Sunday, July 1, 2012

Karniyarik (Turkish Meat-Stuffed Eggplant)

4 small eggplants
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup hot water with 1 tbsp crushed tomato

3/4 lb.  ground lamb or ground beef
1 small onion, sliced
1 medium tomato, put aside 4 thin slices, dice the rest
1 small cubanelle pepper, put aside 4 thin slices, chop the rest
1-2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp crushed tomato
3/4 cup hot water

Peel alternating strips of skin lengthwise for each eggplant. Sprinkle salt on top and put aside for about 20 minutes. Squeeze, wash and dry them with a paper towel. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and fry every side until nicely colored. Cut a slit in each eggplant and scoop out most of the seeds, making sure they don't fall apart. Place them in a clean pan.

Meanwhile cook all the filling ingredients in a small pot on medium heat. All the water should evaporate. Stir constantly towards the end.

Fill the eggplants equally with the filling using a teaspoon. Place the sliced tomato and green pepper on each eggplant. Pour 3/4 cup of hot water with 1 tbsp crushed tomato into the pan from the side. Cover the lid. Cook on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.


1. Ground lamb is more common in the actual Turkish recipe, but ground beef works fine, too.

2. I personally like the meat filling with the addition of 1 or 1.5 tablespoons of freshly chopped dill and an equal amount of Italian parsley or cilantro.

3. Any kind of green pepper will do just as well as cubanelles, depending on personal tastes. I'll be using Hatch peppers in the batch I'm making tonight.

4.  They can also have cheese on top during the final stage of cooking; mozzarella or fontina works nicely for this, I've discovered.

5.  Using yogurt as a dipping sauce adds another flavor to the mix; I've also sometimes mixed  a dash (a teaspoon or so) of harissa with the yogurt to spice things up a bit.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Glaze

Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Glaze


2 fresh peaches, halved and pitted but not peeled

3 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

crumbled bleu cheese


1.  In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar, balsamic vinegar, and pepper.  Simmer until liquid has reduced by 1/2; it should become somewhat thicker.  Remove from heat and set aside.

2.  Place cut sides of peaches down on lightly-oiled grill surface.  Cook for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat or until flesh is caramalized.  Turn peaches, brushing the cooked surface lightly with the balsamic glaze, and cook curved surfaces for another 2 - 3 minutes.

3.  Remove peaches from grill; peel should slip off easily at this point.  Place on serving dishes, drizzle more of the balsamic glaze over them, and sprinkle liberally with crumbled bleu cheese.