Friday, January 31, 2014

Stuffed Vegetables with Ground Beef (Etli Dolma)

Prep. Time: 30 min 
Cook Time: 30 min.
Total Time: 1 hr.
7 servings


  • 2 tbsp olive or canola oil
  • 1 lbs ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 gloves of crushed garlic (optional) 
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Pepper paste (optional)
  • 1 tsp Steak Seasoning (optional)
  • ½ lbs medium-grain rice (optional: soaked in hot water with a pinch of salt for about 15-20 min or even boil about 5 min depends on how much you like your vegetables cooked)
  • salt
  • 2 cups tin diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • ½ bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp dried mint
  • 2 small tomatoes, sliced
To stuff
  • 2 small eggplants
  • 2 Mexican squash
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 medium to large tomatoes
Heat all but 2 tablespoons of the olive oil or canola oil in a large saucepan. Add the ground beef some salt and fry over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the ground beef changes the color into light brown, add onions, stir a little bit. Add the rice and continue to stir for a few minutes. Add tomato and pepper paste, the diced tomato, extra salt, pepper and cumin and turn off the heat. Add herbs, leave to cool a little.

Cut the stems from the eggplants and hollow out the flesh using a small melon baller or teaspoon, leaving a shell about ¼” thick. Cut the squash in two from the center and scoop out the flesh as for the eggplants. Slice the tops off the bell pepper remove the seeds. Slice the tops off the tomatoes without cutting all the way through if you can, so the tops stay attached like lids and scoop out the flesh.

Fill the vegetables with the mixture and arrange in the base of a wide saucepan or frying pan. Fit them in snugly so they stay upright. Decorate the tops of the eggplants and zucchini with slices of tomato and sliced tops from bell pepper. Drizzle over the remaining olive oil and enough warm water to come 1–2” up the sides of the vegetables. Cover with a lid and simmer on medium heat for around 20 minutes.

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