This time a dish which is one of my own favorites. You can prepare these eggplant wraps with either meat balls, boneless chicken, lamb or beef meat. I really cannot decide which I prefer; I like them both with meat balls and with lamb meat. This recipe is with lamb meat.
As usual with eggplants, peel them to look like they are wearing pyjamas. Soak them up in water to cover with salt. You may want to put a plate or a pot to make sure every part of the eggplants are in the water. This is done to get rid of the black and sour water in the eggplants. Do not slice them before putting them in the water. You will be frying them afterwards, and would not want them all wet. Keep them in the water for about half an out. Wash them under running water. Then squeeze out the excess water and dry with either a clean kitchen towel or a paper towel. Then slice them to 2 mm thin, vertical slices. Finally fry them either in the oven or on the stove. Both with olive oil. The oven option will be will less mess. Just put them in a glass oven proof dish and brush them with olive oil. Turn sides if necessary.
Meanwhile start cooking the meat as described in the recipe below. Don’t forget to add a bay leaf to hide the lamb smell, as some one might not like it. Also make fat peel cuts of tomato, to use decorating on top of the eggplant wraps. Use the remaining seedy part of the tomato in the meat stuffing. Also prepare the green banana peppers, cutting similar sizes to tomatoes.
Now it is time to assemble; first put everything around you as seen in t the picture below. The easiest way to make a nice wrap is to use a small bowl. Place the fried eggplant slices criss cross in a small bowl. In the middle put a table spoon of meat mixture. Cover the slices up. Turn the eggplant wrap upside down. First stick a garlic clove, then a piece of pepper and then a slice of tomato and finally the eggplant wrap.
Finally cook as in wraps for some more. You can cook on the stove or in the oven. I would go for the oven if I chose to fry in the oven in the first place, as the oven will be warm any way. If not the stove is just as fine.
Wash and peel the eggplants in vertical strips. Add a tsp of salt. Keep them in this water for about 30 minutes so the bitter taste and water comes out.
To fry; after 30 minutes, drain the water, wash and dry with kitchen paper towels. Cut into vertical slices as thin as possible about 2mm. Fry lightly in heated olive oil both sides. Take them out of the skillet on to a plate with a paper towel on it. So the extra oil soaks out.
If you don’t want to fry you can do the frying in the oven; after 30 minutes, drain the water, wash. Place an oven paper on an oven tray. Cut into vertical slices as thin as possible about 2mm. Place the eggplant slices side by side and brush both sides with olive oil. Cook both sides until well done.
It is faster to use a pressure cooker to prepare the meat. If you choose to use a normal pan increase the amount of water by at least half a glass. This recipe is suggesting lamb pieces, however you can choose to put beef pieces (cook a little longer) or meat balls or even chicken pieces (cook a little less) make sure that there are no bones in your meat which ever you choose cook before packing up your meat with eggplant slices.
Add olive oil to your cooker. Heat it up slightly. Add your meat, cook stirring until the meat leaves and then soaks up its water and changes color.
Add a tea spoon of flour and mix well with the meat.
Chop the onions and add. Continue to stir and cook until the onions are well done.
Add 3 sliced garlic cloves. Sauté for 2 more minutes.
Chop to small pieces one of the banana peppers and add and stir.
To stick on the tooth picks peel the tomatoes really thick cutting also most of the tomato flesh but leaving out the seeds. Grate the parts with the seeds and add to the pot. Save the peels for the eggplant packages.
Add salt, black pepper, cumin, all spice, 1 bay leaf.
Add ½ glass of water if the tomato hasn’t already given out enough water and cover the lid.
Cook for about 5-10 minutes if you are using a pressure cooker. If you will not use a pressure cooker cook for about half an hour.
While the meat is getting ready, cut medium sized square pieces from the remaining banana pepper.
Peel and cut into two 6 garlic cloves.
Place two pieces of eggplant criss cross into a small soup plate. Put a table spoon of the meat mixture in the middle and fold over the sides to cover up. Gently turn it upside down and place this little bunch into an oven tray. You can also cook in a wide, medium height pan. Get a tooth pick and stick a garlic clove (or half of it), and then a cube of green banana pepper and a slice of thick tomato peel and then the eggplant bunch. Repeat until the eggplant and the filling is finished.
There will be some remaining water in the pot/pressure cooker you have cooked the meat in. Add some more grated tomato and/or tomato paste to color if necessary and some salt and pour along the eggplant wraps.
Cook in a preheated oven to 200 degrees or on the stove.
Cook until the peppers on the toothpicks are cooked. About 10 minutes.