Score cut side of each eggplant half in a crisscross pattern; lightly coat cut sides of eggplant halves with cooking spray. Place eggplant halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Turn eggplant halves over; bake an additional 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes. Remove pulp from eggplant, leaving a (1/4-inch-thick) shell. Place eggplant shells on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Chop pulp; set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ham, 1/2 cup onion, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add reserved eggplant pulp and beer; cook 10 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Stir in shrimp; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Place bread in a food processor; process until coarse crumbs form. Add breadcrumbs, 3 tablespoons cheese, green onions, basil, tarragon, rind, salt, and black pepper to eggplant mixture; stir gently to combine. Mound about 1/2 cup shrimp mixture into each eggplant shell. Sprinkle each with 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated and shrimp are done.
This recipe was decent, but lacked a little flavor probably because I didn't use beer and ham to save on calories. I also used bay scallops as well as shrimp and didn't use nearly as much bread crumbs to again save on calories. I would use more garlic next time. I didn't really think the actual shells were that good since eggplant skin can be tough and I would rather just put the filling in a ramekin. They were also huge I couldn't eat the whole thing, so make sure your hungry when you make these.
This recipe is a little long, and takes more time than I normally have. It was very, very good though. My husband and i both loved it. I would have given it a five had it not taken so long. I will make this dish again, but probably on the weekend :D
I just made this as a weekend lunch special, and my husband absolutely loved it. We didn't eat the shells tough, but that's OK since they still make for an excellent presentation dish.
The only alteration I made is- I used crushed almonds instead of bread crumbs since the hubby is going low-carb, which added a slight crunchiness to the stuffing, but it tastes amazing.
Definitely would make it for a special occasion and/or dinner parties. I will probably prepare it a day in advance in such case and leave only the baking for the day of the party, since it would cut down the clean-up time
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