Mushroom Stuffed Eggplant Gratin Recipe

Mushroom Stuffed Eggplant Gratin Recipe Recipe

Is there anything that screams  comfort food more than a dish of gratin? I prepared a morel mushroom stuffed eggplant gratin. Every so often, our family craves a rich, decadent, gooey and cheesy meal.

First I sliced the eggplant, then pan-fried the slices. The mixture was flavored with earthy mushrooms that pair wonderfully with the meaty texture of the eggplant and luscious, creamy ricotta cheese. To save time, you can prepare the elements of the dish in advance and assemble 00000at the last minute; I promise your hard work will definitely be rewarded!

Ingredients

Yields: 10 servings

3 regular eggplants
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
6 ounces morel mushrooms (fresh or re-hydrated)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
½ cup Swiss cheese, shredded
6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (see tips), ground into fine powder
¼ cup olive oil
1½ teaspoons Mrs. Dash seasoning (or any other dried herbs)
3 tablespoons curly parsley (without stems), chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
1¼ cups milk, at room temperature

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Grease a casserole dish with olive oil.

For the grilled eggplant: Trim eggplant and slice lengthwise into 5-6 pieces (about ½"-thick), depending on the size of the eggplant. Layer a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet (to collect the excess moisture). Place the eggplant slices on the rack. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and let sit for about 20 minutes. Pat dry using a paper towel. Brush a hot griddle pan with olive oil. Drizzle oil on the eggplant slices. Place the slices on the griddle. Cook over medium heat until you get grill marks and the eggplant is softened (about 3-4 minutes on each side). Remove from the pan. Set aside.

For the mushroom ricotta cheese filling:

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the same griddle pan, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and sauté until transluscent. Add 1 tablespoon parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat. Let cool. 

Using a handheld mixer, beat the egg. Add cayenne pepper and nutmeg.

In a mixing bowl, soften the ricotta cheese with the egg mixture until you get a smooth paste-like consistency. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of parsley, about 2 tablespoons of Swiss cheese and 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Lastly, add the mushroom mixture. Set aside.

Assembly:

In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low; you don't want the butter to burn. Add cayenne pepper. Bring the heat back up to medium-high (the butter should be hot and golden) and add the flour. Keep stirring manually with a whisk for approximately 2 minutes until it forms a paste. Stir well until incorporated and add the milk in 2 stages. Increase the heat while constantly stirring for about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon Swiss cheese and reduce the heat to low. Season with a pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cover the casserole dish with a thin layer of the white sauce.

Using a tablespoon, place a heaping spoonful of the mushroom filling on one end of a grilled eggplant slice and tightly roll up it.

Place the rolled eggplant into the baking dish, seam side down, so the eggplant roll is secure and the mushroom filling doesn't burst while baking. Repeat until all the eggplant slices and mushroom filling are used.

Drizzle the remaining white sauce over the rolled eggplants. It should cover the whole casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining Swiss and Parmesan cheeses over all.

Bake for 15 minutes and then broil for about 2-3 minutes to get a nice golden top.

When it's cooked, remove from the oven and let rest for at least 20 minutes. Cover with parsley.

Bon appétit!


Tips

Little reminder on how to obtain freshly grated Parmesan powder: Cut up a chunk of Parmesan and chop the morsels in a mini-food processor (or a regular processor) until it's a fine powder. Store the excess in the refrigerator.

 

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on February 27, 2015.


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