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Stuffed Eggplant Recipe

This is typical of the way I cook. I get an idea in my head. I search for recipes. Find many that seem interesting, but hardly ever do I just pick one and follow it. Not when it’s something like Stuffed Eggplant, where recipes abound. Greek. Italian. Vegan. Almost every chef on Foodnetwork has a recipe. Some, like Emeril have several. So, it’s not always easy to formulate a recipe for what I make on these excursions in the kitchen. Or to figure out which recipe I should credit.

In this case, it’s easy – I can’t credit anyone really. Well, not directly. I mostly followed Emeril’s Greek Stuffed Eggplant recipe, but I used beef since I had cooked ground beef in the freezer (halaal meat flown in via Mom from Trinidad – just like my student days!) and searched for inspiration from other Food Network chefs Michael ChiarelloSara Moulton…(for the record, I can’t really watch Emeril cook…) A few on Epicurious. And with that combined knowledge, and knowing that I wanted to salt and drain the eggplant for best flavour and tenderness, I set forth. I also wanted to pre-bake the shells and use Chèvre inside but top with cheddar. And I had this pre-cooked beef. So I came up with what follows. The truth is, having this blog, and my camera, is probably seriously helping me to keep track of what I do…that and procrastination from the work that I actually get paid to do…

RECIPE

Serves 2, with a salad, rice or couscous

INGREDIENTS:

Parsley and Onions

2 small roundish eggplants (or 1 regular long large ones)

salt

1 cup cooked ground beef (a little less than 1/4 lb raw seasoned ground beef ) – you can use whatever already cooked meat you have had that can be minced or chopped up, since you don’t need very much for 2 eggplants)

1 small onion, chopped

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 small tomato chopped

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablesppon chopped mint (since my Chèvre was herbed, I skipped this so I wouldn’t have too many flavours running amok)

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

2 oz soft goat cheese (I used a soft herbed Chèvre, you can use a soft Feta or any soft white cheese you prefer)

1/2 cup shredded cheddar (or enough to top the eggplants)

olive oil for cooking

METHOD:

1. If you are not starting with cooked ground beef 😉 season the ground beef with salt, pepper, garlic and green seasoning and let rest for at least 30 minutes in the fridge or while you prepare the eggplant.

2. Prepare the eggplant

* Slice the eggplants in half lengthways

* Scoop out the flesh leaving about 1/2 cm on the skin (it should still be firm and you don’t want to see the purple skin inside)

* Sprinkle salt on the inside of the shells and invert onto a wire rack over a baking sheet. Leave to drain for at least 30 minutes

* Dice the flesh, salt and place in a colander over a bowl and leave to drain for at least 30 minutes

* Rinse the shells and pat dry with paper towels

* Rinse the chopped eggplant and drain out the liquid

3. Brush the insides of the shells with some olive oil and place on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for about 15-20 minutes until the shells are soft and lightly golden.

4. Meanwhile, make the stuffing. Add the beef to a skillet over medium high heat and cook until brown, breaking up any clumps. Drain the fat and set aside.

5. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and saute the onions until translucent. Add the chopped eggplant and minced garlic and cook until the eggplant is soft.

6. Add the beef and mix well.

7. Add the tomato and parsley and mix well. Cook for about 5 minutes.

8. Add a couple tablespoons of water, mix and lower the heat. After 5 minutes, add the breadcrumbs and mix well to combine. The mixture should be mushy but not dry.

9. Take off heat and add the cheese and mix well until the mixture is creamy and the cheese is well incorporated.

10. Divide the stuffing equally between the shells. Bake in the 350°F oven for about 20 minutes. Take out of oven and top with cheddar cheese. Return to oven and let cook for 5-7 more minutes until the cheese topping is to your liking. I just wanted it a bit melted and set.

The stuffing, with the soft white cheese is creamy and delicious. I was all prepared to eat the shells, since I pre-baked them etc, but the skins didn’t taste that great. The flesh on the inside of the shell, however, could be scooped out along with the stuffing quite nicely. I recommend leaving the thinnest possible shell in case you don’t eat them 😉

You could also make these vegetarian by adding more veggies (sweet peppers, mushrooms etc) and soya or tofu. And of course vegetarian cheeses.

I ate these on their own, but I think it would go really really well with a brown rice, maybe some couscous or a nice salad. You shouldn’t need anything too strongly flavoured as this dish has a lot of flavour on its own. You will note I didn’t add any salt or pepper to the stuffing. I didn’t miss it. Salting the eggplant (even though you rinse it) and the goat cheese adds enough salt for my taste and the rest of the stuffing has seasoned meat and onions and garlic. So it’s all good.

My Stuffed Eggplant Set on Flickr.

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22 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. Mmmmm……..Looks delicious.
    Made it a few times. But since your Dad always expressed an aversion for eggplant and sometimes was usually upset after eating two to three mouthfuls , I really did not feel like venturing whenever I thought about it. I would have to make two or three dishes and would you believe it ,I am at that stage these days hehehehehe.
    You will make for me when you come month-end God Willing.

    1. trinimom on May 14th, 2007 at 7:09 am
  2. with what? you keep saying you only getting skinny eggplants in Trinidad :-)

    2. chennette on May 14th, 2007 at 9:55 am
  3. Eggplants are so pretty -big and purple and shiny- but I’ve never quite known what to do with them so I leave them sitting on the shelves… THis sounds quite good, though… but time consuming?

