Thursday, February 27, 2014

Eggplant a new way

We love eggplant, and my default preparation is to slice it and saute in a bit of olive oil.  We'll either just eat it on a plate as is or cut it into small pieces and add to a pasta.

But this week the eggplant was semi-forgotten and it was looking unhappy, a bit limp and withered.  It needed to be cooked NOW.  And besides, we were going out that night, so I had to cook it in advance of actual consumption.  What to do?

I put it on a pan and stuck it under the broiler, on the highest shelf so the top of the vegetable was only an inch under the heating element. Broiled it until I started to smell char, then flipped it over and did the same thing on the other side.  After it cooled I stuck it in a plastic bag and put it in the fridge.

The next day I scooped it out of its skin and mashed it up into baba ghanoush, the classic eggplant dip/spread.  I was happy to add garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and parsley, as the recipe called for, but didn't have any tahini.  Inspiration struck: I did have almond butter, which seemed to be the moral equivalent of tahini, nutty and gooey.  So that went into the bowl.

And it was wonderful, if I do say so myself.  We went all authentic and ate it with pita, and a bowl of soup, for a light dinner.  I have made baba ghanoush in the past but had forgotten how easy it is, considerably easier than tending the eggplant slices in a saute pan.  And it uses a whole lot less olive oil while managing to taste much richer.  I'll have to remember to add this to my regular food rotation.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Food porn -- New Orleans

Just back from a fast visit to New Orleans, in which we ate our fill (and then some) of big, fat Gulf shrimp.

Plain fried.

Cold boiled, in a VERY spicy remoulade sauce.

Shrimp bisque.

Shrimp gumbo.


Of course we had to have oysters, too.

And the best seafood meal of the trip was crab cakes.