Eggplant


I like it when someone makes something ‘out of the box’.  This recipe from Alton Brown is definitely there.  And it is definitely delicious.

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As much as I love eggplant just about any way, I wasn’t sure about this one.  But, as is usual, Alton had it ‘goin’ on!”  This is his answer to eggplant Parmesan.Parmesan deconstructed.  While it takes ages to make eggplant Parm it only takes 10 minutes (once the eggplant has had the moisture removed) to make.

It’s vegetarian.  It’s gluten free.  It’s spicy. It’s repeatable. It’s Good Eats!

1 medium-large eggplant
Kosher salt, for purging
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon chile flakes
2 small tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 Tbl cup cream
1 tablespoon basil, chiffonade
2 Tbl freshly grated Parmesan

  • Peel the eggplant leaving 1-inch of skin at the top and bottom unpeeled and slice into 1/4″  thick.slices/.
  • Purge the eggplant slices:
    • Lay the 1/4 inch slices over the sink on a cooling rack.
    • Sprinkle one side with Kosher salt.  Let sit for about 15 minutes.  Turn and sprinkle the other side.
    • After they have ‘wept’ rinse with cool water and dry.  Cut into linguini like strips.
  • Heat the oil in a medium skillet then add the garlic and chili flakes and toast. Add the eggplant strips  and toss to coat.
  • Add the tomatoes and toss with the eggplant.
  • Add the cream and toss with the eggplant and tomato.
  • Add the basil and Parmesan and toss to combine.
  • Top with the breadcrumbs and serve immediately.       {The original recipe from FoodTV}

I enjoyed this for lunch but it would make a great side for dinner.  And it IS so much easier than ‘real’ Eggplant Parm.  No coating/frying the eggplant.  No layer after layer and no baking.

Instant gratification!

Recipe is from Alton Brown Good Eats The Early Years. Page 283

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

The theme for Eating with Ellie this week was The Color Purple which brough to mind all kinds of yummy veggies.  But I stayed with 

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because it is coming in from the garden now.  I love the Japanese eggplant.  It is so tender and it doesn’t really need to be peeled like the Big Bell.

I admit, I have made this before to go with some salmon patties  but I never blogged about it because it was an extra side. I had no trouble making it again this week. Especially since it is garden season and I could pick everything fresh. Fresh like pick in the morning, cook at night.

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Lots of wonderful  fresh eggplant, zucchini, garlic, basil, and tomatoes from the garden.  I had made a note that it needed a touch more salt so I added just a tad.  Perfect!

The recipe is from Ellie’s So Easy (page 192) , but you can also find it online.

There is more purple over on Eating with Ellie so go check it out.

Just two days left in April which means only two days left to try a few more of Keller’s recipes from ad hoc at home.  It’s been fun cooking through Thomas Keller’s book.  I still have several recipes marked but not as many as it was.

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Last night I tried fritto misto. Defined it merely refers to small morsels of meat, seafood, or vegetables coated with batter and deep fried. Here in the south we deep fry anything but you won’t see deep fried veggies on any menu of Southern food.

This reminded me a lot of tempura frying.  The batter is a little heavier but the results are about the same.  In the recipe Keller lists 1 1/2 cups cold water.  I found it worked better with just a little more water for a thinner batter, but your choice.  The broccolini fried up the best. With the thin ‘branches’ there was more batter in between for fry up.

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This was so good!  The veggies came out crispy but sogged up quickly if they weren’t eaten right away.  My one tip for you:  Don’t drain them on paper towels as Keller suggests but on a wire rack OVER paper towels.  They don’t get soggy as quickly.

The eggplant and squash were also very tasty.

Keller lists several choices to fry including carrots, fennel, mushrooms, and calarari rings. All of these would be great.

The recipe is on page 173 of ad hoc but I also found it HERE (if it comes up).

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

It’s time for another recipe from Curtis Stone  This week the IHCC theme is snacks or Something to eat on the Sofa..  I suppose anything can be a snack but when you look at a recipe and the beginning line is, “This is a great snack…”, it kinda solves a problem for you right off the bat.

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How about a sandwich made with slices of mozzarella and basil leaves between think slices of eggplant and then DEEP FRIED!!!  Curtis named these Deep-Fried Eggplant and Mozzarella with Basil.  Yeah, it is as good as it sounds.  And even better…

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…served with warm marinara sauce.  I think I am in heaven!  The melty cheese with the lovely flavor of basil.  YES!!!  YES!!!  YES!!! It was like having a mini pizza without the crust.  Well, if you like eggplant on your pizza which may now be a new thing in this house!

Make sure you slice your eggplant really thin.  Mine was a little thick so they began to limp-out on me after a few minutes.  They really would be better crispy.  But don’t skimp on the cheese.  You want all that melty flavory goodness.

