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Friday, October 1, 2010

Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan

Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan Created by me, Christine  ;)

This recipe is perfect for all of you that love eggplant Parmesan but would like an easier way to get all of the great flavors and textures. I whipped this up in no time when I had a craving for eggplant Parmesan.Parmesan but didn't want to invest a whole lot of time. Give it a whirl!

The ingredients can be adjusted in oh so many ways. You can keep it veggie and add any variety of veggies to the stuffing  or add ground meat, sausage...you get the idea ;)

I'm going to just jot down what I put in mine because this is what I had on hand and I'm guessing on the measurements as I'm ...yeah one of THOSE cooks;) 

1 medium fresh eggplant (when looking for a really great eggplant, look for one that is heavy for it's size, a good pure purple color with no wrinkles and no inney belly button :)
1/2 chopped onion
1 stalk of celery
1/2 green pepper
1 T olive oil
1 egg slightly beaten
1 C bread crumbs
1C ricotta cheese
1C cottage cheese
1 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 C Parmesan cheese
1 14 oz can of tomato sauce
Oregano, basil, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste

Wash and cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Do not cut the ends off. Cut out the flesh of eggplant as close to the skin as possible w/o cutting into the skin. I used a grapefruit knife. Roughly chop eggplant flesh. Set aside. Roughly chop celery, onion and green pepper. In you favorite skillet, heat and add olive oil. If you need iron in your diet I encourage you to use a cast iron skillet. Saute celery, onion and green peppers until slightly soft but still crunchy and firm in the middle to give the stuffing texture. Add spices and salt and pepper to taste. Then add chopped eggplant. Saute until eggplant is soft. This happens rather quickly. Cool a little then add ricotta cheese, cottage cheese and 1/4 Parmesan cheese. Stir until well mixed. Then add egg and 1/2 C bread crumbs. Combine til well mixed. In a somewhat shallow baking dish add 1T olive oil and place the eggplant shells. Stuff shells evenly with stuffing mixture. Pour the can of tomato sauce over eggplant to ensure the stuffing and eggplant skins have a layer of sauce. The sauce will go down into the pan. I want you to use the whole can as this will make a quick marinara sauce all on it's own while baking. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. At the end of that time take dish out, top with shredded mozzarella, then with the bread crumbs, sprinkle with a little more spices then finish the topping off with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until you get a golden and crusty topping. When the cooking is complete, let it rest for about 15 minutes to set.

I served this with chapatti garlic bread and a fresh green tossed salad with homemade dressings of choice.

Gosh! Writing this out makes it seem much more labor intensive then it is. It was a slam dunk for me!

If you try and like this recipe please let me know as I come up with so many creations and want some input. Any input is appreciated as I am a pantry/refrigerator cook and I think that I'm going to actually start writing my recipes down. I think that sometimes I hit home runs and would love to share!

Have fun in the kitchen! Food is the one thing that we ALL have in common! Enjoy!

Sorry no pics:( We were too hungry!

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