    3. ewe_are_here on May 15th, 2007 at 8:02 am
  4. ahm…yes…perhaps time consuming, particularly if you’re making for more than 1 or 2 people 😉
    Roasting Eggplants is also good. Either as a vegetable side dish with mushrooms as I did here or do as Lilandra did the next day and layered them in a sandwich with pasta sauce and cheese and nice crusty bread. mmm…Like an Eggplant Parmesan Sub.
    Although Alton Brown’s researchers said, while there’s not much fat or calories in Eggplant, there’s not much else either…

    4. chennette on May 15th, 2007 at 10:46 am
  5. Oh gosh Chennette that looks soooo good and I am not an eggplant fan :) The only way I like to eat it is as a choka. Great job.

    Like you, I view and read many recipes but then I come up with my own adaptation. 😀

    5. Cynthia on May 15th, 2007 at 10:10 pm
  6. and funnily enough Cynthia, I have grown to like baigan anywhich way BUT in choka!

    6. chennette on May 15th, 2007 at 10:13 pm
  7. playing catchup but it looks very interesting :) i like eggplant never tried it in a greek style recipe–usually very italian…but got to go and clean up and head to bed.

    7. Rone on May 15th, 2007 at 11:18 pm
  8. How could you not love choka? I’m a serious choka addict. Your stuffed eggplant looks good. Think I’ll try it for a Sunday lunch. Tell your mom to check Sangre Grande for giant eggplants. I bought some giant ones big enough to beat a man the other day.

    8. Karel Mc Intosh on May 16th, 2007 at 2:37 pm
  9. Hi and welcome Karel. Choka is not a bad concept. Baigan choka – NO! Just my quirks.
    And I’ll pass on the message to Mom, although if people from Grande beat each other with big eggplants, we may want to stay away! Although there was this great bakery in Grande that made excellent nankathai…hmmm…

    9. chennette on May 16th, 2007 at 5:09 pm
  10. Lol. No, people from Grande don’t beat you with baigan. Lol.

    10. Karel Mc Intosh on May 16th, 2007 at 7:18 pm
  11. Thanks for visiting my blog and for the awesome dinner idea. I followed the Emril recipe, even though I’m not one of his biggest fans. It was very good and I’ll be making it again.

    11. Shelliza on May 18th, 2007 at 1:11 am
  12. stuffed melongene was one of the first recipes i posted but mine looks way different to yours 😀

    12. The TriniGourmet on May 18th, 2007 at 8:08 pm
  13. I think it’s a seriously versatile thing – like pizza! Toppings, sauce, shape, cheese – all make it radically different. This was what I was feeling for, but some of the other recipes looked good for next time.

    13. chennette on May 19th, 2007 at 1:51 am
  14. This looks fabulous!

    14. Beenzzz on May 20th, 2007 at 10:48 am
  15. thanks!

    15. chennette on May 20th, 2007 at 12:18 pm
  16. num num num. gonna try this with minced soya instead..or maybe a breadcrumb/cristophene/herb stuffing. and none of that fancy goat cheese stuff…generic cheddar all the way :)

    16. Shivonne Du Barry on June 18th, 2007 at 1:26 pm
  17. hello and welcome Shivonne! I think this would be great with bulgur wheat also as a vegetarian meal (too fancy? 😉 ). And the goat’s cheese was because I was in Barbados and it was there 😛 You could use generic cream cheese inside and top with cheddar as cheddar tends to pool the oil when you bake it, but it still manages to be yummy anyway (as in macaroni pie, or our lasagne).
    Oh. Cheeeeese. I have no cheese in my fridge. I have almost nothing in my fridge actually, in Guyana.

    17. chennette on June 18th, 2007 at 2:27 pm
  18. Awww man, hope you’re not on the outskirts of civilisation…I am salivating for cheese now mmm. And not to rub it in but I have gouda, cheddar and feta in my fridge. Sadly I’m in the office so Cheezees will have to do :(

    18. Shivonne Du Barry on June 18th, 2007 at 4:00 pm
  19. No. I am deep in the heart of Georgetown. Just haven’t been here in a long time and didn’t make grocery yet. Shopping and eating means you have to clean and wash dishes. And I just don’t have the energy to start that whole cycle.
    I ate the granola I had in my office, so tea will have to suffice. CheeZees, eh? Groceries have those too…

    19. chennette on June 18th, 2007 at 4:03 pm
  20. Thanks so much for this recipe. I tried it out last night with soya mince instead of ground beef. Pretty good, though not as aesthetically pleasing as yours by any means. Leftovers for lunch yay :)

    20. Shivonne Du Barry on June 26th, 2007 at 10:54 am
  21. Thank you for the eggplant recipe. And I really appreciate the pics as I am going through the recipe. They were really helpful.

    21. Rachel_shad on October 18th, 2008 at 2:51 pm
  22. Hi Rachel – glad the recipe and photos worked out :-) thanks for visiting.

    22. Chennette on October 18th, 2008 at 3:23 pm

One Trackback

  1. By   Baigani Recipe — Lifespan of a Chennette on August 12, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    […] better into the batter and made for a better baiganee. I could see using these baigans for my Stuffed Eggplant recipe though! That would be […]

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