Stuffed Baby Eggplants

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Stuffed Baby Eggplants

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This is a very traditional dish that combines a little taste of Greece and a little taste of Lebanon. The dish I created combines a very traditional meat filling used in many Lebanese dishes and is paired with a fluffy bechamel cream that is commonly seen in Greek moussaka, which I have enjoyed for many years on the the little island of Cyprus. These are best made with baby eggplants but you can use the larger eggplants if you prefer.

Directions

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Stuffed Baby Eggplants

On 12/08/2011 (Friday) at 3:20 pm by Benny.
Tiny Url for this recipe → http://tinyurl.com/3ha9njs

Details

  • Prep Time:
    10 min
  • Cook Time:
    20 min
  • Ready Time:
    30 min

Servings

4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 baby eggplants

Filling

  • 1/2 pound ground beef or lamb
  • one cup chopped walnuts
  • one cup chopped onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • one cup of cherry tomatoes or chopped tomato
  • the scooped out insides of the 4 eggplants
  • teaspoon of cinnamon
  • oilve oil and a knob of butter
  • kosher salt

Bechamel Sauce

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons AP Flour
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk use hot milk for the recipe
  • one egg yolk
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • tablespoon grated sharp dry cheese
  • kosher salt to taste

Directions

First you need to prepare the eggplants by cutting off the top  third of each eggplant (lengthwise) and then scooping out the seeds and as much filling as you can. Leave about 1/4″ wall all the way around and be careful not to puncture through the skin  (see photo). Once all of them are cleaned and prepped, set them aside and prepare the filling.

In a hot pan, add the olive oil, knob of butter, ground beef (or lamb), walnuts, chopped onion, garlic, tomato, cinnamon  and a pinch of kosher salt. Cook everything together for about 10-15 min until the mixture comes together and thickens. Set aside to cool slightly.

Next, prepare the bechamel sauce by starting with a roux which simply combines the butter and flour together  in a sauce pan. Using a whisk, make sure that both are mixed well together and there are no lumps. Allow this to cook for a few minutes and then begin adding the hot milk into the roux a little at a time until it is all incorporated.

Remove from the heat then add a pinch of salt, the nutmeg and grated cheese and whisk together again. Add a little of this  milk mixture into the egg yolk to temper it (bring it up to temperature), and then pour this back into the pan with the rest of the sauce.  Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens and then check again for seasoning. Once thickened, set aside but keep this mixture warm.

Take each baby eggplant and spoon in your meat filling leaving a little indentation in the middle as you can see in the photos. Place them into your baking dish and then generously pour the bechamel sauce on top of each one and bake in a 400°F oven until the bechamel sauce is bubbling and golden brown on top, about 10 minutes or so.

Benny



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