Tag Archives: eggplant

Running to the Corner

Imam Bayildi (Stuffed Eggplant)

Turkish Stuffed Eggplant

Time for another installment of /52weeksofcooking – this time featuring a Turkish dish!  I’ve had Turkish food a few times, but I’ll be honest in that it’s not a regular cuisine in our house tho after making this eggplant dish that might have to change!  In order to figure out a recipe I searched the menu of a few local Turkish restaurants, to get an idea of what kind of vegetarian dishes were out there.  I saw so many different eggplant dishes – it was insane!  Now figuring out what kind of eggplant dish, that was a bit of a challenge.  I debated doing an appetizer I found called Saksuka but in the end decided it was too close to the Shakshuka dish I’ve already done – which defeats the purpose of this challenge.  So I decided to go with a stuffed eggplant dish, specifically Imam Bayildi.  This dish features eggplant, tomatoes, onion, and garlic in addition to HUGE amounts of olive oil.

Running to the Corner

Serves: Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium eggplant, halved length wise
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium vidalia onion, diced
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp fresh pepper
  • 3 oz hard sheep cheese (or daiya), optional

Instructions

  1. Fill a large pot up with salt water and add the eggplant. Allow the eggplant to soak for 15 minutes
  2. Preheat oven to 425 and coat a roasting pan with 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Remove the eggplant from the salt bath, rinse, and lightly pat down with a paper towel before placing flesh down on the roasting pan. Roast for 40 minutes. Remove, cut a slit down the middle (being careful to not go thru the ends of the bottom), then set aside. Turn oven down to 375
  3. Meanwhile heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until garlic is golden. Add the diced tomatoes, then cover and allow the tomatoes to breakdown - check after 10 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to help the process as needed.
  4. Carefully squeeze the ends of the eggplant to create a pocket from the cut slit, gently stuff the onion and tomato mixture inside. Top with slices of cheese (optional) then place back in the oven and bake for a final 20 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then serve and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/06/running-to-the-corner.html

With our 4 eggplant sections I did half with the cheese and half without and for once Joe preferred the cheese-less option while I went for the cheesy ones!  It’s not your normal cheese, and I think that’s part of the reason I enjoyed it – the texture actually reminded me of daiya.  With that said, Daiya would make a great option for this and would probably go for a non-meltable in order to recreate the firmer texture this cheese had as the contrast was rather nice.  Of course there is nothing wrong with going totally naked in the cheese department – gotta love flexible dishes!  I served this up with some garlicky green beans and had planned to include some lentils but in the end decided there was already enough going on.  In the future I might include some pre-cooked lentils in the eggplant stuffing in order to “beef” them up – again with the flexibility :-D

As Fast as You Can

Aloo Baingan (or Spicy Potatoes with Eggplant)

Aloo Baingan

Over the past week I’ve been reminded of the deep and undying love I have for my slow cooker.  While it’s getting on in age, it’s dependable and loyal – constantly serving up delicious dishes with very little effort.  This past year I received a new book just for this technological wonder “The Indian Slow Cooker“, and boy was I ever thrilled.   I’ve made a few recipes directly from the book in the short time I’ve had it, and have already started adjusting dishes in order to better fit my family.  Today’s recipe falls in to that second category, as the original dish required adjusting flavors halfway thru the cooking time – which (for me) negates the purpose of a slow cooker.  When I use a slow cooker, I want to toss things in and forget about them until it’s time to eat.  Maybe some slight adjustments at the end, adding cheese or breadcrumbs or similar topping, but mostly just want to be done with it as fast as possible.

Aloo Baingan

Serves: Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 3 thai chilies, minced
  • 3 tbsp vegetable stock
  • 1 large American Eggplant (or 2 medium Ichiban eggplant), roll cut and then halved
  • 1 lb butter potatoes, quartered (around 3 medium sized potatoes)
  • 1 red onion, chopped

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker on low for 6 1/2 hours.
  2. Turn heat to high and cook for a final 30 minutes to insure potatoes are cooked all the way thru.
  3. Serve over brown rice and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/01/as-fast-as-you-can.html

This dish has a bit of a kick to it, but can be cooled down by dropping out the chilies or adding some plain yogurt to take the edge off.  We both enjoyed ours as is, serving over top of some brown rice.  One of these days I’m going to figure out how to make naan and then I’ll be all ready for a real Indian dinner.

Too Cold

Thai Coconut Curry

Thai Yellow Curry

As part of my New Year’s pledge I’m trying to participate in all of the challenges on /52weeksofcooking – which means I have to actually finish the ones from 2013.  Luckily I’m only two behind, and I’ve already figured out two of the ones for 2014 so I’m not horribly behind…or something like that!  First up is from week 51: Thai!  I’m a HUGE fan of Thai food and rarely get to enjoy it because of Joe’s peanut allergy (tho I’m rather certain he’s worth it).  I debated making drunken noodles, but wasn’t able to find the right type of rice noodles so I decided to go with a simple yellow curry.   I found a great recipe for a homemade yellow curry powder, tweaked it as needed to get the right spice level, and went to work.

