Mediterranean meatball-eggplant subs

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
1 pounds Lean Ground Beef
14 ounces Basil Seasoned Spaghetti Sauce; 1 Jar
1 medium Eggplant
4½ tablespoon Olive Oil; Divided
1 medium Red Onion
¼ pounds Mushrooms
4 eaches French Bread Sandwich Rolls Or Baguettes; 6-8 Inches Long
4 ounces Provolone Cheese; 4 Slices

Slice the eggplant into ½ to ¾ inch steaks and place on a plate, sprinkling with salt and let drain for 30 minutes. Form the ground beef into twelve 1½-inch diameter meatballs. Cook them in a pot, over low heat, rotating them frequently to brown evenly and prevent them from sticking. Cook them for 7 to 10 minutes, then drain off the excess fat from the pot and add the spaghetti sauce. Leave simmering to ensure the meatballs are well done. Slice the onion into thin rings and coarsely chop the mushrooms into irregular chunks and set them aside. Thoroughly rinse the eggplant steaks and then pat them dry. Heat 3 Tb of the olive oil and gently saute the eggplant over medium heat, cooking for 5 to 7 minutes or until soft in the center, being sure to cook evenly on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and let drain. Add the remaining 1 ½ Tb of olive oil to the pan and begin sauteing the onions at a fairly low heat -- the goal is to make them caramelize.

Cook for 4 minutes and then add the mushrooms, turning the heat up just a touch. If there is not enough moisture in the pan, add a few drops of water to help steam through the mushrooms. Cook for about 10 to 12 minutes. Slice the baguettes lengthwise and separate the tops from the bottoms. Layer the bottom pieces of bread with a thin layer of eggplant steaks and then cover with 3 meatballs. Spoon on a generous amount of the extra spaghetti sauces and amply distribute the onions and mushrooms over the meatballs. Place a slice of provolone cheese on each sandwich and put them under the broiler until the cheese has melted. Remove from the8broiler, put on the bread tops and serve. Andy leftover eggplant and meatballs may be served beside the sandwiches.

Total Preparation And Cooking Time: 45 Minutes to 1 Hour.

Tip: A lower fat alternative is to drain and rinse the eggplant steaks as noted above. Place them on a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Microwave the steaks for 7 to 10 minutes or until very soft. It is not necessary to add any oil.

From: The Colorado Beef Cookoff Folder Submitted by: Barbara Steinberg, Boulder Colorado Posted by: Rich Harper

Submitted By RICH HARPER On 11-07-94

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