Friday, September 17, 2010

Eggplant Casserole

Over the last few years, I've been obsessed with all things eggplant.

Fried eggplant.
Eggplant parmigiana.
Baked eggplant.
Eggplant chips.

You name it! If I'm at a restaurant and eggplant is on the menu, that's what I'm having. Over a year ago one of my colleagues brought an eggplant dish to work, eggplant casserole. Yum! I had to know how to make it. Her mom sent me her recipe, and I'm just now trying it out. I was always intimidated by the sheer idea of picking out an eggplant. From what I've been told, you just pick one up. There's no rhyme or reason to selecting one. So that's what I did. Here's the recipe as I prepared it tonight:

1 lb ground meat

Cut eggplant in half, then cube. Peel.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Place eggplant cubes in water. Boil until tender, about 10 min.

Brown ground meat with onions, green onions, & garlic. Season meat to taste. Drain.

Drain eggplant in colander.

Combine eggplant, ground meat, & breadcrumbs in a casserole dish. Add more seasoning to taste.

Top with a thin layer of breadcrumbs.

Bake 30-45 minutes or until top and sides have browned.

Here's the recipe without images:

Eggplant Casserole
1 eggplant
1 lb ground meat (I use extra lean)

Boil a pot of water.
Cut eggplant in half, then into slices. Peel and cube.
Place cubes of eggplant in boiling water.
Boil until tender when pierced with a fork. Approximately 10 minutes. Drain.

Brown ground meat. Season with onions, green onions, garlic, and seasoning (I use Tony Chachere's). Drain.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine eggplant, ground meat, and bread crumbs in a casserole dish. Add additional seasoning to taste. Top with thin layer of breadcrumbs.

Bake for 30-45 min or until top & sides are done.

Changes I will make next time:
  • use 2 eggplants for 1 lb of ground meat, I wanted more eggplant in it
  • add more seasoning (onion, garlic, green onion, and bellpepper)
I wonder how good this would be with mushroom instead of ground meat. I think I'll try it with 1/2 pound of meat and add mushrooms to fill it out. Just a thought...

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