A long name to an amazing dish…
You know how you have a set of ingredients and you close your eyes for a second and visualise what you want to do with them…
so here’s what happened…
I had eggplants
and of course let’s not forget the fresh herbs!
And I remembered this dish my mom makes where she sautés the meat with the peppers and mushrooms and finally sprinkles mozzarella cheese over it and bakes it until the cheese melts..
So I thought of doing the same thing, and instead of putting them in a baking dish, putting them in eggplants first :))
And I’m glad I did…turned out great!
Eggplants lined on a baking sheet ready to go into the oven
Baked eggplants…beautiful and golden!
Stuffed eggplants with tomato sauce…almost there!
If you’re not into cheese, you can just omit it and have them like this…they’re amazing anyway!
Or better yet…sprinkle mozzarella cheese and put into the oven until the cheese melts! Yummy!!
Eggplant Canoes with Meat, Peppers and Mushrooms (the dish with the long name) ;)
2 long eggplants peeled in stripes and sliced in half
A large bowl of water with 2 tablespoons of salt dissolved in it
Meat Filling Ingredients
500 grams cubed meat
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
250 grams mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cubed
1 yellow pepper, cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Fresh basil, thyme, oregano, finely chopped ( a sprig of basil; 2 teaspoons of thyme and oregano)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (Optional)
Tomato Sauce Ingredients
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons red pepper paste (Optional)
1/4 cup hot water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Baking the Eggplants
1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (420 degrees F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Put the eggplants in the bowl of water and salt and let soak for 15 minutes. Drain the water and gently squeeze the water out of the eggplants. Pat dry the eggplants with a paper towel and place the eggplants on the baking sheet, cut side up.
3. Bake eggplants for 15 minutes in preheated oven.
Preparing the Meat Filling
1. Put the butter and olive oil in a large pan on high heat. When the butter has melted, add the meat.
2. Cook meat on high heat for 20-25 minutes. (I use hight heat so the juices could release and evaporate quickly and the meat doesn’t become rubbery).
3. Add garlic and onions and cook while stirring occasionally for 3 minutes.
4. Add mushrooms and let cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add peppers, and cook for a further 3 minutes while stirring occasionally.
6. Stir in the seasoning (salt, pepper flakes, basil, thyme, oregano), turn heat down to medium and cover pan. Cook for a further 15 minutes; remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.
Prepare tomato sauce
1. In a small bowl, combine all the tomato sauce ingredients and mix until smooth.
Preparing the Eggplant Canoes
1. Place baked eggplants in a baking dish.
2. With a spoon, gently press down on the cut side of the eggplants to mash up the eggplants and shape them like a canoe. (you can check this post to see more details).
3. Fill the centre of the eggplants with the meat, pepper and mushroom filling.
4. Pour tomato sauce over eggplants.
5. Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated oven.
6. Remove from oven, add shredded mozzarella, and put back in oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts.
7. Remove and serve with rice.