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Upside-down Company Platter

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Ingredients Edit

Garnish Edit

Directions Edit

  1. Cover eggplant with salt water, and soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain and pat dry.
  3. In a large heavy saucepan or dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, add and fry sliced eggplant and carrots.
  4. Remove and set aside.
  5. In same oil, brown lamb or beef, chopped onion and garlic.
  6. Add 2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, ¼ teaspoon ground allspice, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, dash of cinnamon and 1½ cups water.
  7. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until meat is tender, about 30 minutes for lamb, and 45 to 60 minutes for beef.
  8. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, boil 3 cups water.
  9. Remove from heat and add long-grain rice, ½ to 1 teaspoon saffron or ¼ to ½ teaspoon turmeric.
  10. Cover and soak for 10 minutes.
  11. Drain and set rice aside.
  12. When meat is tender, drain and reserve broth.
  13. Place browned vegetables over meat in saucepan.
  14. Arrange eggplant and carrot slices attractively.
  15. Top with soaked rice, carefully leveling it.
  16. Add enough water to reserved broth to make 3 cups.
  17. Slowly pour over rice. Do not stir!
  18. Return to heat, bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  19. Turn off heat and let stand, covered, 15 more minutes.
  20. Invert saucepan on a large attractive platter, at least 2 to 3 inches in diameter larger than the saucepan.
  21. Let stand 10 minutes more while preparing: 2 fresh tomatoes, cut in wedges, 2 lemons, cut in wedges, and sprigs of parsley.
  22. Carefully remove pan so rice does not lose shape of pan.
  23. Sprinkle with ¼ cup toasted almonds.
  24. Lay tomato and lemon wedges and parsley sprigs around edges of the platter.
  25. Pass a bowl of plain yogurt to spoon over top.
  26. Squeeze lemon over makhlubbi to taste.
  27. Serve with pita bread and sliced cucumbers in olive oil and vinegar.

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