I recently saw a post on social media that inspired me to make a sausage stuffed eggplant. I am used to doing eggplant rollatini so this was not a radical idea. My version does use house made Italian Sausage and pomodoro sauce. But the process will easily work with store bought items. I liked this dish enough it will show in my classes at Alvin Community College Culinary Arts.
Ingredients for this dish include:
olive oil as needed salt and pepper egg plant, large 1 pomodoro sauce approximately 3 cups (+ or -) Bulk Italian Sausage approximately 1 lb Fresh Mozzarella Cheese approximately 8 slices Yellow onion 1/2 ea
This what we want to end up with.
The recipe starts with sliced egg plant. I normally cut this by hand but tried using my mandoline this time. I am sold on it! Nice uniform slices, quick, easy, clean up is quick too! These slices are about a 1/4 inch thick.
The next step is to grill the egg plant. I used a cast iron griddle pan on my gas range. Before the eggplant was grilled I brushed it with olive oil and seasoned it with salt and pepper. While the eggplant was grilling on the first side, I brushed the other side with olive oil and seasoned it too. You want the egg plant to cook through but not be overcooked
After egg plant was grilled I sauteed the Italian sausage with some diced onion. Here is the sausage cooked through.
The grilled eggplant is laid out in a criss cross pattern. A medallion of fresh mozzarella cheese is placed the center of each eggplant stack.
The cooked sausage goes right on top of the cheese. The reason the cheese goes first is that when this is fully wrapped and turned over the cheese will be on top. This will allow it to melt down into the sausage during the cooking process.
The first wrapping: Fold in the sides of the egg plant layer the cheese and sausage are on.
Now fold over the remaining "leaves" of egg plant and turn the entire thing over. This holds the eggplant in place. The alternate folds of eggplant, help keep the filling inside during cooking and serving.
Have your pomodoro sauce hot. Cover the bottom of a baking dish with sauce and lay the eggplant bundles on the sauce.
I like things saucy!
These baked for about 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven. When they were bubbling hot, I added a small amount of cheese on top of each eggplant bundle to mark it's location.
The finished eggplant is served with a side of pasta. With the sausage, this dish actually seemed lighter than rollatinis made just with cheese.
I hope you try this. It really is easy, nice to look at, tastes wonderful too. It pairs nicely with a salad for a dinner party. You can assemble the dish up to the point of putting it in the oven and keep it in your refrigerator until you are ready to cook (just use cold or barely warm sauce). Pull it out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you want to put it in the oven.
It has been a while since I posted on this blog. I have thought of it but, time is precious, it seems. I have recently started making Kimchi. So when the opportunity presented itself, I took photos of the process. This is the recipe we use in our culinary arts classes at: http://www.alvincollege.edu
I will intersperse instructions with the photos. I will also post the recipe in it's entirety at the end of this post. I made a half recipe. Like many recipes of this type, the amount of ingredients you use can fluctuate without drastically altering the outcome. So, when the recipe calls for one bunch of mustard greens for a full batch I used the full bunch instead of half. Here you go:
Dissolve 1 cup salt in 1/2 gallon water. Soak cabbage in the salt water for 3 to 4 hours.
This photos shows the cut Chinese mustard greens with the green onion and grated Asian radish (Daikon).
Combine garlic, ginger, and fish sauce or shrimp in food processor or blender until finely minced. I used an immersion blender in a coffee cup for this step since the amount is small.
In large bowl, combine radish, green onions, mustard greens, garlic mixture, chili powder, 1 tablespoon salt and optional sugar. Toss gently but thoroughly. (If mixing with your hands, be sure to wear rubber gloves to avoid chili burn.)
This photo shows the cabbage having been combined with the mustard green and spices. The cabbage is drained, rinsed and squeezed to push out as much moisture as possible before it is added.
Here the cabbage kimchi has been put into a 1 gallon freezer ziplock bag. All air has been removed from the bag. It tastes good at this stage, even without any fermentation :-).
This later the same day. You can see that vegetable mixture is giving off liquid. This one of the things that occurs in this process.
This is the next morning. You can see that liquid is even with the top of the vegetable mixture. If you look close you can see some tiny bubbles that are a product of fermentation.
More signs of life. :-) At this stage the bag is getting slightly puffy for the gas.
Another shot of the fermentation that ongoing. The bag is even puffier.
And a last shot of the fermentation process. Note the size of the bubbles is larger. You can leave the kimchi at room temperature until you are happy with the flavor. Refrigerate it when you are happy with the degree of fermentation. Refrigeration will not stop the fermentation but will slow it down. I hope you enjoy. Here is the recipe in full.
Yield: 1 gallon
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt water
2 heads Napa cabbage, cut into quarters or 2-inch wedges, depending on size of cabbage
1 bulb garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 (2-inch) piece of ginger root
1/4 cup fish sauce or Korean salted shrimp
1 Asian radish, peeled and grated
1 bunch mustard greens, washed and cut into 1 – 2 inch squares
1 bunch of green onions, cut into 1-inch lengths
1/2 cup Korean chili powder
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Sesame oil (optional)
Sesame seeds (optional)
1. Dissolve 1 cup salt in 1/2 gallon water. Soak cabbage in the salt water for 3 to 4 hours.
2. Combine garlic, ginger, and fish sauce or shrimp in food processor or blender until finely minced.
3. In large bowl, combine radish, green onions, mustard greens, garlic mixture, chili powder, 1 tablespoon salt and optional sugar. Toss gently but thoroughly. (If mixing with your hands, be sure to wear rubber gloves to avoid chili burn.)
4. Remove cabbage from water and rinse thoroughly. Drain cabbage in colander, squeezing as much water from the leaves as possible.
5. Take cabbage and stuff radish mixture between leaves, working from outside in, starting with largest leaf to smallest. Do not overstuff, but make sure radish mixture adequately fills leaves. When entire cabbage is stuffed, take one of the larger leaves and wrap tightly around the rest of the cabbage. Divide cabbage among 4 (1-quart) jars or 1-gallon jar, pressing down firmly to remove any air bubbles. (I use gallon ziplock freezer bags and press out all the air.)
6. Let sit for 2 to 3 days in a cool place before serving. Remove kimchi from jar and slice into 1-inch-length pieces. If serving before kimchi is fermented, sprinkle with a little bit of sesame oil and sesame seeds. Refrigerate after opening.
I cut the Nappa Cabbage into rough pieces approximately 2 – 3 inch square.
The process noted above of stuffing the cabbage is the traditional method. With my method I do not need to cut it to serve it.
Soaking the cut cabbage for 2 hours works. Flex as you need.
This recipe tastes good from the start. Let it ferment at room temp until you are happy with it then refrigerate which slows down the fermentation cycle. It is garlicky and spicy.