Baked Stuffed Eggplant

Savory, tender pieces of roasted eggplant, piled high with a cheese and herb stuffing.

For a quick and light weeknight (or weekend) meal, these Stuffed Eggplant Rounds are a great go-to meal. They are simple to prepare, with minimal prep and the oven does most of the work. When they are cooking, they fill you home with a delightful aroma and when they are done, they are a beautiful display worthy of any crowd you might have for dinner.

Here’s the recipe:

Stuffed Eggplant Rounds

  • 2 medium size eggplant
  • 2 c chopped tomato
  • 2 c lor peynir (sub: feta or ricotta cheese)
  • 1 c chopped parsley
  • 6 scallions (chopped)
  • 1/3 c + 3 T plain breadcrumbs
  • 4 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP thick yogurt
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt (to taste)

Preparation:

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To make the filling: mix together the lord peynir, parsley, scallions, 1/3 c breadcrumbs, 2 TBSP olive oil, 2 TBSP thick yogurt, 1 tsp dried oregano and salt (to taste).

Place the chopped tomatoes at the bottom of your cooking pan. Drizzle over 1 TBSP of olive oil and season with 1 tsp of oregano and salt. Stir well.

Pre-heat the oven on 375F/190C.

To prepare the eggplant: Slice the eggplant into thick round pieces. Season with salt and then one by one, spoon the filling on top of each eggplant round to create a nice mound of filling. Sprinkle over a few breadcrumbs on top and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the eggplant is tender and the filling is lightly browned.

Serve and Enjoy with the eggplant and some of the tomatoes.

Bon Appetit!

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Jerusalem Food Tour at Mahane Yehuda Market

One of the best ways to learn about a culture is through their food. What they eat says a lot about who they are and the resources that they have. -EE Winkler

Stroll through the semi-ancient streets in the west part of Jerusalem at Mahane Yehuda Market. 

Energy. Pure energy. There’s a reason why everyone recommends to go shopping on Fridays, that is the tourists recommend this because for the locals it’s equivalent to the crowds during our Christmas season. Okay, maybe not that busy, well…maybe it actually is that busy. Living in Jerusalem, I normally avoided shopping on Fridays but now I’ve come to love it. It brings me back to my days living in the crowded New York City fused with the beauty of Middle Eastern culture. It’s like a party, literally. When you walk into shops or stalls there’s frequently loud music playing and don’t be alarmed if you see the employees dancing. I like the experience because it reminds me to enjoy life. It is short after all and there’s no need to let a few crowds raise your blood pressure.

As a kid I remember going to markets with my Dad. I really loved the international markets because they opened the door to learning more about other cultures and new foods. This interest is one that never left me and I suppose that is why I like going to these types of markets no matter what city I am in.

The hospitality in Jerusalem is great and the people are friendly. This is something I love about Middle Eastern and Mediterranean culture in general. But, this market is a place of business so it is nice to come and look around but it’s nice to come and buy, lol!

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There’s plenty of ready made food as well as fresh food to take with you to prepare at home. Additonally, the array of sweets, home goods, beverages and more are exceptional. check out the video above and the photos below to get a better idea of the market.

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Outside one of the entrances to  the market

 

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Inside the market

See ya!

For more Taste and See Jerusalem check out my YouTube channels:

 

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How to Make Turkish Coffee

There’s a saying that says, “One cup of Turkish coffee means 40 years of friendship…”

A robust, strong & flavorful coffee, Turkish coffee is must try drink!

The first time I tried Turkish coffee was in New York City at a Turkish restaurant. They served it in a beautiful manner with traditional cups and a traditional cezve (a Turkish coffee pot) but truth be told, it was nothing compared to trying Turkish coffee in Turkey.

Not only does Turkish coffee have a beautiful preparation, it has an exquisite taste, especially if you like a strong cup of coffee. Like espresso, it is served in a small cup but it serves a powerful punch of flavor. I love to drink it in the mornings or afternoons but most days, I drink it at both times of the day.

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How to Make Turkish Coffee

Ingredients/Materials Needed:

  • Turkish coffee
  • cold water
  • cezve
  • 1 small wooden spoon
  • 1 teaspoon

Preparation:

Measure out 2 TBSP of Turkish coffee per cup and place it in the cezve*.

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Then take your coffee cup and use it as a measuring cup to measure out enough cold water to fill the cup. Then add the cold water to the cezve.

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Stir it together for a few seconds and then move the cezve to a low flame.

Stirring frequently and watching it carefully, wait for the Turkish coffee to develop a layer of foam on top.

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Once the foam develops, take a tea spoon and gently scrape the foam off the top and place it into your coffee cup. (Note: repeat this step if you are making a second, third or fourth cup of coffee.)

Then place the coffee back on the flame and stirring occasionally, wait for the coffee to come up to a rolling boil and then quickly remove from the heat.

Gently and slowly pour the coffee into the cup being careful not to lose the foam (the foam should come to the top of the cup.

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Serve with a couple of pieces of Turkish delight or chocolate and enjoy!

Afiyet Olsun!

*Substitute a very small sauce pot if needed.

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Falafel in Jerusalem – $2 Dollar/ 2 Minute Challenge

Taste and see the ancient city of Jerusalem without breaking your budget. Is it possible to eat lunch in the Old City for just $2 USD?

 

There are a plethora wonderful things to explore and eat in the city of Jerusalem. It’s so full of history and culture, that no matter what time of year you visit, you’ll be sure to have a spectacular experience.

But truth be told, Jerusalem can be a quite expensive city to visit and live in. When you’re a tourist, you may be welcomed into a restaurant only to find that your lunch costs a lot more than you were expecting (I speak from experience, lol!).

In the heart of the Old City, you’ll find the Holy sites and the colorful markets in each quarter of the city. So finding a place to eat in the Old city ensures that you can continue to explore without lunch throwing you off course.

The falafel place that I went to in this video is just through Damascus gate, right before you reach the fork in the road. You can tell that this is a place that locals and tourists alike visit, which in my opinion, is a very good sign.

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Check out the video for my review and discover if it really is possible to eat lunch in Jerusalem for $2 USD.

See ya next time!