Staff dinner: Eggplant, tomato and shrimp


My sister is arriving in three hours to start taking pictures of the food that I haven’t started to cook yet, and I hope that she doesn’t freak out that although all of the staff are committed to excellence, none of the staff is over three feet or four years old.
Hopefully she will over look all that, because I’m going to make her a delicious lunch, and I bought her a massive bag of jelly belly’s.
Marinate a pound and a half of shrimp with half a head of garlic, sprigs of fresh thyme, lemon peels without the pith, and a splash of olive oil for at least an hour.
Pan fry 8 chopped baby eggplants in olive oil that has had three, unpeeled, and sliced in half, cloved of garlic simmering in it until they are golden. (Take the garlic out before you put the eggplant in). Season the eggplant with salt and don’t disturb them in the pan until they are golden on one side. Turn the heat down and continue to cook until they are no longer white. Add more olive oil to the pan. Add two more cloves of garlic, cut in half, and five basil leaves. When the basil is dark green, add about a cup to a cup and a half of grape tomatoes and a few red pepper flakes. Season with salt. Toss around in the pan for about five minutes, just until heated through. Combine with the eggplant and drizzle with your best olive oil and a grind of freshly ground black pepper. Wipe out the frying pan, drizzle with a little oil, and when it’s hot, add the shrimp carefully, so they are all lying flat in the pan. You may have to do this in batches. Season with salt and a teeny bit of pepper. As soon as the edges are white, flip them with tongs, and almost immediately take them out of the pan. Overcooked seafood is no good.
Toss them together with the eggplant and tomatoes, and serve at room temperature.
Serve it with tiny lentils in seasoned with lemon juice, diced shallot and olive oil, some French feta, and a loaf of bread that you would drive across town for.

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