Saturday, December 18, 2010

Eggplant Three Ways

So, yeah, I am sooooooo bored. I know that is a luxury, but with this new schedule I am still in work mode and then have nothing to do. I have already steam cleaned my parents carpet, fixed and cleaned our fridge, done all the laundry, created 3 DVDs (2 of wedding videos and 1 of the bachelor party), played video games, read 2 books, and I don't know what else, but now it has been a week and I am going stir crazy. I've got NPR going on in one ear for background noise because I am so used to having people around and am in the middle of roasting a whole butternut squash. I still have my National Board stuff to do and other things for work but it is hard for me to concentrate and write at my house unless it is on a deadline. It is almost impossible to go to a library around here and I miss the one by my parents house, which is an hour away from here. I don't feel like driving in the freezing cold (10 degrees right now) to go to a library to write, so I guess I'm stuck here knocking my head against the wall. I wish it was summer so I could at least go outside, but noooo, now I have to have my weeks in the freezing cold where there is nothing to do!!!!!

Here are three eggplant recipes. They aren't the most beautiful pictures but the meals are really good. I was actually wishing that I was having the eggplant caviar today while I was eating at Manny's. It is a famous deli, which we haven't gone to before, despite the fact that we have lived here for 10 years. Today we had nothing in our fridge because it broke down and my husband had 45 minutes before going to work, so he decided to go there. Honestly, a year ago I would have loved it- a huge pile of corned beef on rye with mustard, but now I could only eat the meat and it just was bland. It was kinda depressing because with the way my gastroparesis is going I have become the hardest person to take out to eat. There is nothing that I want to eat at restaurants... it seems like everything makes me sick, unless I make it on my own. Eating out has always been one of our hobbies and now I still go out but I don't enjoy it at all.

The second recipe may not look at good as it should, because I don't have a wok. My kitchen is small and there is absolutely no more room for any pots/pans/cooking utensils/anything! However it still works out well in a pan.

The eggplant recipe without a picture is a recipe that I made this summer. You may not be able to see the final product, but do not let that discourage you. It was an awesome side and had a unique flavor that was a fun addition to a family picnic at the beach.

Eggplant Caviar
Adapted from Color Me Vegan

1 purple Italian eggplant
1 tbs olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of quinoa (if you have black quinoa, looks even cooler)
2 cups of vegetable stock
3 Tbs of minced fresh cilantro
2 Tbs of minced thai basil
2 Tbs of gluten free soy sauce
2 Tbs of lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prick the eggplant with a knife all over and put on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Roast for 45 to one hour until soft.

Add the olive oil to a pan and cook the onion and garlic over medium heat until soft and slightly golden. Then add in the quinoa and stir constantly for 1 minute. Add in vegetable stock and bring to boil. Then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Then transfer quinoa to a mixing bowl, fluffing it, to cool.

Once eggplant is cool enough to touch, peel off the skin and put the flesh of the eggplant into a food processor. Add the cilantro, thai basil, soy sauce and lime juice. Puree to a paste and add salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the eggplant mixture and quinoa together and add additional seasoning if needed.

Garlic Eggplant
Adapted from The Breath of a Wok

2 Italian eggplants (or 4 Asian eggplants if you've got them)
1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce
2 Tbs of balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs of sherry
1 Tbs of sugar
1 tsp of salt
2 tsp of red pepper flakes
2 Tbs of oil
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 Tbs of ginger, minced
2 tsp of sesame oil
1/4 cup of green onions, sliced

Peel the eggplant and cut into two inch sections. Then halve each lengthwise and then cut into thirds to make sticks. You then steam the eggplant for 5 -8 minutes until soft*.

Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sherry, and pepper in a bowl.

In a wok (or frying pan, like I did it) on high heat, add in oil and stir fry garlic and ginger for 10 seconds. Add in the steamed eggplant and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add in the sauce and cook for around a minute. Take off of heat and add sesame oil and scallions.

*When I made this I looked up a way of steaming without using a steamer rack, because I dont have one. If anyone knows how, please let me know. I remember it was putting the chunks in a pan and adding around a 1/4 cup of water... but I cant find the directions now anywhere online. Thanks

Honey Garlic Eggplant
Adapted from Beyond Salmon
2 eggplants
2 Tbs honey
2 Tbs olive Oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and Pepper

Peel the eggplants so you have stripes of skin and no skin then cut into 1/2 inch circles. Toss eggplants with kosher salt (around one Tbs) and let sit in a colander for an hour. Rinse the eggplant to remove the salt and then squeeze it to draw out more moisture. Pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat grill (I used a grill pan) to high. In a large bowl mix all other ingredients. Dunk dried eggplant slices into the marinade.

Brush oil on grill. Place the eggplant slices on the grill, cover, and turn the heat to medium. Grill until marked, which is around 3 minutes. Then turn 90 degrees so you have tic tac toe marks. Grill for around 3 more minutes. Brush the slices again with the rest of the marinade and flip. Do the same thing on the other side. You want the eggplant to brown, but not burn. Take off of grill and put on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil.

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