Tag Archives: eggplant

Rice Noodles with Eggplant and Mango

How come some weekends are mellow, where you have nothing planned?  That was more or less last weekend- we sat on the roof and enjoyed fresh bruschetta and fresh bread.  This weekend is crazy busy: birthdays, going away parties, celebrations, races and dinners with friends!

When those hectic (but fun) weekends creep up, it’s great to have some food prepared and ready for you in the fridge.  This way, if you need something to eat or snack on, you don’t need to worry about the preparation.

 

This noodle dish I is perfect for those kids of hectic weekends or weekdays.  It can be prepared ahead, and it’s best served cold (which makes it even better for this warmer weather)!

Rice Noodles with Eggplant & Mango
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times (April/May 2012)

Although I had found this recipe originally in Vegetarian Times, it’s actually an excerpt from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi.  I couldn’t get my hands on soba noodles, so we made it with rice noodles- equally delicious, and probably a little lighter.  This had fantastic flavors, and looked beautiful on a plate, perfect for a dinner party! 

1 1/2 large eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
8 oz rice noodles
1 tbsp sesame oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 red chili peppers, chopped
1 inch cube ginger, grated
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
1 ripe mango, peeled, cut into thick strips
1 cup chopped cilantro
3/4 cup chopped basil

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Spread the eggplant cubes onto a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Using your hands, spread the olive oil and spices onto all eggplant pieces.  Roast eggplant at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  With salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Once baked, allow to cool and set aside in a large bowl.

Cook the rice noodles according to package.  Once cooked, drain and rinse under cold water.  Drain, and set aside in the large bowl with the eggplant.

In a saucepan, heat the sesame oil.  Then add garlic, red chili peppers, ginger, sugar, rice vinegar and soy sauce.

In a saucepan heat sesame oil.  Then add: garlic, red chili peppers, ginger, sugar, rice vinegary, soy sauce.  Cook on low until the mixture thickens.  Add into the large bowl with the noodles and eggplant.

Lastly, add in the mango, cilantro and bail.  Toss all ingredients together.  Allow to chill in the fridge before serving.

Food Matters Project #8: Vegetable Coq au Vin

Another Food Matters Project post, but this recipe was chosen by us- and I was so excited! We chose this recipe since we liked how Mark Bittman took a different take on it. He suggested swapping out some of the chicken for vegetables, such as eggplant and green beans. And just like every recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook, it is delicious!  Check out everyone dishes here.

For a supper club last winter we had made coq au vin (it’s French for “rooster with wine”). It’s a rustic French recipe which calls for braising chicken with wine, mushrooms and some pork fat. The recipe which we tried was from Barefoot Contessa, and everyone cleaned their plates!

So when I was browsing The Food Matters Cookbook, I couldn’t help and notice that Mark Bittman suggested a healthier version of this dish, with the addition of more vegetables. I didn’t need to look any further, and reserved this recipe for us.

Vegetable Coq au Vin
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 466)

When making this dish, I added even more eggplant and green beans than the recipe called for, while decreasing the amount of chicken. The eggplant melts into the sauce, so serve this dish with a baguette! I also didn’t use as much salt or pepper, but feel free to adjust it to your taste buds. Another addition that I’d make in the future, is to add carrots- about 3-4 chopped in pieces- and add it in at the same time as the other vegetables. By making this one day in advance, the flavors mature and sink in. You can also serve it over noodles or potatoes.

2 medium eggplants
3 tbsp salt
4-6 strips of bacon, chopped
5 chicken drumsticks, bone-in & with skin
3 tbsp olive oil
4 large shallots, chopped
3/4 lb shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
10 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken stock (preferable homemade)
2 cups fruity red wine (I used pinot noir)
3 bay leaves
1 lb green beans, ends trimmed
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp salted butter
1 tsp pepper

Cut the eggplant into disks, and sprinkle each disk, on each side, with salt. Allow the eggplant to rest for 20 minutes on a cutting board covered with paper towels. Then cut the eggplant disks into smaller pieces (into quarters or eighths).

In a Dutch oven or large pot, add in the bacon and cook it over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until the bacon gives up its fat and becomes crisp. This should take about 5 to 10 minutes. Then remove the bacon from the pot, and set it aside. With the pot over the burners, add the chicken. Allow it to cook, turning and rotating as necessary. Once all sides are browned, then remove the chicken from the pan.

Add in some olive oil, shallots, eggplant and mushrooms. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they being to turn brown (about 15 minutes). After about 5 minutes, stir in the garlic.

Then add the stock, wine, bay leaves, green beans and herbs. At this time, return the chicken and bacon into the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the temperature and allow it to cook for about 20 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through at this point, if not, cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Next, remove the chicken from the pan and add butter to the liquid. Allow it to cook until it is reduced by half, and becomes saucy and thick. Sprinkle in pepper, or any additional salt.

