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 (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.

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.


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!