Stuffed Eggplant

Stuffed Eggplant Fixins
Stuffed Eggplant Fixins

Since summertime 2014, most Tuesday dinners involved some items or spices typically associated with Mexican food and were called, in a name widely used elsewhere, Taco Tuesdays. It seldom involved tacos, but often involved the leanest ground beef with taco seasoning. (I could write a mini-book with those recipes; maybe I will someday.)

My daughter’s favorite of those meals is a casserole featuring all the items in this dish, but I added a new item last night when I made this for the first dinner cooked in the new kitchen. Eggplant. I called it Stuffed Eggplant as an April Fools’ bit of misdirection, but it is, in fact, roasted, lightly-seasoned eggplant as both the bottom and top layer and it has a lot of stuff in between. In the Fixins photo, clockwise from the far left, roasted eggplant on a cookie sheet which is balanced on the seasoned taco meat in the almost-square cast iron pan, crispy bacon, caramelized yellow onions, red potatoes roasted with garlic, a cheddar cheese sauce seasoned with chipotle in adobo sauce and some sliced red bell pepper. The dish does not lack for preparation

Roasted eggplant base, fillings
Roasted eggplant base, fillings

That is the 2-quart Corningware casserole, first sprayed with olive oil, then the bottom layer of roasted eggplant is placed. I put the taco meat, roasted potatoes and raw red bell peppers in three sections in the big fry pan to make sure the onion would be a part of each section, then poured it over the eggplant layer. The stuffing topped with one more layer of eggplant, all it then needed was the cheddar chipotle sauce with the bacon pieces in it poured over, several jabs with the handle of a wooden spoon to distribute the sauce a bit more, then a small sprinkle of shredded sharp cheddar and 1/2 hour in the oven at 350 degrees F.

It was tasty stuff.

(And the eggplant added its buttery wonderfulness as well.)

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