Sunday, March 11, 2007

Emeril's eggplant and sweet sausage bake



About a month ago I resolved to clean out my freezer a bit. I have a tendency to buy meats when they are on sale, stick them in my freezer, and then forget about them. I found both sweet and hot italian sausage in my freezer and decided to try out some new recipes with them.

I did a quick search on foodnetwork.com (which, by the way, I am completely addicted to. I think I check it 4 times a day just to search for new and interesting recipes to try) and found this recipe for Eggplant and Sweet Sausage bake. I don't usually like to make casseroles but I do love eggplant, so I figured I'd give it a try.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from the casing
1 medium eggplant peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
1 cup fine dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

To make the casserole:
-Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
-Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
-Add the sausage and cook until brown.
-Add the eggplant, salt, cayenne, and black pepper. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly soft.
-Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly wilted.
-Add the thyme, oregano, and garlic. Stir and cook for about 1 minute.
-Add the chicken stock and parsley and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring.
-Remove from the heat and add the bread crumbs and cheese. Mix well.
-Spoon into a casserole dish and bake for about 45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown.

I'm always trying to make recipes a little more healthful so I used less oil than it called for. Since I was using pork sausage, I got a fair amount of fat from that. Eggplant sucks up oil though, so I did have to add some oil. I only added as much as was needed though.

This turned out to be a very tasty casserole but it was a bit too spicy for my taste. I like things a little spicy, but this was too much for me. My spicy-food-loving boyfriend was crazy about it though. I think next time I'll either use hot sausage or only use 1/4 tsp cayenne.

It's not the prettist dish (as you can see from the photos) but it was rather yummy. I'll definitely be making it again in the future.

3 comments:

Susan in Italy said...

Eggplant, Italian sausage and emeril, what's not to love?

Patricia Scarpin said...

Maryanna, this is a dish my husband would love!

I sometimes get things out of my freezer that I don't remember how got there. ;)

Christian said...

Thanks for this, made a tasty treat!