Baked Gefilte Fish Loaf, Stuffed Vegetables, Château Malmaison Baronne Nadine, Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamla Cabernet Sauvignon
We had our family over for the last part of Passover, and so we had a few dinners and lunches with guests and some alone, which were really nice. Anyway, we served the baked fish, which is described here, along with our now famous stuffed vegetables. This started a long time ago, when we had a group of people coming for a Passover meal, and we had no idea what to serve them. We were sick of roast or brisket, and did not want chicken or fish. We thought about the rudimentary meat loaf and such stuff. But, that got us thinking about stuffed vegetables that my sister once served us. They were crazy good, but man they sounded like a ton of work. So, unfazed by the potential madness that faced us, we pushed on unfazed, and found out that the work is just maddening. So here is the rough sketch of the recipe, but you can find out for yourself if it is worth the effort.
Meat Stuffed Vegetables Recipe
5 or more really large onions cored
3 large eggplant scooped until just the skin and a bit of flesh is left
3 large sweet yellow or red peppers
2 large green peppers
1 large can of tomato sauce
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 pounds of ground meat
3 tbsp Parsley
5 cloves of garlic – chopped
2 tbsp of sugar (or until it does not taste bitter)
Core the onions, which are crazy hard, with a large and strong spoon. Cut the top of the onion off, and then with a large spoon start digging into the onion from the top. Keep digging until you start to peel the onion from the inside out. Do not worry if you cut all the way through the bottom of the onion, I do that all the time, but I put a small thin sliver in the bottom to cover the hole, and it bingo – it is like nothing happened. Once you are done with the onions, move on to the eggplant by slicing them length wise, and coring them until there is just a drop of flesh and the skin left. Do not puncture this one – it is far more difficult to remedy! Drop the cored remnants and whole eggplants into a bucket of cold water to slow down their oxidation, which causes them to turn brown. Then core the sweet peppers by cutting the tops off and removing the ribs. Leave the peppers whole. Now take a deep roasting pan and place 1 inch of water at the bottom of the pan. Place the peppers and onions standing up in bottom of the roasting pan, along with eggplant lying skin down. As a heads up, the eggplant dos not cook too well, unless you spray the eggplant ahead of time with some olive oil.
OK, so now you have a bunch of vegetable remnants, which should be in separate buckets. So we now move on to cooking the meat and vegetable mixture that will be going into the vegetables to bake. Start off by taking all the remnants and chopping them up finely. Start off by placing 2 tablespoons of oil into a large Dutch oven and heating the oil until it shimmers. Next place the chopped onions into the Dutch oven and sauté the onions until golden brown. Once golden, add the rest of the chopped remnants and sauté them until nice and soft. Now add the chopped meat into the pot and cook the meat until it is browned. Now add in the tomato sauce and spices and simmer for 20 minutes. Now place the cooked mixture into the cored vegetables and put the roasting pan into a 350 degree oven for one hour.
With served an assortment of wines with the cooked vegetables. The wine notes follow below:
2002 Château Malmaison Baronne Nadine – Score: B
The nose on this garnet colored wine has blackberry, cassis, mounds of dirt, mineral, and graphite. The mouth on this soft but terroir harsh wine is really packed with earth, black fruit and oak. The wine is simple enough, but still gets your attention with mounds of earth that melds with acidity and oak. The finish is long and spicy along with more dark fruit. It should have been a better wine, but the wine was out of balance and too aggressive in its mineral notes.
2006 Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon – Score: B+
The nose on this purple colored wine with brown halos is hot out of the bottle, but calms down with oak, cranberry, dark plum, and roasted herbs. The mouth of this medium bodied wine follows the nose with cranberry and plum. The mid palate is packed with acid, spice, oak, and nice tantalizing tannins. The finish is long and spicy with more fruit and herbs.
2004 Gamla Cabernet Sauvignon – Score: B+
The nose on this garnet colored wine is classically Cabernet with dark cassis, blackberry, oak, and anise. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine follows the nose with black fruit and a semi complex mixture of spice, oak, and integrating tannins. The finish is long with more cassis, spicy wood, and chocolate.