Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another upcomnig review and Eggplant

It's official. I'm selling out. I am going to accept more free stuff to review. Okay, I don't really consider it selling out because I'm only reviewing stuff I probably would have bought anyway, from places I probably would have bought it. Places like CSN stores. CSN has over 200 stores with everything from dining sets to cookware, clothes, shoes, you name it, they've got it. So, I'll be ordering this egg cooker and I'll see what I think.

In the meantime, I need to tell you about what I've been cooking and also rant a bit. First, the rant: if you happen to want to raise some money, and you happen to put on a fundraising dinner, try to at least make the food taste good and don't even think about making people pay good money for food from a box. If you have a really good main course, don't ruin it by taking shortcuts on the sides. I'll support you, but next time, I might just give you a donation and tell you to keep your bad food. Life is too short to eat bad food. And calories are too precious to put bad tasting ones in your mouth! "Nuff said? I think so, consider yourself warned.
The end of the harvest is here and several of my friends have dumped unwanted produce on me, assuming (correctly) that I can turn their would-be compost into a feast! And I have!

My dear friend, Deb, brought two enormous eggplant and a plethora of hot peppers my way. She crinkled her nose at the eggplant she had received in her weekly CSA allotment and resigned herself to the fact that she had no time to figure out what to do with all of the peppers. Well, I did have time. In fact, I kinda stole an idea from her, although I changed it up a bit. Deb takes those cute little multi-colored sweet peppers, whacks the top off of them, stuffs hot Italian sausage into them and then grills them. They are quite tasty. She may be a little mad when she realizes that she could have done an equally easy and tasty recipe with the yellow Italian frying peppers she gave me. I cut them in half down the middle, stuffed them with chicken and wine sausage mixed with Parmesan and breadcrumbs and then drizzled them with olive oil and stuck 'em in the oven. Mighty tasty. 

The eggplant ended up as stir fried Chili Garlic Eggplant. You know, a little bit Chinese-y. First, cut up the eggplant into cubes, salt it lightly and set it to drain over the sink or a bowl for a good 30 minutes. Then, squeeze out all of the liquid you can from it. Next, heat a couple tablespoons of oil in the wok (wait, I can't believe I just said that: heat the wok until it smokes, then add the oil, geez, I must be losing my touch) anyway, then add a couple of tablespoons of chopped ginger. Stir once, add the eggplant. Cook, stirring for about five minutes, or until the eggplant is cooked through. Add about a tablespoon of chili garlic sauce from the Chinese section of the store. Be careful, it is really hot. You can always add more when the dish is done, but you can't take any away. Add a half cup or so of soy sauce and 2 T of sugar. Cook for a couple of minutes, until the sauce reduces. Stir in a handful of chopped green onions and serve with sticky rice. 

Note: you might want to use Tamari, because regular soy sauce can make the dish really salty if you use too much; you can also thicken the sauce with a little cornstarch mixed with water, if you like your sauces the way they are in your take-out Chinese. But guess what? Chinese people don't really do that very much.


The Reader said...

Is it normal in all eggplant dishes that you should squeeze the water out first????

I cooked some in the oven, with zuchinni and squash, a bit of olive oil and topped with parmesan cheese and they turned out really delicious. But, would they have been better if I'd squeezed out the liquid first, or is that just for stir frying, so they don't get soggy???

And -- when will you use your mango? Surely it is ripe by now. I'm waiting on a review....

(please remember that, if it's not great, maybe it is because of being picked early to ship all the way up to you....)

The Mendon Foodie said...

I don't salt and squeeze when I roast eggplant, just when sauteeing or stir-frying. It helps it to not absorb too much oil. Your dish sounds good!

The mango was pretty good, although it tasted a lot like a regular 'ole mango. It got soft, but stayed green, and got some little black dots all over it. The yellow atulfo, or champagne, ones we get are much better, especially than the green and red ones from the grocery.