Thursday, August 21, 2008

Last Night's Dinner #125: Openface Stuffed Eggplants

I love eggplant, I think I've mentioned that they make my mouth itchy but I don't care - I love them anyway.

I was gonna simply roast them in the oven and sprinkle some crushed red pepper infused olive oil on top but I also had some ground beef defrosting so I figured why don't I just try making my version of a Filipino dish that I haven't had in a long time.

You'll need:
1 onion chopped
1 small potato chopped
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 riped tomato chopped
a small kiddie-box of raisins (optional, but I wouldn't have this any other way)
1 lb of ground beef
salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and olive oil
2 smallish whole eggplants

step 1. Roast eggplant. You can wrap each one in foil and stick it in the oven (350-400 F) and cook until tender. For some reason this was taking forever today so I opted for the stove-top roasting. So I had them in the oven for about 35 minutes and other than the skin browning, I wasn't seeing much action so I gave this a try...

I roasted them for about 10-15 minutes, turning as often as possible. It's ok to burn the skin, actually you should fully char the skin. You don't want the flame to be too high, because you want to get the meat tender and if you're flame is too high then the outside will burn too much before the inside fully cooks through. Got it?

Set aside and allow to cool off.

step 2. In the meantime, cover the bottom of your pan with olive oil and add garlic, onions and potatoes. Season with salt. Cook until slightly golden (you may need to add some more olive oil) then add tomatoes.

Cook until tomatoes start to fall apart and then add meat.

Chop up into small pieces with your cooking utensil. Season some more. Add two pinches of smoked paprika.

Cook until the excess liquid evaporates then add raisins and mix for 30 seconds and remove from heat. If you don't like raisins, try adding dried apricots. I think it really needs the sweetness factor - leave out at your own risk :)

Cut the eggplants in half and using a teaspoon, try to scoop out/loosen up as much of the eggplant meat as possible. You don't have to transfer out the meat, just loosen it up. Now scoop in some of the meat mixture on top of the eggplant. Drizzle some olive oil on top and you're done.

You can serve this with a nice crispy refreshing iceberg lettuce salad with some yogurt-based dressing (try greek-style yogurt + fresh lemon juice + garlic + fresh mint). YUMM.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Oh man, that's good stuff. I think I'll make one (I have only one at home) stuffed with some chopped zucchini tonight. Alas, I don't have a gas stove. My Filipino mom broiled the things, so I'll take that route. Thanks for the awesome reminder!