Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bulghur Stuffed Eggplants

I've been waiting a while to give you my news (which also will explain the oddity of my cooking lately). So here we are, arrived at that time. I am pregnant. I'm at fifteen fetal weeks, and now that the genetic testing has indicated there are no abnormalities with the fetus, I figured it was time to let y'all know. The fetus also was blood tested as female, so her name will be Ilana Alex. 

I originally intended to make these using soujouk, but that didn't work out because the smell of the sausage nauseated me. So instead, we decided to make this dish (mostly) vegan and generally preserve the overarching idea for this eggplant dish. I say "we" because a lot of of the cooking at the house lately has been me coming up with ideas and procedural information, and Ross doing the actual cooking while I run away to avoid smells I don't like, or lay down because I'm tired a lot. It works out well for us, since we enjoy working together in the kitchen (or for the kitchen, from spots across the apartment from one another). He's been pretty amazing at helping to get the food on the table, despite the 12 hour work days he's been doing.

Anyway, this recipe is really, really easy (as with most of them). It's all pretty much assemble and bake, which I like a lot. Hope you enjoy!

8 baby Indian eggplants, or 1 globe eggplant (your call)
1/4 cup bulghur wheat
1/2 - 3/4 cup broth (I used veggie with a little chicken broth tossed in that was leftover from risotto making)
generous pinches of salt
1 celery stalk, minced
1/4 red onion, minced
juice of half lemon

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
generous amount of salt
juice of half lemon

feta if you like it

Cut the tops off the eggplant(s). Hollow them out so there is still at least a half inch of unaltered eggplant at the bottom of the fruit, and a good "wall" left behind to hold in the contents*. Soak the bulghur wheat in the broth (I actually did this in the fridge overnight). Mix together the soaked bulghur, celery, salt, onion and lemon juice. Stuff it into the eggplants. Put the eggplants into a container that most closely fits them, and make your sauce.

Mix together the tomato sauce, salt and lemon juice. Pour over the eggplants. Bake at 350F for 1 hour. If you like, you may sprinkle some feta cheese over everything about 10 minutes before it comes out of the oven. Serves 2.

*You have two options (well, three, but I'm discounting throwing away the innards of the eggplant as a viable option) for the core of the eggplants. You can chop them up finely and add them to your filling, or you can stick them in your stock leavings bag. I suppose you could set them aside for another use too. I put mine in the stock leavings bag, since a little eggplant is nice in a veggie broth sometimes. But when you core your eggplants, do find something fun to do with the meat that isn't in the eggplant anymore.

No picture, because I forgot to take one.

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