Thursday, September 12, 2013

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

Got an e mail about a recipe I posted about two years ago.
That's stuffed eggplant, Maltese style.
Is there a variation?
Of course there is.

Eggplant isn't quite as popular as potatoes, tomatoes and corn.
At least not for many North Americans.
Which is a shame.

Eggplant is low in fat and carbohydrates. 
A 1998 study in Brazil found that eggplant juice reduces weight and cholesterol.
Don't get excited - if you're on medication stay with it.
And eggplant has a weird side...
There's a bit of nicotine in it. 
Don't get scared - 20 pounds of eggplant has as much nicotine as a cigarette.

But some people do get itchy skin or mouth, mild headache, and stomach upset after handling or eating eggplant. 
Eggplant is high in histamines.
Cooking gets rid of most of the problem, but some people still react.
So, if you get allergic reactions, be a little careful if this is your first time.

I'm hoping you will try eggplant and that you won't have any problems.
Because eggplant can be delicious.
Especially the way Ma cooked it.

A small hint: 
After slicing the eggplants lengthwise, sprinkle the 2 cut surfaces with salt
and let them sit 15 minutes.
Then wipe off the salt.  This will remove the bitter taste.

If you want this vegetarian style, you can use that 'veggie ground round'.
Add a little olive oil to replace the animal fat.

                         Brinġiel mimli
grease a baking dish         
preheat oven to 425º        
bake 45 minutes

4 eggplants
Halve length-wise and prepare (see above)
Parboil for 5 minutes.
Let cool and scoop out some of the pulp.
(Go easy - you want a firm boat-shaped container left.)

In a large deep skillet pour
2 Tablespoons olive oil 
Heat oil over medium heat.
200 grams ground pork
50 grams bacon, chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 Cup bread crumbs

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

Sprinkle over top of filling
grated cheese (Romano or Parmesan or a combination)
Bake about 45 minutes, depending on how crusty you like the top surface.

Serve hot with your favourite pasta and sauce and a salad.
Hot rice or a crusty loaf of bread would also work.

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