Almost Turkish Recipes

Eggplant-Meatball Casserole (Fırında Köfteli Patlıcan)

























This delicious eggplant and meatball recipe was highly inspired by another recipe I found at one of Turkey's most popular and successful food blogs: portakal ağacı. In her blog Hatice, tells that she got the recipe from an aunt (in Turkey you call all the elderly ladies "aunt X or Y" for respect regardless of your blood relation to them) and that it's called "Antep kebap" (Antep Kebabı). I liked the idea of having meatballs and eggplant--my favorite vegetable--but I didn't follow the recipe strictly. I think this is the good side of casserole dishes; they give you room for flexibility. In the end it turned out to be a light and tasty recipe.

I particularly like meatball casserole dishes, because (1) they are really easy to make and (2) in the end they are delicious. I usually make meatballs from 2 lb of ground lamb and beef. Later I freeze meatballs and use them whenever I need them. As you can imagine, when you have already made frozen meatballs, making any kind of meatball casserole dish takes almost no time.

























2-3 eggplants, peeled in stripes and cut in 1 inch rounds
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 or 1/2 banana pepper for each meatball
1 big onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
salt

for meatball (I used half of the meatballs from this batch for the recipe; the other half went straight to the freezer)1 lb ground meat
1-2 slice of stale bread, processed in a food processor or grated
1 eggs
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1 big clove of garlic, minced
1 onion, grated or finely chopped
1/2 parsley, finely chopped
(the original recipe didn't ask for cumin, oregano leaves, onion, and garlic for the meatball part)

-Mix well all the ingredients for meatball in a bowl and make round , half inch thick meatballs.
-Peel the eggplants in stripes and cut them in rounds. Place the rounds in a casserole.
-Place one meatball on each eggplant round.
-Scatter chopped onion and garlic on meatballs.
-Underneath onion and garlic, you'll still see your small eggplant and meatball towers; put one slice of tomato and one or half banana pepper (or any pepper you want) on each eggplant+meatball tower.
-Salt to your taste and pour 1/4 cup of alive oil on top.
-Cover tight with aluminum foil and bake for an hour at a preheated oven at 450F. After an hour uncover, and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

I served eggplant and meatball casserole with bulgur pilaf and yogurt.

9 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:14 PM

    Hi,
    I recently discovered this site and I must congratulate you on your effort. Everything looks so delicious. I have now saved you in my favourites..

    Sidika

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  2. I love the idea of making meatballs ahead and freezing them, and then having them available for dishes like this one. I'm going to try it!

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  3. Recipes shouldm't have to be followed to the letter, that's what makes it so fun and addictive to be a cook. I am sure everyone loved this eggplant/meatball casserole!!!!

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  4. I am going to try this one out today with ground turkey :D

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  5. Anonymous12:33 AM

    Hi, I was wondering about the bread. Don't you have to soak it beforehand, or that’s no necessary for this recipe? Thanks for your time:)

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  6. anonymous, I put the bread in a food processor. grating would be fine , too.

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  7. Fearless Kitchen8:05 AM

    This looks really tasty - I like the way that the dish is presented, on slices of eggplant. It looks like it would work well as an hors d'oeuvre or appetizer as well as for a main course. Thanks for the idea!

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  8. I made this yesterday. Such an easy dish to assemble for a meal to last many days.

    I tasted the meatballs for doneness after an hour and they were quite tasty. then I uncovered and turned on the broiler for 5 minutes to char the peppers a bit. Now, I am not sure I would do that again next time, since the meatballs dried a bit during that. Maybe baking uncovered for 10 minutes is a better compromise as you suggested in your recipe! :)

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  9. Anonymous3:58 AM

    omG this recipe was sooo delicious. it was so simple and like you i love eggplant so much and onion, yum! what i did was put 1/4 cup of stock over it all just before i put it in the oven and that made it nice and juicy. thank u so much for this site :) Nancy

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