Stuffed Celery

Course : Vegetables
Serves: 4
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1 large celery bunch -- large
1 slice bread -- stale
1 pound ground beef -- lean
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons parsley -- italian, fresh
1 teaspoon black pepper,freshly
1/2 cup flour -- unbleached
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic -- minced
1 1/2 cups tomatoes -- peeled -or-
1 1/2 cups tomatoes -- canned

Preparation / Directions:

Sedani Ripeni To quote the author, "This is another of the stuffed vegetable dishes that were originally created to go with couscous, but they are so popular that they have earned the status on their own as a main dish." Place bread, covered by water in a a small saucepan and let it soak for 5 minutes. Drain excess water, place saucepan over high heat and cook, stirring till bread has become a pap, the consistency of cooked cereal. Separate celery stalks and remove stringy fibers. Cut into 36 2 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a saucepan with 1 tsp salt. Add water to cover, bring to a boil and cook, covered for 25 to 30 minutes. Drain and let cool. Place cooked bread and meat in a bowl. Add 1 egg, 1 Tbsp parsley, 1 tsp salt and1/8 tsp pepper. Mix well to combine. Divide into 18 small balls. Place 1 ball between two pieces of celery and press so that they hold together. Roll in flour and lay on a piece of wax paper. Continue until all the meat and celery have been used. Beat the remaining eggs with a pinch of salt. Heat 1/2 cup oil in a frying pan; dip stuffed celery in beaten eggs and fry until golden on all sides. Place in a large skillet in a single layer. Add garlic, tomatoes, 3 Tbsp oil, remaining parsley and small amounts of salt and pepper. Place over medium heat and cook, covered for 25 to 30 minutes. SERVES: 4-6 Note: You may prepare stuffed celery a day ahead of time. Reheat a moment before serving, it actually tastes better than when served immediately after cooking.

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