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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Passover Stuffed Eggplant - with or without meat - Passover Recipe


My year round recipe for stuffed eggplant can be adapted to meet the passover holiday dietary restrictions by simply replacing one single ingredient. On passover, those who are observant do not eat leavened bread. In place of bread crumbs we can use ground matzo, or matzo meal. The switch out will result in the same amazing presentation and delicious flavor. In addition, your family will appreciate that you went the extra distance to prepare something so visually and satisfyingly special.

Ingredients...

  • 1 small to medium eggplant ( for two people)
  • 1/2 pound ground beef, veal, or turkey (for a vegan version leave out the meat or replace it with soy products)
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of Matzo Meal
  • 1/3 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 ... Heat a frying pan to medium and cook the ground meat.
  9. Drain any excess melted fat and set the cooked meat aside in a medium bowl.
  10. Use a paper towel and carefully wipe out the frying pan, do not turn off the heat.
  11. In the same hot pan add the olive oil and then add the minced onion to cook for 3 minutes.
  12. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  13. Add the eggplant flesh (removing the paper towels of course) and cook, stirring occasionally until fork tender, approximately 6 minutes.
  14. Transfer the cooked mixture into the bowl with the cooked ground meat.
  15. Mix in the Matzo Meal, beaten egg, black pepper, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
  16. Fill the eggplant shells with the mixture.
  17. Top with the grated Mozzarella cheese.
  18. 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 in place of ground meat or
...substitute soy cheese in place of the Parmesan and Mozzarella for a totally vegan version.
...or use ground lamb and substitute Feta for the Parmesan.

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