Ella Eggplanted Literary Cooking Adventure

I had to obey my inner voice this week. It told me that I had a craving for eggplant (probably the first time that’s ever happened) and that I should find a scrumptious recipe to tackle for this week’s Literary Cooking Adventure. As such, I found a terrific one for some Eggplant Parmesan Boats, which were relatively easy to make and tasted SO GOOD!

Alas, the gift of obeying does not come without its share of frustration, as protagonist Ella found out in Gail Carson Levine’s “Ella Enchanted”. Renegade eggplant escapees, a dastardly onion that refused to be cut, and a pretty bad breakdown while trying to film the intro to the video are only a few of the things that went wrong.

Want to make this spectacular dish for yourself? BEHOLD! Scroll down to find the ingredients and directions!

Ingredients

1 Eggplant, cut in half lengthwise

2 tbsp. olive oil

6 chicken tenders or 2 chicken breasts

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups of tomato sauce (I used spaghetti sauce)

1 cup Mozzarella (I used an Italian cheese blend)

1/4 cup Parmesan

basil for garnish

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Scoop the middles out of the eggplant. This is easier to do if you cut it into cubes and scoop those out with a spoon. You should eave about 1/2 inch on all sides. (This is easier said than done.) Save the eggplant innards!

Brush the insides of the eggplants with olive oil. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and put in the oven at 400 for 10 minutes. (When I did this, I didn’t leaven enough eggplant in the shell and consequently burned one of them.)

On the stovetop, cook chicken in a pan with diced onion and break apart with wooden spatula (or fork and knife if you want to save yourself the frustration). Add garlic once chicken is cooked and allow it to cook for a couple more minutes.

Add the innards of the eggplant to the chicken and let those cook and soften for another ten minutes. Add a cup of the tomato sauce to the pan and mix everything. Let that cook until its bubbling. If you need to season it with salt and pepper, you can do that here.

In a baking dish, add the remaining cup of tomato sauce and allow it to cover the entire bottom. Place eggplant shells into the dish on top of tomato sauce. Fill eggplants with chicken eggplant mixture until they are overfilled. (Let it be known…I somehow ended up with WAY TOO MUCH filling. So the eggplants were practically buckling from the weight of all this stuff in them.)

Sprinkle Mozzarella and Parmesan over the eggplant. Place baking dish in the oven at 400 degrees and allow the cheese to melt. About 15 minutes should do the trick. (I had to let mine stay in longer because the eggplant needed longer to cook.)

Garnish with basil and CONSUME DELIGHTFULLY!

Stay tuned for the next Literary Cooking Adventure!

~KSilva

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