If you’re making this dish ahead, refrigerate it at this point. If you’ll be eating it soon (or when you’re reheating), then add the chicken back into the pot and allow to warm up for about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. When serving, garnish the dish with parsley.

Corn Polenta with Sautéed Eggplant

Not too long ago I was telling you about my friend Meaghin’s wonderful blog- Cheery Observations.  She posts beautiful pictures and recipes to match it.  I wish we lived closer to each other, this way I could come over for dinner at least once a week.

Back in August Meaghin posted a recipe for Sweetcorn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce.  It’s a meal full of vegetables- so I definitely wanted to give this one a try.  And I was not disappointed, not one bit.  If you do anything this weekend- please make this recipe.  Delicious!

I did make alterations from Meaghin’s recipe, but I give her full credit for finding this one!

I do have one great product for all of you to try out in your kitchen.  Around here I have only been able to find it at Whole Foods, but I’m sure other stores have them as well.  It’s tomato paste in a tube!  I have never been able to use that little can all at once, so the tube is a great way of preserving the paste until I need it once again.  Add it to your shopping list!


Corn Polenta with Sautéed Eggplant
Adapted from: Cheery Observations

6 ears of corn
3 tbsp olive oil
2 1/4 cup of water + 7 tbsp of water
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium/large eggplant, cut into smaller pieces (the size of a quarter)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup of white wine (we used a dry)
2 large or 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 tsp salt
1 tbsp oregano, chopped
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
4 tbsp butter, diced
7 oz feta
2 tsp pepper

Remove the leaves and silk from each of the ears of corn.  While standing each corn on its flat tip, shave off the corn kernels.  Put all of the corn kernels into a sauce pan, cover them with the 2 1/4 cup of water and cook for about 15 minutes.

While the corn in cooking, heat up the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onion, garlic and eggplant.  Sauté on medium heat for about 15 minutes- or until the eggplant turns lightly brown.  Add the tomato paste, and mix it up with the vegetables.  Once the paste is absorbed, add the wine and cook for about a minute.  Finally, add the tomatoes, water (7 tbsp), 2 tsp salt, oregano, basil  and jalapeño.  Cook on low heat for about 15 minutes.

While the eggplant is still cooking, drain the water from the corn kernels but keep the leftover liquid.  Add all of the corn into a food processor.  Process until the consistency is mushy (looks like polenta).  Return the liquid and mushy corn into the pan.  Cook for another 10 minutes while stirring it, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

When the eggplant and corn polenta have been cooked, stir in the butter and feta cheese into the corn mixture.  Stir well until the butter and cheese have melted, and become incorporated by the corn mixture.  Finally, add 2 tsp of salt and pepper, stir some more so everything is well combined.

Finally, spoon out the polenta on plates (or bowls) and then top it off with some eggplant sauce in the center.  Feel free to sprinkle chopped oregano on top.

Enjoy it with the rest of the bottle of wine!

Baingan Bharta (Eggplant)

My love for Indian food has grown over the last 2 years and as I’ve gotten better at making it, it’s become even tastier.  You have no idea how excited I was to pick up garam masala from the store a while back since that would help me make Indian dishes even more delicious.

When I found this recipe from a new blog which I had discovered, I couldn’t wait to try this out.  It’s a very simple, but an extremely flavorful dish.  I was able to make this in between finishing up some cleaning around the house.  Low-stress recipes are always the best, especially during really busy weeks.  In addition, this is a vegan recipe that will not require any meat additions- it’s just perfect on its own.  It’ll taste great over rice or with a piece of naan bread.

Baingan Bharta
Adapted from: Eat, Live, Run

1 eggplant
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped
(we also added a habañero- so that’s an option)
1 green pepper, chopped
small (1 inch) piece of ginger, chopped
3 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp curry powder
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes

Preheat over to 400°F.  Slice the eggplant lengthwise, and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of salt on the fleshy side.  Also, rub the whole eggplant (fleshy and skin sides) with 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Then, place the eggplant on a cookie sheet, flesh side down.  Bake the eggplant for 30 minutes.  Switch the oven to a broil, and broil it for another 5 minutes.  Then take it out of the oven, and let it cool off.

In a large skillet, heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Once it’s heated, add the onion and garlic.  Sauté until the onion is translucent, then add: jalapeño, green pepper and ginger.  Sauté all of the vegetables until they are tender, about 5 minutes.  Next, add the garam marsala, cumin seeds, turmeric, chili powder and curry powder.  Add the tomatoes, and stir well.

Next, once the eggplant has cooled off a bit, scoop out the seeds.  With what is left over, try to cut it up into a couple large chunks (skin included).  Add the eggplant to the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes.

Lastly, ladle all of the vegetables into a food processor.  Process the mixture until it is smooth.  Serve over rice, and with a piece of naan bread.