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Eggplant Josephine

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1 Eggplant Josephine on Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:56 pm

Crybaby

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I've been debating buying a cookbook that was put out by the Times-Picayune, Judy Walker of the T-P and Marcelle Bienvenu a couple of years ago.  It's called "Cooking Up A Storm" and it was printed a couple of years after Katrina, as people who lost everything in the storm were trying to get favorite recipes they'd either seen in the paper or other favorites from restaurants that they'd lost in the storm.  

At any rate, I was on Amazon and I was checking out the index of the book to see what recipes it had -- it's not a fancy cookbook (no photos) but has lots of stories and/or letters from people who'd lost everything just looking for a favorite recipe again.  It has a lot of good reviews but some people were disappointed because it's really just the kind of food people cook in their house every night -- good ol' home cooking or comfort food.  

At any rate, I saw an appetizer I'd remembered from my youth called Eggplant Josephine that I'd had a number of times from a Biloxi, MS restaurant called White Pillars (long closed, even before Katrina).  I'd thought about that dish for many years but I couldn't even remember what it was callled.  Well, once I saw the name, it all came back.  I spent several hours on the Internet this morning reading recipes for it, knowing some of them were off the mark in one way or the other.  So I finally cobbled together a recipe I think would represent the dish as it was served.  Since it's topped with Hollandaise Sauce, I'm providing the recipe for the hollandaise sauce that I make in the blender -- it's really good and easy, too.  I saw several photos on the Internet of the Eggplant Josephine and one was on the money so I've included it so you could see how attractive the dish is as well.  

Eggplant Josephine
Serves 4.
Recipe originally from White Pillars Restaurant in Biloxi, MS, long closed.

1 large eggplant
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
1 lb. lump crabmeat, picked over to remove shells*
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup white wine
2 pints marinara sauce
Blender Hollandaise (see recipe below)
1-1/2 cups oil (for frying)

Crabmeat Topping: Melt butter and add wine. Pick over meat to remove shells. Add crabmeat to wine and butter. Boil about 6 minutes and set aside.

Heat marinara sauce and set aside.

Hollandaise Topping: See recipe below.

Eggplant: Peel and slice the eggplant about 3/4 to 1-inch thick. Flour and fry eggplant until slightly brown. Assemble in a shallow pan the eggplant, then crabmeat topping, marinara sauce, and grated cheese. Bake in oven at 450°F until cheese is melted, bubbly and begins to brown. Remove from oven.

Serve single slice on a plate. Top with heated hollandaise sauce.

*The hardest part of this recipe is picking through the fresh crabmeat to find those stray pieces of shell and cartilage. One tip to help remedy that is to spread the crabmeat out on a baking sheet, and run it in a 200 degree oven for about 2 or 3 minutes. The cartilage with turn from clear to opaque and will be easier to spot and pull out.



Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
Makes about 1 cup of sauce, good for about 4-6 servings.

3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (if using salted butter, skip the added salt)

Melt the butter slowly in a small pot. Try not to let it boil – you want the moisture in the butter to remain there and not steam away.

Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and cayenne (if using) into your blender. Blend the egg yolk mixture at a medium to medium high speed until it lightens in color, about 20-30 seconds. The friction generated by the blender blades will heat the yolks a bit. The blending action will also introduce a little air into them, making your hollandaise a bit lighter.

Once the yolks have lightened in color, turn the blender down to its lowest setting (if you only have one speed on your blender it will still work), and drizzle in the melted butter slowly, while the blender is going. Continue to buzz for another couple seconds after the butter is all incorporated.

Turn off the blender and taste the sauce. It should be buttery, lemony and just lightly salty. If it is not salty or lemony enough, you can add a little lemon juice or salt to taste. If you want a thinner consistency, add a little warm water. Pulse briefly to incorporate the ingredients one more time.

Store until needed in a warm spot, like on or next to the stovetop. Use within an hour or so.



Last edited by Crybaby on Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

2 Re: Eggplant Josephine on Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:22 am

bethk

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Why did I not see this recipe when you posted it? No matter, I've seen it now!

That sounds really good. And, being a good transplanted Southern girl, I'm thinking it would be amazing on a fried green tomato as well as the fried eggplant.....

Copied & reserved for when I can have some company. Thanks!

3 Re: Eggplant Josephine on Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:45 am

Crybaby

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It is really delicious beyond belief, Beth. And it's super pretty, too. Hardly anyone went to that restaurant and did NOT order Eggplant Josephine.

I've never tried heating the crabmeat in the oven before for a few minutes just to help get the shells out, but I'm definitely going to try it. Might help me not to break up the lumps as much. And it's only 3 minutes, too.

4 Re: Eggplant Josephine on Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:16 pm

Crybaby

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Brian and I have never found jarred marinara sauce to be to our liking. We've tried just about every brand imaginable and usually end up throwing them away. We make our own, which takes about 1-1/2 hours to make from start to finish. An added benefit is can of whole tomatoes is a lot cheaper than a jar of that icky stuff.

Here's the way I make it:

Marinara Sauce
Recipe originally from “The New York Times Cookbook” with my modifications.
Makes about 3-1/2 cups.

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 28-oz. can of whole Italian tomatoes, including liquid in can
1/2 cup chopped parsley
4 whole basil leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the garlic and onions in the oil until golden brown.

Put the tomatoes into the food processor and blend thoroughly. Combine all ingredients in heavy pan and simmer, uncovered, until thickened

5 Re: Eggplant Josephine on Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:24 pm

Crybaby

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I've been dying to make this Eggplant Josephine and Brian bought me a nice pound of lump crabmeat at the store yesterday. As some of you know, he doesn't eat seafood so I took some sliced roast beef and cut it into strips and heated it up in the microwave with some au jus. I made his with the roast beef and mine with the crabmeat.

They were delicious. Brian even liked the hollandaise sauce. I make it in the blender and had him try a finger full of it prior to putting it on top of the Eggplant Josephine. He's not a big egg guy so he avoids sauces with eggs. After I topped the eggplant appetizers with the hollandaise, I put them under the broiler for a bit to put a little brown on the hollandaise, which made the dish even prettier.

They were absolutely delicious! Even the one with the roast beef. It was amazing how tender and yummy the eggplant was even though it was just peeled, sliced, coated with seasoned flour and fried in peanut oil. If you have a chance, do try this recipe. It's super fast and easy to make, especially if you make the hollandaise in the blender like I do.

I revised the recipe for the Eggplant Josephine this morning, as I realized I left out the butter and wine that I put the crabmeat in.

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