Creole Eggplant Gratin Delmonico
Here’s another extinct restaurant dish you can’t get anymore. It was the favorite side dish at the old Delmonico, before Chef Emeril took over. Especially right after it comes out of the oven, it’s delicious–even if you don’t like eggplant.
I had this dish for the last time at Delmonico two days before the old regime closed down. It was the night of the Babylon parade, which passed right on front on St. Charles Avenue. We had most of our dinner, went out to watch the parade, and came back in for dessert with Angie Brown and Rose Dietrich, the sisters who owned Delmonico. The combination of that Mardi Gras experience with one of the best meals I ever had there (the old place was good to the last) is forever engraved in my memory.
- 2 eggplants, peeled and cut into large dice
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 cup small peeled shrimp
- 1/2 lb. claw crabmeat
- 1 chopped tomato
- 1/4 tsp. Tabasco
- 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp. marjoram
- 3 sprigs parsley leaves, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and drop the eggplant in for about two minutes. Remove and drain.
2. Heat the butter in a large skillet and sauté the onion, celery, and shrimp until the shrimp turn pink. Add all the other ingredients except bread crumbs and cook, stirring very lightly, until everything is heated through.
3. Load the mixture into a baking dish and top with the bread crumbs. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are toasty.
Serves four to eight.