kazan kebob (stuffed eggplant kebob)

Italian food is usually simple and easy—we fake it to our satisfaction all the time. But for good middle eastern grub, you need an authentic mother/mother-in-law from the old country. Isgouhi continues to deliver culinary delights for us. This one has a Turkish name coming from her own mom who grew up in Musa Dagh (Turkey) and moved to marry and raise a family in Aleppo, Syria where this recipe had its origins, maybe. (Aleppo was recently referred to by the Philly Inky as a culinary capital, a curious fact we'll have to pursue further elsewhere.)

The first rendition of this recipe was done with the long narrow Chinese eggplants only because there were a lot on hand at the time—but it was so delicious that bob requested a special workshop to check the recipe Isgouhi had dictated to him. No good Chinese eggplants were available at the last minute so the workshop reverted to the traditional recipe. For the first time some weak attempt at quantifying the measurements is made and bob is left speechless. A "pinch" of salt is actually 1/4 teaspoon. Her teaspoon is a really piled high heaping flatware spoon equivalent to at least 2 level measuring teaspoons. Her tablespoons are also piled high. Yikes! No wonder her recipes are never quite the same when we do them. Looks like we'll have to revise all the previously dictated recipes like we did here.

The traditional version was also good but the Chinese eggplants because of their small diameter cross-sections virtually guaranteed both kebob and eggplant in each forkful. In fact when she had done it with them, there was leftover kebob which she pressed around the eggplants as well. Either way, we're big eggplant fans and we'll be doing this ourselves soon.

ingredients

eggplant
2 lb eggplant: about 2 large eggplants or 4 to 6 Chinese eggplants (irregular size)
kebob filling
3/4 - 1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 c fresh parsley, chopped
4 - 5 medium cloves garlic, pressed
1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 T Carolina long grain rice (to absorb oil/fat in meat)
2 t mint
1 t allspice
2 t paprika
1/8 t cayenne red pepper
1/4 t meat tenderizer
2 t salt
3/4 t black pepper
1 1/2 T tomato paste
1 lemon, juice of
sauce
5/8 c water
1 T tomato paste
1/4 - 1 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 lemon, juice of

instructions

  1. Peel the eggplants lengthwise, leaving alternating strips of skin for presentation (optional). Cut them crosswise in 1/2 inch slices which stop short of cutting through the bottom, to hold them together.
  2. Immerse the eggplants in salted water (put a plate over them to hold them under) and let sit 10 minutes for regular eggplants, 1/2 hour for chinese eggplants. Then squeeze out the water.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the kebob ingredients and mix together well.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients.
  5. Press the meat into a wedge between each pair of eggplant slices to a 1/2 inch separation at the top, causing the eggplant to curl around in an arc.
  6. Arrange in a pressure cooker and pour the sauce evenly over the eggplants, most of which will end up at the bottom so that the pressure cooker can do its job.
  7. Bring to a boil without locking the cover, then if you are able to test for spices, do it and adjust at this point. ani can do this. bob cannot.
  8. Lock the cover and cook 10 minutes (quick release) or 7 minutes (slow release).

notes

  1. bob forgot his camera so he had to borrow Isgouhi's (which bob and ani had picked up as a gift in a rare NYC weekend visit) for the cooking school shots.
kazankbb.htm: 8-aug-2001 [what, ME cook? 1984 dr bob enterprises]