Stuffed Baby Eggplants (Imam Bayaldi)
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Yield: 12 Ready in 1 hours
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Stuffed Baby Eggplants (Imam Bayaldi) Preparation
The name of this popular Turkish dish means "the Imam (priest) fainted." There are two thoughts on how this name was derived: The first is that the priest fainted with pleasure at the wonderful rich taste; the second is that he fainted due to the copious amount of oil used to create the recipe. We greatly reduced the oil but retained the wonderful flavor. For a buffet menu, the baby eggplants are a perfect choice as the portion size is smaller. Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Using a melon bailer or small spoon, carefully scoop out flesh, leaving about 1/2 inch and keeping the skin of eggplant intact. Finely chop flesh and set aside. Arrange eggplant shells in large skillet that will hold them snugly. In medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes, Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add tomatoes, reserved eggplant flesh, parsley, bay leaf and cinnamon. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat; discard bay leaf and fill eggplant shells with mixture (they will be very full). In small bowl, mix remaining oil, lemon juice, reserved tomato juice and sugar. Pour over stuffed eggplants. Cover and cook over low heat until eggplants are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from hear and allow to cool in skillet. Carefully transfer eggplants to a serving platter, reshaping if necessary. Spoon pan juices over and around eggplants. Serve warm, at room temperature, or covet and chill to serve cold. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired. PER SERVING: 68 CAL.; 1G PROT.; 4G TOTAL FAT (1G SAT. FAT); 8G CARB.; 0 CHOL.; 176MG SOD.; 1G FIBER.. Recipe by: Vegetarian Times Magazine, August 1998, page 42
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