Monday, August 31, 2015

Chili Roasted Eggplant

I made this for my mom when I was visiting last month--it's really simple (and customizable), but feels strangely fancy.

The basics: you need something salty and something oily for sure, plus ideally something sour, something spicy, and (for maximum broil action) something sweet.

Oily: canola (plus optional: a little bit of sesame oil)
Salty: tamari (or: miso paste, rich veg stock, etc)
Sour: rice vinegar (and/or: lime juice, other vinegars)
Spicy: sriracha or chili-garlic sauce (etc)
Sweet: pinch of sugar or agave
Also: garlic powder (and/or: minced garlic, minced ginger, onion powder, sesame seeds... wasabi?)

As in a vinaigrette, oil should be the largest portion, balanced out (to taste) by salty and sour. And everything else to taste. This is how I think about recipes these days, which may be one of the many reasons this blog has been languishing. I've been cooking really intuitively--and not precisely. I mean, this recipe depends on how big your eggplant is!

But here's the general game plan: preheat oven to 375. Slice your eggplant into thin (1/4-in) slices. Mix together your sauce. Get a baking sheet and a piece of parchment paper. Brush both sides of the eggplant with your sauce and then spread them out on the parchment paper. Bake for about 20 min, then check them. At some point you'll want to re-brush the eggplant and flip them over. But basically you are just watching to make sure the slices are still wet with sauce, and then you are watching to see when they are brown and melty (i.e., no longer raw looking).

Garnish with great things like cilantro, sesame seeds, and scallions. Goes great on/with: sandwiches, noodles, tapas, rice...

Frittata Waffle

Following on the heels of the chocolate beer waffle and the hash brown waffle (kartwoffel), here's a frittata waffle--tofu and chickpea flour base, turmeric, garlic, kalamata olives...

Harissa Split Pea Soup

Just a variation on the marvelous harissa split pea soup. No mushrooms here, so a simpler base flavor, dressed up with olive oil, smoked paprika, and steamed kale.