I haven’t gone to the market this week yet because I find myself spending about $60 – $70 even if I’m not buying any meats to cook, which is pretty dang ridiculous. So this week, I’m trying to use my freezer stash to save some money. After all, what’s the point in having a freezer stash if you just let it sit there growing old?

Since I had two bags of frozen shrimp I’d bought on sale at Safeway a couple weeks ago and one almost dead eggplant in the fridge, I took off to the internets to find myself a recipe that used shrimp and eggplant. I landed at my favorite recipe site, All Recipes, and decided on Stuffed Eggplant with Shrimp and Basil. And yay, that’s my pic on the site!

As with pretty much every recipe on All Recipes, you can’t make the recipe as-is. With popular recipes, there’s bound to be hundreds upon hundreds of comments stating that certain things be increased or reduced. You should never, ever cook from this site without consulting the reviews first. The bonus is, you get to laugh at all the people who claim they made the recipe exactly as described with 5 added ingredients and 3 skipped steps.

Personally, I had to make some changes of my own so that it wasn’t too many Weight Watchers points.

Prep

First change: add onions. So, I chopped up half of a small onion and used 3 garlic cloves instead of 2. I cut my big old eggplant in half and scooped it out as directed. It was pretty hard, probably because my eggplant was old. Who would have thought one could suck so much at scooping eggplants out! Season with salt and pepper and set aside on a baking sheet lined with foil.

I went outside and picked a ridiculous amount of basil. I figured, 1/8 cup is a lot chopped up and since I always find myself going back outside to pick more herbs, I better just be safe and pick a lot.

I ended up wasting half of it! 🙁 So typical!

The recipe mentions nothing about soaking eggplant, but my grandma always taught me to soak eggplant in water to get the bitterness out of it. To show you why this makes a difference, here’s the bowl of water after the eggplant had been soaking for about 5 minutes:

Soaked Eggplant

Soak it maybe 2-3 times and it should be good. You really don’t want to be eating eggplant and have that tingly stinging sensation on your tongue.

Shrimp cooking and smelling like WIN

Right about now you should begin heating your oven to 350 degrees. Onions and garlic went in with 1 tbsp olive oil, then the shrimp. I used about 1 lb instead of counting 8. This smelled freaking FANTASTIC. Next I threw in the chopped eggplant, now sufficiently deprived of their bitter brown whatever, and then 1/2 a cup of wine. I cooked it until the eggplant began to get all soft and mushy, then moved it all to a bowl.

From there, you mix in 1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs, 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup seemed like serious overkill), and another tbsp of olive oil. Mix it up and then spoon the mixture into the eggplant shells. Bake for 30-40 minutes. I went with 35.

Stuffed Eggplant with Shrimp

After they came out, I did a bit of sprinkling with more cheese, but just a little bit. I served it with a green salad topped with the very last grape tomatoes from the garden and some canned corn.

Done like how I said, each serving is a whopping 16 points each!! However, since almost 4 points are due to the olive oil and 5 from the shrimp, it’s actually not all that bad. The only really “naughty” thing in here is the bread crumbs.

Taste wise, I thought it was pretty good. I might decrease the bread crumbs even more next time as it kind of pushed the shrimp taste to the side. The eggplant shell was still hard around the edges while the bottom was nice and fork tender. One of the comments mentioned just chopping up the eggplant and cooking it in a casserole. Not a bad idea, though if you’re into presentation, the half shells are obviously the way to go.

Mr. Pikko informed me it tasted good and he ate all of his. I couldn’t finish my whole half and ate about 2/3rds through before reserving the rest for lunch. I’d make it again for sure! Lot of people suggest adding mushrooms and if I’d had some I would have added them in. I think they’d taste phenomenal added in!

Stuffed Eggplant with Shrimp

Stuffed Eggplant with Shrimp Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (1 each used separately)
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup white wine

Instructions:

  1. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise. Scoop out flesh with a spoon and season shells with salt and pepper. Set aside on foil lined baking pan or sheet.
  2. Chop eggplant flesh and soak in bowl of water for 5 minutes. Drain and repeat 1-2 times. Chop onion and basil and mince garlic.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in skillet and add garlic and onions, cooking for a few minutes, until translucent.
  5. Add shrimp and basil. Saute for a few minutes until shrimp is cooked.
  6. Add eggplant and white wine. Cook for about 5 minutes, until eggplant becomes soft. Remove from skillet to a bowl.
  7. Mix in bread crumbs, 1 tbsp olive oil, and 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese. Spoon into eggplant shells. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
  8. Lightly sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

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