Cheese Stuffed Eggplant
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4 Japanese eggplants
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
4 tablespoons goat cheese or ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg, separated
1/4 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 head Roasted Garlic
2/3 cup Chicken Stock
Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, leaving the stems attached. Score the flesh with a sharp knife, making sure you don't cut through the skin. Rub the cut surfaces with 1/4 teaqspoon of the salt. Set the eggplant halves, cut-side-down, on paper towels and drain for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the cut surfaces of the eggplant halves with the olive oil and place them, cut-side-down on an 18 by 13-inch (46 by 33-cm) nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. The eggplants will not cook completely through, the skin and flesh will just be softened. Cool for 30 minutes.
Gently scoop the pulp from the partially cooked eggplants, reserving the skins intact (the stem makes a good handle), and place in a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, the goat or ricotta cheese, the remaining salt, the pepper, egg yolk, bread crumbs. sun-dried tomatoes and roasted garlic. Process just until mixed, about 30 seconds.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whip the egg white in a small bowl with a hand mixer until stiff. Fold into the eggplant mixture with a rubber spatula. Fill the reserved eggplant skins with the eggplant mixture, mounding it slightly. Place in a 9 by 13-inch (23 by 33-cm) baking dish and pour the chicken stock around them. (The stock may go up to the edge of the eggplant halves, but don't worry, it evaporates quickly in the oven.) Sprinkle the stuffed eggplant halves with the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.
Wine Suggestion: Merlot
©2013 Nick Stellino Productions