This past Thursday, I went to a Lebanese cooking class at CENTRAL MARKET, the shmancy grocery store next door to us (I mean really, could we live next to a more awesome place?). It was an AWESOME class, where most of the recipes were adapted from recipes in ROSE WATER AND ORANGE BLOSSOMS, one of my favorite Lebanese cookbooks. There’s something you should know though: I don’t particularly like eggplant, and I’m not much for tomato sauce, both of which are key components in this dish. That being said, I LOVE the eggplant in this dish. Still not big on tomato sauce (plus, it has like 40 bajillion carbs), so I altered the sauce a bit. Okay, a lot. It doesn’t really resemble the original sauce at all, other than it contains tomatoes and ground beef.
So, I turned it into a tomato cream sauce (hello, more fat), took out the carby onions, changed up the spices, and added layers of cheese. Next time I might toss some ricotta in there as well, but I didn’t have any to work with tonight. Oh well. According to my husband, he could eat the whole pan, so I guess that means it’s good. Seriously though, it’s delicious.
Sheik al Mehshee (Keto and Primal)
Nutrition info per serving: Calories (504), Total Fat (44.8 g), Saturated Fat (11.4 g), Total Carbs (11.8 g), Fiber (4.8 g), Net carbs (7 g), Sugars (6.2 g), Protein (18.1 g)
1.5# eggplant, 1/8-1/4″ slices
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4# ground beef (or lamb)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp Lebanese Seven Spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 can stewed tomatoes
1/4 C heavy cream
1/3 C pine nuts
8 oz shredded mozzarella
1.- Set oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with foil. Trim each end of the eggplant, then slice and place on baking sheet. Brush each slice with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Broil until deep brown (about 10-15 minutes per side).
2.- Adjust oven temperature to 375. In skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef. Season with 1/2-1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp Lebanese Seven Spice, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Stir well and cook until browned. Add stewed tomatoes and crush up with the meat. Add in heavy cream and simmer a few minutes until the sauce starts to thicken and spices are incorporated.
3.- Lightly oil an 8×8 square baking dish. Spread a couple spoonfuls of the sauce on the bottom of the dish. Layer some eggplant, then cheese, then pine nuts, then more sauce. Repeat layers, ending with eggplant on top. Cover with foil and bake for 80 minutes. Remove the foil, spread another layer of mozzarella, then put back in the oven, uncovered, for another 15 minutes, until cheese is brown and bubbling. Let cool a few minutes before serving.