Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stuffed Eggplant

Stuffed Eggplant
A blog called "stuffedveggies" HAS to have a few stuffed veggies on it, huh? This recipe is probably my personal favorite stuffed veggie. I first found it in a Greek-Cypriot Cookbook "Nistisimes Nostimies" (which translates something like "Delicious Lenten Food" if I understand correctly), and over time I modified the recipe quite a bit.






Eggplants cooking in Dutch Oven. I had some extra filling, and
extra space, so I filled a stuffed pepper and cooked it, too.
Stuffed Eggplant
Split and hollow out two large eggplants*, reserving pulp
Saute
A drizzle of water
Reserved Eggplant Pulp, chopped
Stir in
3 Cups Yachni Sauce
5 to 6 Cups Cooked Rice (leftover rice is great here!)**
Scant teaspoon Sugar
Scant teaspoon Cinnamon
Toasted, Slivered Almonds (a couple of handsful - to taste)***
Fill Eggplant shells with rice mixture
Place in Dutch ovens (or any similar pots with lid - I use two pots for 4 eggplant halves)
Pour a little water into the bottom of the pot, around the eggplants
Simmer gently, with lid, till eggplant is tender - about 45 minutes.

Sauteeing Eggplant Pulp
*Typical American Eggplants are about 1pound or 1/2 Kilo each - that's what I use. If you'd prefer something dainty and cute, use the more traditional little ones instead.

**Long Grain White Rice is traditional. I have also been happy with Short Grain White. Brown Rice is not traditional, and I have not tried it, but I have no reason to believe it wouldn't produce an acceptable, but slightly different, result.

*** Pine Nuts are more traditional
than slivered almonds - but since they went up to
$30 a pound, I quit using them. If you prefer to avoid nuts, I think water chestnuts would work well here.

If you have way too much filling, it can be frozen to make another meal another day. Or, you might choose to make the filling for the freezer, and simply fill the veggies on serving day.

If you prefer, these may be made in the slow cooker or Crock Pot. Simply cut the eggplant horizontally instead of vertically and fill. Pour about 1/2 cup water around filled eggplant, and cook on high for about 3 hours.

To fit your slow cooker, you may want to cut eggplant like this.

Hollow out each cup and place it in the crock.
 
Fill them, wedge them into the crock, and pour water around them.
I like to do peppers at the same time using the same filling -
I use my second slow cooker to cook them.
 
Stuffed Veggies ( Gemista ) fresh from the slow cooker.


Tip for dining with Omnivores: Cooked, Ground meat (pork, beef, or lamb) may be added into the Omnivore's portion before filling Eggplants. (Americans often like to add Feta to this sort of dish, but I've never seen this dish prepared that way in Cyprus - so it's your call)


To Hollow out Eggplants, cut around the perimeter with a paring knife
Then remove pulp with an Ice Cream Scoop (a large spoon, or even your fingers
will also work in a pinch)







3 comments:

  1. Very appropriate for your blog!!! ♥ I think these sound great, of course, I've made stuffed peppers and zucchini, once, but I love the stuffed eggplant one...thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh WOW!!!!! Excellent! Wonderful ideas and flavors!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you both for your sweet comments : )

    ReplyDelete

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