I found this recipe in Curtis’ Cooking with Curtis  {page 49}and also on Take Home Chef.  

Check out more snacks on the I Heart Cooking Club 

 

I have a good friend, Tanya, who teaches me how to cook different Asian dishes. Sometimes we cook together. Sometimes she cooks and then explains how it’s made. Sometimes she just gives me a recipe and suggests I try it. This was one of those recipes. It is from her brother who submitted it to his local cookbook. And it is delicious.

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    5 – 6 Tbl salt
    5 – 6 Asian Eggplants peeled and cubed
    5 Tbl oil
    6 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
    4 – 5 Tbl Basil leaves, chopped
    2 Tbl sugar {I would use less next time – very sweet!}
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    4 – 5 Tbl cilantro, chopped

Soak the eggplant in water with the 5-6 Tbl salt for about 15 minutes. Strain and rinse.
Heat the oil. Add the eggplant and fry for about 5 minutes. Flip them over and continue to fry until crispy with soft centers.
Add the sugar, garlic, and basil. Stir fry about 2 minutes.
Add the sugar and soy sauce. Stir fry an additional 3 minutes or so.
Serve over rice.

I’m always looking for new ways to cook eggplant especially when the garden gives us a great bounty – or someone else’s garden. And frying is not always an option.

Thanks, Tanya, for another good recipe.

Now! About that deconstructed wonton soup…..

It’s MYSTERY BOX CHALLENGE week again with I Heart Cooking Clubs. I love a good challenge. Especially when I can meet the challenge.

This weeks mystery box contents:

    Salmon (fresh, smoked, canned),
    Green Peas (dried, fresh or frozen),
    Hazelnuts,
    Eggplant,
    Parmesan Cheese,

    Kale,
    Apples (Any color/kind),
    Blue Cheese,
    Bread Rolls/Buns, and
    Rosemary.

I managed to complete the challenge with three of the ingredients, weak, yes, but still…

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Gratin of Ziti and Vegetables

I love making dishes with the fruits of our garden and this one had it all – squash, tomatoes, eggplant, corn. I cannot think of a better way to use these all up.

    2 quarts water
    4 ounces ziti or penne
    3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
    1 onion (about 8 ounces), peeled and coarsely chopped
    4 ounces string beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 cup)
    1 small eggplant (about 8 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 1/22 cups)
    1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
    1 pattypan (or other type) squash (8 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups){ I used zucchini.}
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 ripe tomatoes (about 10 ounces),cut into 12-inch pieces (2 cups)
    2 ears sweet corn (about 1 pound), husked and kernels cut off (1 1/2 cups)
    1/2 cup black olive shavings, preferably from Nyons olives { I used kalamata.} (about 2 dozen olives)

CRUMB TOPPING

    l slice fine-textured white bread, processed into crumbs in a food processor (2/3 cup)
    1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
    1/2 cup minced chives

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cook the sizi in boiling water with salt until al dente. Drain and briefly run ziti under cold water. Cover, and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet then add the onion and beans.
Cover and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
Add the eggplant and herbes de Provence. Cover and cook, over medium heat for another 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then add the squash, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook 2 more minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Mix in the tomatoes, corn, and olive.
Mix in the cooked pasta and pour the mixture into an 8-cup casserole dish.
In a small bowl mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan, OO and chives. Pour the mix over the pasta and veggies.
(Note: The dish can be prepared to this point, covered, and
refrigerated for up to 8 hours.)
Bake the gratin at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes {mine took about 22 minutes} until nice and brown. Serve immediately

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This was very very good. But it was also very very very dry. I went back to the recipe to see if I had left something out, but I followed it correctly. The crumbs on top did not stay well on the dish, but were good mixed in. I will make this again, but it really needs some ‘juice’ of some kind. {Original recipe is on page 102 of Jacques Pepin’s Table.

The other Mystery Box dishes are probably delish. Check them out at I Heart Cooking Clubs.

When it comes to be my turn to pick a recipe for other people I don’t have any easy time of it. Will they like it? Will they have the ingredients? Will I like it? I’m sure it is that way for all of us. I usually end up picking something out of the box for me – like this dish filled with Ricotta of which I am NOT a fan. But I know other people like it.

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An eggplant dish filled with ricotta and Parmesan cheese, basil, and cream. And I would like to say I ended up liking it, but I didn’t. I just cannot like ricotta. I have tried. Lots of times, but…..NOPE!!

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I would have liked to see thicker slices of eggplant and less ricotta in this layered lasagna like dish. But that’s just me.

I do so hope the other WWDH members liked it. OR least more than I did.

You can find out by visiting our website – Wednesdays with Donna Hay. And you can find the recipe on Donna’s website.

Want to join in the fun. The recipes/books/websites are listed on the right. Just cook/bake, blog, and leave a comment. Love to have you.

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