Eggplant Delight.

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A simple, pureed dish of grilled eggplant, fried lightly with an egg, sprinkled with coriander and lime juice. It’s simple, easy, and delicious on toast or as a side with rice.

I used these interesting round, green asian eggplants that have a very mild flavor, but are also full of small round seeds, which add another textural component to the dish.

3 medium asian eggplants or 1 large Mediterranean eggplant (about one pound). If you use a Mediterranean eggplant, it will need to be salted and soaked to remove bitterness). This recipe comes from Burma: Rivers of Flavor by Naomi Duguid .

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Eggplant Delight 

1 large egg

1.5 Tbs shallot or peanut oil

1/4 tsp. turmeric

1 dried red chile, broken

1 small shallot, minced

3/4 tsp. salt, to taste.

2 Tbs. chopped coriander

1 lime, wedged

While it may be tempting to skip the lime and cilantro, please don’t. They really make the dish!  Prick the eggplants with a fork, and place them in an oven-safe dish, roasted at 450 until the skins collapse and the eggplants are very soft. Slice the eggplants open and scoop the flesh into a bowl, then smash well with a pastry cutter or fork. Stir in the egg into the mixture well, until the yoke completely separates.

Heat the oil in a wok, then add the oil, and stir in the numeric. Add the chili and shallot and cook, stirring constantly, for about 15 seconds. Add the eggplant mixture and continue to stir, scraping the sides and bottom of the wok, and keeping the eggplant mixture soft and smooth, for about 1 minutes. Add the salt, stir, taste, and add more salt of necessary. Turn the eggplant into a shallow bowl, top with cilantro and a healthy squeeze of lime juice.

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Quick Comforting Dumpling Soup

 

Some nights are just not cooking nights. I come from work late, tired, perhaps after cooking all day, and the last thing I want to do is make myself a meal before crawling into bed with a glass of wine to watch Friday Night Lights. Sometimes I reach for leftovers, or homemade yogurt and granola, or just a hunk of cheese and some crackers, but I often reach into my freezer and pull out a giant bag of frozen dumplings. I buy my dumplings (vegetable or kimchi ) in giant bags at HMart, and sometimes they are a lifesaver. I usually fry them with garlic chips and make a quick dipping sauce, but sometimes I make a quick, comforting broth and put them in soup.

Obviously, this broth could be made more complicated (and have more depth of flavor) with the additions, but this recipe is meant for quickness! You can make this broth on the stove, then add the frozen dumplings and heat until they are soft, or package the broth in a mason jar and take it to work, frozen dumplings separate, for a quick lunch.

 

Dumpling Soup Broth

serves 4

 

I Tbs minced ginger

2 cloves minced garlic

2 shallots, minced

2 tsp. vegetable oil

4 cups water

1 cube porcini mushroom bouillon

1 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce

1 finger of fresh lemongrass, sliced finely or smashed (or 1/2 tsp. dried)

3 dried red thai chilies, or 1/2 tsp. chili paste

dash of chili sesame oil

dash of rice wine vinegar

 

Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan and fry the ginger, garlic, shallots and fry until golden. Add the water, lemongrass and bouillon, stirring until dissolved. Add the crushed chili peppers, or chili paste, if using, and whisk. Add the soy sauce, and then the frozen dumplings, and simmer until the dumplings are soft. Add a splash of sesame oil and rice wine vinegar to finish. Garnish with chopped scallion, sesame seeds, or more fried shallots.

 

Easy Asparagus and Mushroom Tart

Asparagus languishing in the refrigerator. Shitakes sitting unused. A hungry me, and a desire to combine the two. I took this recipe from epicurious.com and and tweaked it just a little bit. I substituted a whole wheat pizza crust (thank you, KitchenAid!) for the puff pastry and substituted some yogurt with lemon zest and a dash of vinegar for the crème fraîche. The result – still rich and delicious, but a tad healthier. I tried hard to like brussel sprouts yet again with a recipe called Brussel Sprouts for People Who Think They Hate Brussel Sprouts. Sadly, I still hate brussel sprouts.

Skillet Potatoes with Olives and Lemon

Another summer recipe for Gourmet Unbound, this helped my use up some of the piles and piles of new potatoes I’ve been receiving from my CSA. Almost too easy to be believed, and terribly delicious, this recipe includes some of my favorite things, including some meaty green Sicilian olives, capers, and lemon zest.

Holiday Rolls #2 – Buttermilk Biscuits with green onions, black pepper, and cornmeal

I know, I’ve been a bad blogger, but I’ve also been in Indiana, where the slow internet connection makes blogging an exercise in futility. But I’m back! I made these easy rolls as an alternative to traditional buttermilk biscuits. Buttermilk, yes, but with the kick of green onion, black pepper, and the texture of cornmeal. They look dry, but are surprisingly moist.

Roasted Cauliflower

roasted cauliflower

I have to admit that there are few ways that I like to eat cauliflower. Ever since childhood, “trees” (cauliflower and broccoli) don’t much appeal to me. But it turns out that Iove it roasted! There are many different ways to flavor roasted cauliflower, but this is the basic:

Thinly slice one head of cauliflower and place on an oiled cookie sheet. Brush to slices with olive oil. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower becomes slightly browned and crispy on the edges. Salt, and sprinkle herbs (such as herbs de provence) over the slices. Enjoy!

cauliflower of cookie sheet

Eggs for Dinner

Eggs for dinner
Eggs for dinner

Sometimes, after a long day, I just can’t bring myself to cook a real meal. That doesn’t mean I can’t still have a quick, delicious, balanced dinner full of seasonal produce. Eggs are my go-to for easy dinner nights and I never seem to tire of them, especially if they are fresh and local. On this particular night I toasted half of a Metropolitan millet muffin (just a tad sweet) and smeared it with butter and topped it with a local egg fried with just a few slices of hot pepper. In the last few minutes of frying, I threw in a big handful of miniature heirloom tomatoes, until just a few burst. Sea salt. Steamed green beans on the side. Perfect.