Thursday, August 21, 2014

North End Italian Cookbook Cold Stuffed Eggplant

The North End Italian Cookbook - famous Italian recipes

Eggplant Is Great!

I like eggplant. In fact, I'm growing them in my garden right now.  So when the recipe called for Cold Stuffed Eggplant, I was an easy sale.  The 'cold' part didn't sound that good though.  I thought it was some sort of refrigerated salad thing. But it wasn't. It was clearly a stuffed eggplant, cooked in the oven, and involving meat. 

What About Difficulty

It wasn't the easiest dish I've ever made. And it certainly wasn't the hardest. But it was definitely one of the best.  I'll make this recipe again, soon. I would probably go to someones house and make it for them if they bought the stuff. It really is that good. 

North End Cookbook

My wife's family is Italian. So is this cookbook. It was given to her by Nonni, her mother. It is a well known cookbook. You can still find it on Amazon . It's author Marguerite DiMino Buonopane is well known for her recipes. They are authentic Italian Cuisine. Use any of the links above to read about her.  I like Italian food. I especially like Nonni's Italian food. So I thought I'd make every dish in this cookbook.  I do 'vary' the recipe based on the ingredients on hand, and personal preference. Nonetheless, you can find it below. 

Cold Stuffed Eggplant Ingredients

    Stan Bush's personal flavor rating system.
  • 3 medium-size eggplants
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 mashed garlic cloves
  • 3 ounces canned tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 chopped anchovy fillets
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a drop of Tabasco (optional)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Romano or Pecorino Cheese
  • 1 cup or more fresh bread crumbs

Some Assembly Required: 

  1. Wipe the eggplants with a paper towel and cut in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the pulp, leaving enough to form a shell. Cut the pulp into small cube. Turn the pulp onto paper towels and drain for a half hour. 
  2. Heat 1/4 inch of olive oil in large skillet. Saute the chopped onions and mashed garlic until soft.
  3. Add the chopped eggplant pulp and cook for a few minutes. 
  4. Put the mixture in a large bowl. Add the tomato paste, parsley, anchovies, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and Tabasco. Toss this until well blended.
  5. Brown the meat. Drain and discard the fat. Season the meat with salt and pepper. 
  6. Combine the meat with the eggplant mixture, grated cheese, and just enough bread crumbs to hold the mixture together. Put the filling into the eggplant shells.
  7. Place the filled shells in a baking pan and pour in water or stock to slightly cover the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
  8. Set the pan on the middle rack of a pre-heated 375 degree oven. Bake for 1 hour. Then remove the foil and bake 10 more minutes on the top rack. 
  9. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for a couple of days. Cut into thick slices just prior to eating. 

What I Did Differently

First of all, there's no way I was going to let this cool down. We ate them hot, and we didn't wait for them to cool down. 
I also didn't use 3 eggplants. I used two and stuffed them as much as I could. 
I put more than 3 anchovies in the mix. Not because I'm an anchovy lover. I just knew if I didn't use them, they would get thrown away. 
I used a Tabasco pepper that I grew in my garden. I chopped it up and just put it in the mix. 

This is a really really good dish.  I think the book calls it an appetizer, but it really is a great meal.  You should try it. 

About Potato Chip Sandwich

According to some people, men can't tell time, can't follow directions and can't cook. That's simply not true. The owner and author of the site, me..  can cook. This site is simply a way for me to keep up with my recipes without putting it into my other 10 or so blogs. Everything is Google-ized, so it's connected to all my other stuff. This site gets it's name from road trips when I was in my 20's. By the time we would head home all we could afford was a loaf of bread and some potato chips.

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