Friday, May 6, 2011

Anna Sultana's Bringiel Mimli - Stuffed Eggplant, Maltese Style

Like I said last week, what a time this has been!
Last Monday was Election Day in Canada.
It was time for a change.
We now have a majority government.
The tax money saved from annual elections will be spent on more useful things.
We can only hope.

On to something nearer and dearer to our hearts...
Mother's Day!

You bought something you KNOW she'll like.
You invited your parents for dinner.
The wallet's a little light.

No problem.

Presentation is everything.
Alright, maybe not everything, but sometimes it can cover a multitude of faults.
Like inexpensive ingredients.

I know... I know... you'd like to serve them steaks.
But the budget will only go for ground beef.
Sloppy Joes won't cut it.
Back to presentation.

Go ethnic.
I'm not kidding.

Folks pay big bucks for Pasta con Fagioli in Italian restaurants.
Hey, it's just noodles and beans.
Served with flair.
You know, the guy with the baseball bat-sized pepper mill waltzes around.

Got ground meat, noodles and breadcrumbs?
Pick up two eggplants and you'll wow your Mom.

A small hint: 
After slicing the eggplants, sprinkle the cut parts with salt
and let them sit 15 minutes.
Then wipe off the salt.  This will remove the bitter taste.

Also, if you want this vegetarian style, use that 'veggie ground round' with a little olive oil instead of the meat.

This was a favorite I served when my parents visited us.
I wasn't being cheap.
I just wanted my folks to feel at home in Canada.
And to show them I hadn't forgotten my roots.

                         Brinġiel mimli
grease a baking dish         
preheat oven to 425º        
bake 30 minutes

2 eggplants, which have been halved horizontally

Let cool and scoop out some of the pulp.
(Go easy - you want a firm boat-shaped container left)

1 onion

Fry chopped onion with
1/2 pound ground meat (beef or pork or a combination)

Mix in
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
the scooped-out eggplant pulp
2 eggs, beaten
salt & pepper

Fill the eggplants with the mixture.
Place them, filling side up, in the baking dish

Add to the pan 
about 1/4 inch water
2 tablespoons oil

Combine (more or less, depending on size of eggplants)
1/8 Cup breadcrumbs
1/8 Cup grated cheese (Romano or Parmesan or both)
Sprinkle crumb mixture over top of filling

Bake 30 minutes
Serve hot with your favorite pasta and sauce.
A salad would be nice.

Present the eggplants on your best platter and smile.
And keep your yap shut if Ma asks what's in them.

Give her the recipe in a few days.

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