Tuesday, September 14, 2010
In theory, this is glorious as it's far easier to make in-season fruits and vegetables taste good. Really, it's the lazy way to eat. However, the reality, as I discovered last year with my CSA, is that you run out of tried & true recipes and ultimately get sick of tomatoes, eggplant, squash, corn, green beans and peppers. It's safe to say that I'm currently at the end of my recipe rope at this point.
Staying home with the baby has allowed me to watch more cooking shows. After all, one can only rock a restless cherub for so long in silence. On one such occasion I stumbled upon this recipe by Michael Chiarello: Mom's Stuffed Eggplant. I'm sure his recipe is good as-is, but I made some changes reflected in the recipe below (I also doubled it so we'd have leftovers).
Ingredients (Serves 12 as a side dish; 6 as a main course)
6 small/personal-sized eggplant
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground beef
2 onions, small diced
3 Italian peppers, small diced (about 2 bell peppers would work too)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 c basil leaves, chopped
2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 c unseasoned bread crumbs (I used panko)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 chopped tomatoes
1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
2. Scoop out insides of eggplant leaving enough flesh so that it will serve as a stable "cup" for the filling. Put the flesh in a pot of boiling water & cook for 10-12 minutes or until soft.
3. Meanwhile, in a skillet heat the oil with the crushed red peppers and saute the peppers, onions and garlic until softened. Add beef and cook until browned. Next, add tomatoes, Parm and basil. Remove from heat.
4. When eggplant is done, drain & add to skillet, breaking up pieces as necessary.
5. Taste filling for seasoning and add salt/pepper as necessary.
6. Add egg and bread crumbs to skillet.
7. Fill eggplant cups with the filling and top with Parm (if desired).
8. Bake for about 50 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through baking if your oven has hot/cold spots.
9. Enjoy as a one-pot meal or a side dish!