Ham stuffed eggplant

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 mediums Sized eggplants; (each about 1 lb.)
⅓ cup Olive oil
8 tablespoons Butter; cut into 1/2\" bits
4 teaspoons Butter; melted
½ cup Onions; finely chopped
½ cup Scallions (including 3\" of tops); finely chopped
1½ teaspoon Garlic; finely chopped
1 cup Drained canned tomatoes; coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon Dried thyme; crumbled
½ teaspoon Ground hot red pepper; (cayenne)
¼ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon Salt
½ pounds Lean smoked ham; finely ground
2¼ cup Soft fresh crumbs made from French or Italian bread
¼ cup Fresh parsley preferably; finely chopped

Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and, with a spoon, hollow out the center of each half to make a boat like shell about ¼" thick. Finely chop the eggplant pulp and set it aside.

In a heavy 12" skillet, heat the olive oil over moderate heat until a light haze forms above it. Add the eggplant shells and turn them about with tongs or a spoon until they are moistened on all sides. Then cover the skillet tightly and cook over moderate heat for 5 or 6 minutes. Turn the shells over and continue to cook, still tightly covered, for 5 minutes longer, or until they are somewhat soft to the touch. Invert the shells on paper towels to drain briefly and arrange them cut side up in a baking dish large enough to hold them snugly in one layer.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drain off the oil remaining in the skillet, add the 8 tablespoons of butter bits and melt them over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions, scallions and garlic and stirring frequently, cook for 5 minutes, or until they are soft but not brown.

Add the reserved chopped eggplant pulp, the tomatoes, thyme, red and black pepper and salt and stirring frequently, cook briskly until most of the liquid in the pan evaporates and the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape almost solidly in a spoon. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the ground ham, 2 cups of the bread crumbs and the parsley. Taste for seasoning.

Spoon the filling into the eggplant shells, dividing it equally among them and mounding it slightly in the centers. sprinkle each shell with 1 tablespoon of the remaining bread crumbs and drizzle 1 teaspoon of the melted butter on top. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes or until the shells are tender and the filling lightly browned. Arrange the ham stuffed eggplant attractively on a large heated platter.

busted by sooz

Recipe by: Key Gourmet

Posted to recipelu-digest by sooz <kirkland@...> on Mar 29, 1998

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