CREOLE EGGPLANT AND SAUSAGE

eggplant creole
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2 large eggplants, 1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage, 1/2 pound bulk hot Italian sausage, 1  cup purple onions, chopped, 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped, 1/2 cup celery, chopped, 1 cup zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch slices, 1 (28 oz.) can stewing tomatoes, 2 teaspoons granulated garlic, 2 teaspoon seasoning salt, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon ground sage, 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped, 3 garlic cloves, minced, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced and sauteed in butter, 1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated, 1/2 pound Parmesan cheese, grated, 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped.

Stem the eggplant and cut in half lengthwise.  Score the eggplant and very carefully remove the pulp, leaving approximately 1/4 inch all around the edges, be careful not to cut through the bottom,  set aside.   Cut the eggplant pulp into 1-inch cubes.  Get out your heavy Dutch oven, add the sausage and fry off until brown.  Drain off most of the oil and add the onions, bell pepper, celery, zucchini, eggplant, can of tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, sage, basil, garlic cloves, and cayenne, bring to a boil.  Taste, add more dry seasoning if required to fit your taste.  Cover the pot, reduce the heat to a simmer.  It takes somewhere between 45-60 minutes for the contents of the pot to cook.  Stir about every 15-20 minutes.  The eggplant mixture is fully cooked when the eggplant is a little softer than fork tender.  Turn off the heat and start to fill the eggplant shells.  Once you have filled the eggplant shells add the sauteed mushroom and then top with cheese.  Put the eggplants on a cookie sheet and put into a 350 degree oven.  Bake until the cheese melts.  Remove from the oven sprinkle the parsley on top and serve.

I serve this dish with steamed rice, white or brown, avocado slices and a glass of red wine-I prefer Merlot.

Do you like eggplant?  How would you serve this dish?  If I have any vegans out there please send me your recipe “vegan style”.

 

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