Courtesy of Chef Joe Heacook, Culinary Department Head at Sowela Technical Community College, Lake Charles, LA. If you like the recipe, then check out Louisiana Cookin' magazine. Subscribe with the promotion code wwoz2010, and they'll donate $5 to WWOZ.
Makes 4 servings
2 firm eggplants
4 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1cup 1/2-inch diced, uncooked bacon
1/2 cup plus 4 heaping teaspoons Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 dozen medium-sized shucked Gulf oysters
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Pierce the eggplants several times with a fork and place on a baking sheet and bake until very tender, approximately 30 minutes. Test with a skewer to see if the center is soft. Remove from oven and cool. Keep oven hot.
Add half-stick butter to a small skillet set over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, but not brown, approximately 6 minutes.
In another small skillet, fry the bacon until crisp. Drain on several layers of paper towels. With a sharp knife, cut off the stem ends of the eggplants and peel them carefully. Discard the skin and place the eggplant pulp in a colander to drain. Chop into 3/4-inch cubes and combine with the sautéed onions.
Crumble the bacon into the eggplant mixture and add 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and oysters. Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan. Divide the eggplant pulp and oyster mixture into 4 equal portions and place in individual ramekins. Pour melted butter over each portion. Sprinkle each evenly with remaining breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the mixture bubbles vigorously around the edges and the top is well browned.
Pair with: Kim Crawford Unoaked Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)