One thing the Lebanese Master chefs are known for, is their propensity to stuff veggies. Last time, we stuffed zucchinis (and tiny ones), today we are stuffing perfectly oblong potatoes. Potatoes here are absolutely delicious. I am convinced it is because they are grown nearby. The key here is to pick them about the same size, not too large, so that two stuffed potato could be suitable for one serving; besides it looks prettier.
Order of operations:
1. Peel and core the potatoes.
2. Cook the stuffing and stuff the potatoes.
3. Fry the stuffed potatoes.
4. Simmer the stuffed potatoes in a tomato-based sauce till done. Serve.
NOTE: To save time, prepare the tomato/onion sauce in advance and prepare the meat stuffing in advance. The potato pulp can be recycled with a potato and egg omelet or fritters or potato pancakes.
INGREDIENTS: 4 servings
8 smallish potatoes
1/2 lb ground meat (I use 1/2 beef and 1/2 lamb)
Spices for the meat: 1 tsp seven-spice mix or a dash of allspice, cinnamon, black pepper and nutmeg
Salt, to taste
oil, as needed
1 lemon, juiced or 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
Tomato sauce: 1 large yellow onion, 6 large tomatoes or 1 28-oz can tomatoes, stewed for 30 minutes with salt and pepper. Fry the chopped onion till translucent about 10 minutes, add the chopped tomatoes and spices, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
1. Peel and core the potatoes; keep the potato pulp in a bowl for another use. Fry the meat with the spices until browned in a small skillet. Stuff the potatoes with the browned meat and seal the opening of the potato with a piece of cored potato pulp in order to prevent the meat from falling off during the cooking process.
2. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and brown the stuffed potatoes gently and evenly on all sides. Heat the stewed tomato sauce in a pot and add the potatoes one by one into the tomato sauce. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Cool and when ready to serve reheat gently and serve with a rice pilaf if desired.
NOTE: I have been testing this spatula that is supposedly revolutionary; one thing about it definitely got my attention: it can be used in temperatures almost to 500F! It comes in cool, candy, colors. It is very sturdy. I am getting ready to try it on meringue. Will talk about next time if the test is positive.