If you are looking for an unusual meal combo sometime, something to entertain the children or your guests, try this upside down main course, Ma'loobet and dessert, Upside Down Cherry Pudding.
Ma'loobet el Bedingan
(Eggplant with Rice Casserole)
* Vegetable oil
* 2 onions chopped
* 1 pound lamb or beef cubes
* salt and pepper
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon allspice
* 2 pounds eggplant, sliced into 1/3" thick slices
* 2 cups long grain rice
* 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts for garnish (optional)
IN a large pan or skillet, fry the onions in 3 tablespoons of the oil over low heat, with the lid on, until softened and golden in color. Add the meat and brown it all over. Cover with water, add the salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice and cook until tender, for about one hour. Be sure to add water as necessary to keep the meat covered.
While the meat is cooking, arrange the eggplant slices on a baking sheet, brushing both sides generously with oil and lightly seasoning with salt. Broil under a pre-heated broiler, turning once, until the slices are lightly browned on both sides..
Remove the pan with the meat from the heat and add a layer of eggplant slices on top. Pour half of the rice evenly over those layers, and season with salt. Add a second layer of eggplant slices, then cover with the remaining rice. Sprinkle with a little salt ( if desired) and add just enough water to cover the rice. Do Not Stir. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil, then simmer on the lowest possible heat for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Add water if the casserole becomes too dry. Let rest, but keep warm for 20 minutes before serving.
To serve, place a large round platter on top of the pan and quickly turn it upside down, tapping the bottom of the pan, so that the mold comes out undisturbed. Garnish if desired with Pine Nuts.
Upside Down Cherry Pudding
This pudding dessert is very clever - it turns itself upside down in the over!
* 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup butter or margarine
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 egg, unbeaten
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 cup milk
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 small can sour red pitted cherries
* 1/2 cup boiling water
Combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the butter or margarine, adding the sugar gradually and continue creaming until light and fluffy. Beat in the whole egg. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat well after each addition. Pour batter into a greased 9" square pan.
Prepare the sauce by heating the cherries, juice, sugar and boiling water, then pouring it over the batter. Bake in a 350F oven for about 35 -45 minutes or until the pudding begins to shrink and the top is golden brown. When baked, the cherry sauce will be on the bottom. Good served with whipped topping or ice cream. Serves 8.
Last Updated: June 7th, 2011