What is a Balaboosta?
Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife, homemaker, wonderful mother, cook, and gracious hostess. She does it all and does it well.
I make simple food with easy recipes and I like to try new things. My family and friends love my cooking and always ask me to share, with them, what I know about food, flavor, and technique.

I'm not a professional chef and I've had no formal culinary training. What I know and do in the kitchen comes from three women...Nana, Grandma Della, and Rose, my mom. Each one of them knew more about putting a meal on the table than any fancy chef in a white hat. They were the ultimate Balaboostas.

What I offer you is a lifetime of experience in the kitchen with my compliments and theirs. I hope they'd be proud. I will bring you my recipes as I make them with photos of the actual food I'm preparing. I'm no professional photographer either but I promise, my food will speak for itself in every picture.

The food on my table isn't stacked in a trendy tower.
Instead, my food is stacked with flavor and full of my passion for cooking. So please come in, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy.

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Disclaimer: While most of my recipes are "Jewish Style", I do sometimes cook with pork. This might have been a great disappointment to some but my grandmothers knew that I live in modern world. I light Shabbos candles religiously but I have to admit...I do not keep a Kosher home.

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Meatless Stuffed Eggplant


Many ethnic groups have their own version of this delectable dish. Sometimes filled with a combination of meat and cheese, Stuffed Eggplant can be a substantial main course. Here, I have adapted that idea and turned it into a lighter entree or side dish.
For those who don't eat meat you can substitute soy cheese for the Parmesan or add tofu in place of meat.

For amazing detail...CLICK ON THE PICTURE

Ingredients...

  • 1 small to medium eggplant ( for two people)
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs (I make my own crumbs from multi grain high fiber bread but you can use the store bought variety of seasoned crumbs or you can make your own from fresh bread)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
You will need...
  • a medium bowl in which you place a folded paper towel.
  • a large plate or baking sheet on which you place a paper towel.
Here's how you do it...
  1. Cut the stem (green) end off from the eggplant.
  2. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise.
  3. Using a paring knife, score the flesh in both directions being careful not to pierce the outer skin.
  4. Using a large spoon, carefully scoop out the flesh and place it in the bowl on top of the folded paper towel.
  5. Sprinkle the inside of the hollowed out eggplant with some kosher salt and turn them cut side down on top of the paper towel on the baking sheet.
  6. Sprinkle the scooped out flesh with kosher salt, toss to distribute the salt and then put another folded paper towel on top. Put a small plate or bowl on top of that to weigh it down slightly.
  7. Allow both skins and bowl of flesh to sit for about a half hour allowing the water from the eggplant to be released.
  8. Meanwhile...when the half hour is almost up...Heat a skillet over medium.
  9. When hot, add the two tablespoons of olive oil to the pan.
  10. Add the minced onion and cook for 3 minutes.
  11. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  12. Add the eggplant flesh (removing the paper towels of course) and cook, stirring occasionally until fork tender, approximately 6 minutes.
  13. Transfer the cooked mixture into a medium bowl.
  14. Blend in the bread crumbs, beaten egg, black pepper, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
  15. Fill the eggplant shells with the mixture.
  16. Top with the grated Mozzarella cheese.
  17. Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese begins to turn golden brown.
Use your imagination....

...add chopped mushrooms to the onions and garlic when you cook it.
...add chopped firm tofu or
...substitute soy cheese in place of the Parmesan for a totally vegan version.
...use ground lamb and substitute Feta for the Parmesan
...or add ground beef to create a hearty main course.

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