Monday, August 17, 2015

Kebab Stuffed in Eggplant Pots (Saksı Kebabı)

I could not resist posting another eggplant recipe before the summer season is over. By chance, I found these beautiful looking, organic eggplants and I had to buy them. There are so many Turkish recipes with eggplants, so I like to try something different each time. This recipe I have not made before, but after tasting its deliciousness, I will make it more often. It goes excellent with crusty bread or rice or both!

5 large eggplants (black beauty found in most grocery stores works perfect)
Pot of salty water
2 cups olive oil for frying

For Kebab Stuffing:

1.5 lb cubed beef
8 shishito peppers (or 2-3 long, slim green peppers)
4 medium tomatoes (peeled and diced)
1 large onion (diced)
2 large cloves garlic (chopped)
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp thyme
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 cups of water

For Sauce:

2 cups water
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp salt

For Garnish:

2 sliced tomatoes (optional)
10 shishito peppers (or 2-3 long, slim green peppers)

Heat a pan and place beef cubes. Cook until they release their water and remove from heat. In a pot, heat up olive oil. 

Add onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add peppers and diced tomatoes. Saute another 3-4 minutes. Add beef and garlic to the pot. Add two cups of water. Add salt, cumin, black pepper, thyme. Stir, cover and cook for 1 hour or until the beef is tender.

Wash and dry eggplants. Cut in half and clean inside to create a pot from each half. 

Add to the salty water and let sit for 1 hour. 

Wash eggplants and sprinkle the inside and the outside with salt. Dry and fry until all sides take a golden color.

Place all eggplants in a baking dish with the openings facing up. Fill each pot with stuffing. 

Garnish green peppers and if desired with tomatoes.

In a bowl, whisk the water, tomato paste and salt. Pour over the eggplants. If there is any juice left from the stuffing, pour it over the eggplants also. Bake at 350º F for 1 hour or until the eggplants are completely tender. Serve hot with rice.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Eggplant with Green Lentils (Mualla/Yeşil Mercimekli Patlıcan)

Eggplant is one of my favorite summer vegetables. I don’t seem to be cooking with it as much now since my kids don’t love it. One day, I really craved eggplants so I decided to make something saucy with eggplants. This recipe is traditionally made in Hatay/Antakya (Antioch) region and it is just incredibly delicious. The pomegranate molasses gives it such a good kick. It is particularly delicious with flat bread, but I served it with rice, instead of bread.

2 large eggplants
3 large tomatoes (peeled and diced)
3-4 green peppers (cut in fourths and sliced)
1 large onion (cut in fourths and sliced)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 cup green lentils
1 tbsp red pepper paste
2 tsp crushed red peppers
1 tsp dried mint
1 tsp sumac
2 tsp salt
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
½ tsp thyme
¾ cup olive oil

Peel the eggplants in stripes. Cut each eggplant in eights and slice diagonally. 

Fill a large pot with cold water and add salt. Place the sliced eggplants in salty water and let sit for an hour.

Wash the lentils and place in a small pot. Add two cups of water and boil for 35-40 minutes or until the lentils absorb all the water and are soft.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked lentils, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, sumac, mint, crushed red pepper, red pepper paste, thyme and pomegranate molasses. 

Drain the eggplants and set aside. In the bottom of a large pot place half the lentil mixture. 

Place the eggplant slices on top of the mixture and pour the rest of the lentil mixture on the top. Drizzle with olive oil.


Cook on stove top for 15 minutes on high heat and then turn down the heat and cook for 1 hour. Enjoy with rice.