stuffed baby eggplant

January 25, 2012

When I saw them I couldn't help myself. I grabbed these baby eggplants so fast you'd think they were my favorite food in the world.

Ironically, I borderline despise the taste of eggplant. (That was a slight exaggeration.)

But taste is unimportant when these mini violet fruits (yes, they are classified as a fruit) instantly prettify (yes, that's an actual word) the standard meat dish at my Shabbat table.

I was quite excited to make them and of course share.



I got inspiration for this dish from my Shabbat-hopping days in Syria -- um, Brooklyn where I was a guest in many Syrian homes. Syrian women love to stuff everything. They stuff semolina dough (kibe), onions, tomatoes, zucchini, grape leaves, artichoke, and of course eggplant.


And so the sight of these adorable eggplants prompted me to go home and concoct a new version of a traditional dish.



I was told by legitimate sources (i.e. my father-in-law and husband whom are both eggplant enthusiasts) that they came out succulent.

I hope you will try them.


{Enjoy}




Ingredients:

12 baby eggplants
1lb of ground meat (I use turkey meat, but this can easily be done with ground beef)
1 onion, grated or finely diced
1 cup of cooked rice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tb of cumin
1 tsp of nutmeg
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of allspice


Directions:

1. Carefully core each eggplant. (I use a corer but this can also be done with a simple kitchen knife. Make sure not to go too deep and be careful not to puncture the skin.)

2. In a bowl, mix all of the remaining ingredients. Stuff each eggplant.

3. In a large skillet, heat a thin layer of oil on medium high. Place the eggplants and let fry for about 3 minutes, rotating to ensure all sides are cooked.

4. Add about 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer until the inside is fully cooked through.


{Serve over a bed of rice or couscous.}


Now, what's a girl to eat if she "borderline despises eggplant"?

I had leftover meat filling so I simply added some breadcrumbs and shaped them into balls. Yep, I ate the filling as a meatball.

Notes:

  • You don't necessarily have to use the meat filling just for eggplant. You can surely substitute zucchini or use the recipe as a meatball (be sure to add breadcrumbs).
  • The cooked rice is optional but adds a nice touch.
  • Don't drive yourself crazy carving each filling out. This can be tedious and frustrating. You can also cut them in half and core them that way. Though I'll admit they won't look as cute, but your sanity is worth it.


Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!










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