Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Around the World!

Amanda and I have started a new adventure, we're going to start eating and cooking our way around the world! Each month we are going to pick a different country/culture/region and find a restaurant that specializes in that food. After eating at the restaurant we schedule a second date to attempt make a dish inspired by our restaurant visit. The only rule is if we have eaten that type of food before, we have to try a new dish. For example: when we go to a Thai restaurant I am not allowed to order Pad Thai because it's my favorite and I've had it a bazillion times.
For November we decided on Greek and went to Zorba's in Fairmount.  We got a sampler platter of various dips (delicious!), a sampler of charcoal grilled meats (mostly good, not a huge lamb fan), and a stuffed eggplant dish (yummy!). We decided to recreate the eggplant dish, called Imam Bayildi on our own. We did not do a very good job. Our dish was fine but it felt like it was lacking a certain layer of flavors. The feta cheese was a life saver and added a nice pop of flavor. Oh well, in the very least Mr. Lawyer and I have had many veggies this week! We've had two vegetarian dishes, eggs and veggies, and veggies with fish. Oh so healthy!
Imam Bayildi
2 medium to large eggplants
1 large onion (white or yellow)
4 garlic cloves
Olive oil (for sautéing)
5-6 tomatoes
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoons white sugar
1 can of pureed tomatoes
1-2 T tomato paste (to thicken sauce if needed)
Salt/Pepper to taste
Feta for sprinkling
1. Chop onion and sauté in large pan until transluscent. Add garlic to pan for an additional minute or so. Remove onion and garlic from pan and add to bowl of chopped tomatoes.
2. Take both eggplants and slice down middle, scoop out a little of the flesh to make them easier to stuff.
3. In a bowl mix tomato puree, lemon juice and sugar.
4. Put eggplants skin down back into large sauté pan. Stuff with tomato, onions and garlic. Pour the tomato puree/lemon/sugar mixture on top.
5. Cover pan w/ lid and simmer on top of stove for 45 minutes.
6. After 45 minutes, remove lid and let simmer for an additional 15 minutes until eggplant is extremely tender. Add tomato paste if you’d like sauce to be thicker.
7. Before serving, sprinkle with feta!
Holy Moley! That's a lot of eggplant. 

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