I probably won’t give a complete run down of the recipe every time, but I played around with it so much that I wanted to write it out.
I was an extremely picky eater as a kid, and eggplant was one of the many foods I refused to eat. In fact, I hated anything that had a mushy texture, and to this day, cooked carrots make me gag. However, at some point in college, I tried a Middle-Eastern eggplant dish and completely fell in love with the fruit (yes, it is technically a fruit).
Giuseppe Filianoti’s recipe is not translated well. In fact, there are no cooking instructions. I had to improvise. Also, I think there are issues with the ingredient translation. I had to eyeball everything. Why not use the handwritten recipe and type it into Google translate, you ask? Because the man’s handwriting is hard to read. It probably would have been okay if I actually understood Italian. Trust me, I tried the Google translate.
I also had to use substitutes for certain ingredients. The only good Italian deli here is on the other side of the city, and with traffic, it would have taken at least an hour for the trip. That’s one of the things I miss about living in Jersey - we had several great Italian delis within a ten minute drive of our house (I mean, the mob runs everything in Jersey, right? lol). Instead of scarmoza, I used mozzarella, and instead of mortadella, I used regular pork sausages.
Also, the ingredient list says olive oil, but there are no directions for using the olive oil or actually cooking the dumplings. From the picture in the cookbook, I’m guessing you use the olive oil to deep fry the dumplings. Here’s my issue with that - extra virgin olive oil (the only one I had) is not ideal for frying b/c of EVOO’s low smoking point. I think regular olive oil is okay, but why would anyone spend money on crappy non EVOO that has little flavor? SO, I used canola oil instead. Also, I baked half of the dumplings because that is so much healthier.
Woo minced parsley!
This was the finished product.
-2 small eggplants
-1 bunch parsley (minced)
-1 garlic (chopped)
-2 eggs (I would recommend you use more eggs - my fix felt a little dry)
-1/2 block of parmesan, grated (1/3 cup?)
-1/2 block of pecorino, grated (1/3 cup?)
-1 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used the Japanese Panko breadcrumbs from Trader Joe’s)
-1/3 cup mozzarella
-salt and pepper
1. Peel half of each eggplant, dice them. Bring them to boil in water then simmer for 8-10 minutes. Drain and let them rest for 2 hours.
2. Squeeze water from eggplant. Add parsley and garlic. Add eggs and season with salt and pepper. Add pecorino, parmesan, and 1 cup of the breadcrumbs. Knead.
3. Dice mozzarella and sausages. Form balls from eggplant dough and place 1-2 pieces of cheese and meat in centre and cover them. Roll the balls in remaining breadcrumbs.
4. Deep fry in canola oil for 10 minutes. OR, bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
After I ate two of these, I promptly finished a bowl of pineapple. I always feel so gross after fried foods. Also, given my field of work, I should try to live a healthy lifestyle, so I don’t become one of those “Do as I say, not as I do,” people.
I just made and finished an entire pot of mac and cheese. I would like to say never again, but we all know that’s not true.