Today we are going to fix a traditional southern Louisiana dish.     This is Pauline’s eggplant dressing recipe. Pauline is a dear family member, she is deceased now, but her spirit and recipes will live forever! The dressing is in the oven, while you are waiting  have a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Eggplant Dressing

1 pound or 4 cups eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, 2 mirlitons cored, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, 1 pound lean ground beef, 1/2 pound smoked sausage, remove sausage from casing and grate, 1 onion chopped, 2 stalks celery chopped, 5 garlic cloves minced, 1/4 cup bell pepper, finely diced, 1 jalapeno pepper finely diced, 5 green onions, chopped, 1 cup water chestnuts chopped, 1 (15 oz.) can dice tomatoes, 3 eggs slightly beaten, 3 cups cornbread, cut into 1 inch cubes,  6 slices toasted day-old white bread cut into 1/2 inch cubes, 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon, 1/2 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon thyme, 3 bay leaves crumbled,  1/2 tablespoon oregano.

Let’s Do It, Pauline

Melt 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet add eggplant and mirliton to butter and cook until fork tender.  Remove from the skillet and set aside. Add the ground beef and sausage to the skillet, cook till done, remove from the skillet, set aside.  Wipe out the skillet, add 1 tablespoon of butter, add the onions, cook until they start to sweat. Add dry seasonings.  Add the eggplant, mirliton, ground beef, and sausage back into the skillet. Fold in the cornbread and toasted white bread, mix well. Pour in chicken stock and tomatoes stir everything together, make sure the pieces of bread are moist. Taste, adjust seasoning to your liking.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 3-quart baking dish with butter-flavored cooking spray. Add the eggplant mixture into the baking dish, bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

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