Yellow Curry Powder

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Instructions

  1. Heat a small saute pan over medium heat and add the spices. Stir continuously for three minutes then remove everything to a small bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature then use!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/01/too-cold.html

Too Cold

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 2 Japanese Eggplant, roll-cut
  • 1/2 lb sugar peas
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli, roughly cut
  • 1 14.5 oz can light coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Heat vegetable oil in wok then add the shallots and garlic, cooking for five minutes before adding the curry powder. Stir well for 2 minutes, until shallots start to turn golden.
  2. Add the eggplant and cook for 7-10 minutes, eggplant will start to turn light purple/brown and become soft. Add the sugar peas along with the broccoli and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk, then bring mixture to a low simmer. Cover and continue simmering for 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings as needed then serve over rice or rice noodles and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/01/too-cold.html

This dish came together incredibly fast, and making the curry powder from scratch added a new level.  I’ve always used store brand curry powder, and occasionally curry paste when I can find some that is fish sauce/shrimp paste free.  Was also pleasantly surprised that making it myself wasn’t as bad as I thought.

Echoing Tonight

Eggplant Meatballs

Eggplant Meatballs

Hello from Maryland!  So hubby and I have rather successfully made the move from VA to MD – with only one broken glass and one broken mug (so far).   My kitchen is mostly unpacked and ready to go, and with that I’m hoping to actually cook or bake something in there later today.  This recipe comes from when I was staying at my mom’s house after reading more than a few articles from the Washington Post and other sites discussing eggplant “meatballs”.  After comparing a few of them I decided to go with a vegan baked version, which turned out perfectly.

Eggplant Meatballs

Serves: 8-10 meatballs

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1.5 lbs Italian Eggplant,peeled and cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp basil (or 4 fresh basil leaves)
  • 1/4 tsp thyme (or 1 fresh sprig)

Instructions

  1. Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large saute dish, add the garlic cloves and cook for 2 minutes then add the peeled eggplant and cook for an additional 7 minutes or until soft. Pour all ingredients in to a blender and allow to slightly cool. Add the breadcrumbs and spices along with the remaining olive oil and start to blend the mixture on a puree or similar setting. The goal is to get to "ground meat" consistency - add more breadcrumbs/olive oil as needed.
  2. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 and lightly oil and a standard sized muffin tin or cookie sheet.
  3. Form eggplant meatball, each should be about 4 inches around, and then lightly place in a muffin spot or on the cookie sheet. Continue until all meatballs are formed, should be 8 - 10. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the eggplant balls, and finish by baking for a final 10 minutes or until slightly brown.
  4. Serve as part of a "meatball" sub or on top of pasta!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2013/10/echoing-tonight.html

I’m sending this over the /52weeksofcooking for there $10 challenge.  For four servings this dish cost: $2.63 (eggplant), $0.79 (pasta), $0.55 (garlic) for a total of $3.97.  I’m adding an additional $2.00 to that total to account for the premade tomato sauce, fresh herbs, and the homemade bread crumbs using homemade bread - probably a higher guess than it actually is but math is not my thing.  This brings to the total to $5.97 or just under $1.50 a serving – mission accomplished!

Nuts about You

Spicy Chili Peanut Sauce

Peanut Chili Sauce

For the most part my house is a peanut free place, since I find my husband functions best when not dealing with an allergic reaction.  However this move has us spending work days apart while I wrap things up in NoVa, and he starts his new position in Maryland.  Needless to say I have gone a bit peanut crazy, to include eating peanut butter straight out of the jar.  The other week I was doing a basic stir-fry when I decided to add some peanut butter to the dish, to see what would happen.  The result was incredible so I decided I had to replicate it and figure out how to get the perfect balance between the spicy chili and the delicious peanut butter.

Spicy Peanut Chili Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Japanese eggplant, roll cut
  • 1/2 lb bok choy, chopped whites and torn greens
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce (or more to taste)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook 3 minutes or until garlic starts to turn golden. Add the eggplant and the white section of the bok choy and cook for 7-10 minutes, the eggplant should start to turn slightly brown and become soft.
  2. Meanwhile mix the rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter, and chili sauce. Once the eggplant is soft add the sauce along with the bok choy greens and toss well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Then stir and taste - adding more of the chili, soy sauce, or peanut butter as needed.
  3. Serve over brown rice or soba noodles and enjoy!

Notes

If sauce is too salty or spicy add vegetable stock or water, 1/2 tbsp at a time until desired taste is reached!

http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2013/10/nuts-about-you.html

The first time I made this dish I wasn’t sure how things were going to go, but learned once again that randomly experimenting with ingredients can produce spectacular results.  One tip, if using creamy peanut butter make sure to add some fresh peanuts to the dish in order to keep the satisfying crunch!  I’m sending this over to 52weeksofcooking for their nuts week, which I’m thankful fell during the time when my hubby was out of the house :-)