eggplant of excess water (but not until it’s bone dry) and add it to the onion mixture in the skillet; saute for about 8 minutes until the eggplant is softened.
- Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.
- Add the shrimp and parsley, stir to combine, and saute for 1 minute; definitely don’t overdo it here; shrimp are icky when overcooked.
- Pour the custard mixture over the top so it permeates the entire skillet.
- Spread the crumb topping evenly over the top and press gently to set the crumbs.
- Lightly spray the top of the dish with cooking spray and bake for about 30 minutes in the oven, or until the casserole is bubbly and golden on top; Run it under the broiler for a minute or so if need be to get the desired effect on top.
- Let it sit on a wire rack for about 10-15 minutes prior to serving.
- Chef notes: Bread crumbs (or pork rinds for you low-carbers) can be substituted for the rice cakes, although the rice cakes gave a nice light crunch to this dish that I really enjoyed; If you like a more prevalent custard base (the amount here is underwhelming), double the custard ingredients, maybe add 1 T flour, and increase the cooking time accordingly; Old Bay seasoning is a seasoning mix by McCormick; according to their web site,”Old Bay is a zesty blend of a dozen herbs and spices–including celery, bay leaves, ginger, and red pepper–that’s perfect for seasoning summer foods, especially seafood”; if you can’t get it where you are, look for a copycat recipe by typing”old bay seasoning substitute” at your favorite search engine.
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