The Great Excuse: Stuffed Eggplant

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Anything that is stuffed is a great excuse to use leftovers. well that's my kitchen mantra *lol*
after 'sun drying' my tomatoes i...ok i'll honest, i started to feel lazy again...(its like that with me nowadays, thats why this blog is lacking the attention it deserves) while rummaging my fridge i took out my chicken thighs and thawed it and then i find that i still have 1 eggplant left from my sandwich, an italian gourmet sausage, 2 strips of beef bacon a bit of sour cream and a lump of mozzarella cheese and my almost dried up parsley. and i thought perfect! now i'm in the mood for stuffing stuff hahaha...but eggplant seem to be my victim of choice. i never tried stuffing eggplant before, potatoes yes, tomatoes yes, fruits yes but never eggplant. and apparently according to my friend Celine, stuffed eggplant is common in is this recipe is french? i don't know i just hentam (wing it)*lol*

the out come?

hmm...surprising tasty. so i think yo u can easily use leftover chicken meat or beef or what ever you have in the fridge but i think if you wanted to use sausage, use a gourmet sausage as it is more flavorful. my ingredients are without portion coz its left overs and i just use what i have and estimate a amount so that it'll fit into my eggplant skin nicely.

italian sausage (i use beef)
beef bacon
an eggplant cut in half and rub it with salt and let it sit for a while then rinse.
salt & pepper
1 chopped shallot
1 clove chopped garlic
chopped parsley spring onion
dries thyme
1 tsp sour cream
mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
olive oil

cut the skin off the italian sausage and squeeze the sausage out.
saute shallot and garlic with a bit of olive oil until fragrant then add in the sausage meat. continue cooking until you can see that the shallots and bits of sausage meat is caramelizing. add in herbs stir then remove from heat.

in another pan cook beef bacon with butter until crisp.

mean while brush cut eggplant with butter or olive oil and roast it in the oven until the flesh of eggplant is thoroughly cooked in a 180c preheated oven. this may take about 20-30minutes depending on the thickness of the flesh. brush the eggplant with oil frequently, this will help the eggplant cook faster.

when cooked let it rest fro 5 minutes then carefully scrape the flesh out using a spoon. this should be easy to do coz the flesh of the eggplant is soft and almost mushed. drain excess water from the flesh. then combine it with the sausage mixture. mix well and mesh any lumps from eggplant flesh. then add in the beef bacon and some grated mozzarella. save some for topping.

divide the fillings into 2 equal parts and start filling in the eggplant case. pack it tight. then sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan on top. bake again for another 10 minutes or until cheese melted and crusted....

this can be your made to impress appetizer hahahah~ i'd say its gorgeous! in taste and presentation.

as for the thawed chicken...i made a roasted thigh chicken out of it with coarse mustard and some other stuff...i'll post the recipe in the next N3.

**hmmm just thinking....perhaps this dish will taste a lot better with ricotta cheese instead of mozzarella?

homemade Sundried Tomatoes

Last night i was surfing the net and stumble upon this blog where the writer phrase the glory of sun dried tomatoes, how sweet, flavorful and nutritious it is. It is good on its own, great binging snack and surprise! kids loves it too...and true enough my vege hater son likes this unlikely snack. Sun dried tomatoes have the same nutritional value as the fresh tomatoes they are made from: they are high in Lycopene, antioxidants, vitamin C and low in sodium, fat, and calories. anyway seeing all those pictures of yummy tomatoes *ahem* dried up tomatoes....*shrugs* mmm to be honest i hate raw tomatoes and i can't imagine those people able to just bite into the red plump and juicy tomatoes...yes tomatoes are sweet and sour at the same time i give you that but there's this certain 'raw' taste that i can't seem to know what i mean? but when it is cooked correctly i love it to bits...

unfortunately ready made sun dried tomatoes are not easy to find in Malaysia. but lucky for us it is easy enough to make yourself and be proud of it hehehehe~ the method is i presume the same with dried make sense huh? ok what i did was...oh wait the ingredients...what you need

* 1kg of bright red ripe tomatoes
* 2clove of garlic chopped

* some dried herbs i use parsley and thyme

* kosher salt or sea salt

* olive oil to brush and some to preserve.

wash tomatoes and then slice them. i divide a tomato (mine was a large tomato) into 4 nice thick slices. slice all tomatoes.
*you wouldn't want to slice it too thinly coz it will shrink A LOT!

then pat it dry and brush them with olive oil and sun dry it for 2-3 days in a row, take it in during the night.
2nd day, you brush the tomatoes again and sprinkle garlic, herb mixture and salt then let it dry again.

We Malaysian are lucky coz the tomatoes can dry up in just 2 days or sometimes 1 1/2day (coz its really hot here) then you can have your snack or preserve it...
i was sun drying my tomatoes today until it start raining late afternoon so i have to go for plan B. that is Oven dry tomatoes.

to Oven dry it you need a low low low heat, and let it dry for 1-1.5hrs if you have fan in the oven but if like me my oven don't have that feature so it took me slightly more than 2 hrs.
but today i cheated a bit instead of using 100c i crank it up just abit ooo about mmm 120c then towards the end i crank it up abit more to 135c coz i can't wait to eat coz after sprinkling the herbs and garlic, i can hear my tummy rumbles coz its soooooooooo fragrant!

but if you were to follow my step becareful coz you might burn them instead so set your timer and check on them once in a while and see how they are doing.


to preserve your homemade sun/oven dried tomatoes, just prepare a glass jar, sterilize it 1st
though then fill those yummie tomatoes up then fill in olive oil until it fully cover the tomatoes.
* you can use the olive oil from the preserved to saute whatever coz it'll be infused with flavors (tomatoes, garlic and herbs) or just toss it with pasta or salad with some vinaigrette.

* when you used up your tomatoes refill your olive oil making sure covering the remaining tomatoes