My best wishes on this Eid Al-Adha celebration.
I got some lovely little eggplants and stared at them for a while; I did not feel like stuffing them with meat and rice like my ancestors had been doing for hundreds of years.
That’s when I decided to make eggplant dogs, using Lebanese lamb sausages called makanek.
Makanek are small and very dark lamb sausages; they are spicy yet not hot; served piping hot as part of a mezze, with lemon quarters to squeeze on top. Middle-Eastern stores carry them either fresh (better) or frozen.
Of course, any small sausages can be substituted here.
- 1 pound of small sausages
- 1 1/2 pounds of smallish eggplants, peeled and salted
- 1 onion
- 4 large tomatoes (or a can of diced tomatoes)
- olive oil, as needed
- 3 garlic cloves, mashed with a dash of salt
- 2 lemons, quartered
- Heat a little olive oil and fry the eggplants (or roast them), making sure they don’t get burned; they need to get soft. Remove the eggplants, fry the onion, add the tomatoes and chopped garlic.
- Place the eggplants back in the pot on top of the onion and tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes or so, until the eggplants are soft. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Fry the sausages and blot extra fat on paper towels. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top of the sausages.
- To form the eggplant dog: Split open a bun, slather one side with the tomatoes and onion. Slit the flesh of the eggplant with a sharp knife. Insert the sausage. Place the eggplant on the bun, serve.
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