Spicy Asian Eggplant

I made these awesome peach muffins that no one is terribly excited about, including myself.  I'll get the recipe off to you all ASAP but for tonight I just didn't have the heart to type it all out because I was so underwhelmed with it.  I didn't have a whole lot of peaches and should have used more.  The fact that I'm not so into the muffins isn't really saying much though because I'm still not really feeling cake or sweets at all... except for ice cream.  For some reason, ice cream is the only sweet that I'm really into... sometimes.  Occasionally, I might enjoy two bites of a wunderbar chocolate bar.  Two bites and I'm done.  D isn't really into baked sweets at all and if he eats them it's for an occasion and then it's over.  Muffins or cookies everyday.  Nah.  Ice cream... now he could do ice cream everyday.  Kid #1 has assured me that the muffins get considerably better by day 2.
I had this whole awesome tabs bar full of articles and crap that you all would have been totally blown away by checking out.  Somehow, it had all magically disappeared after Kid #2 enjoyed some computer time.  That's funny.  I could go and look it all up again but some of it was from a long time ago (because I haven't been the most organized about getting them posted in a timely matter) so I just kind of gave up and had a beer.
I sent a work email to about 5 people this week.  I realised the next day that I referred to one of the addressee's by the wrong name for the entire email.  That's a little bit funny and mostly just embarrassing.  Fortunately, embarrassment has never phased me much.  You giggle a little and then apologize for being an idiot and then move on.
I hope that you never have to experience just how difficult it can be to focus on something that you really really need to accomplish - something that isn't stupid - when someone is watching continuous episodes of 'Community' on Netflix.  I'm not a huge tv fan at the best of times (although 'The Newsroom' has been trending in my house lately), reality tv makes me wish I'd never left the comfort of my mother, sitcom's are wayyyyyy too inconsistent, I can't even tell you just how bored I am with American crime shows right now.  Community can be loud and even turning it down low doesn't drown it out enough to help me focus.  Maybe it's my trouble focussing.  Oh god.
I'm hoping that these anecdotes serve to illustrate to you all just what kind of week it's been.  A little blah and maybe even disappointing.  A little frustrating with a twinge of exasperating.  A large dose of embarrassment and some forehead slapping head shaking.

All of that changed when I made this eggplant recipe.

It might not be too far off the mark to wonder if collective nirvana could be achieved by the ingestion of this eggplant.  There are probably some who would argue that world peace is within reach should this dish be ingested.  Well, at least peace in the middle east.  This dish raises simplicity to an art form.  Given my own issues with simplicity, it was everything I could do to hold my arms down sometimes.  I wanted to add more ingredients.  Different veggies.  Add more flavour to the sauce.  Nope.  I resisted.  Mostly because of focus issues.
You will need a little patience getting through the eggplant but the patience will pay off and you will wish that I had told you about this weeks ago.

Spicy Asian Eggplant adapted from Step by Step
makes about 3 cups, serves 4

2 small or 1 lg eggplant, cut into 1 inch thick strips 3 - 4 inches long
4 shallots or 1 onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tsp salt
pinch pepper
4 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 heaping tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 heaping tsp brown sugar
1 heaping tsp corn starch
dash of pepper sauce (sriracha would be great here)

coriander or flat parsley leaves to garnish

Heat a wok to med/hot.  Once heated turn down just a little.  Add a few tbsp's of oil and add the eggplant in about two batches.  Cook each batch of eggplant until it's softened and browned (you may find that you need more oil).  Remove each batch, set aside and add the next batch.
Once the eggplant is done, add a little more oil to the wok and turn down the heat just a little more.
Add in the shallots or onion and cook until softened and golden (anywhere from 5 - 7 minutes).
Meanwhile, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, corn starch and pepper sauce together.  Whisk until combined.  Set aside.
Add the garlic and stir briefly - should be just browning and beginning to smell.
Turn the heat down to low and add back in the eggplant.  Stir to mix.
Add the soy sauce mixture and stir to coat.
Turn the heat off and check the taste.  Adjust if necessary.
Sprinkle some coarsely chopped coriander or flat parsley leaves on top.

Corn, Zucchini and Tomato Orzo

The first week of the next 10 months is squarely behind us all.  Thank Jeebus.  It felt like the starting gun went off and the race is on.  It won't stop now until June 2014.  Long race.  I went to the staff social on Friday after work.  This is newsworthy because I never go.  Nobody noticed because we were all too shell shocked to really converse with each other in any meaningful way.  No amount of alcohol could help us.
Kid #2 has added to his PTSD-inducing-non-stop-talking by way of making movies on my phone.  He sets up the phone on the couch so that it's at precisely the right angle to catch his moves (talking non-stop) and then records himself acting out some sword fight from something or other.  Full sound effects and stage worthy bow at the end.  Who says violent video games don't do damage.  He's done about 12 movies so far.  The only thing that changes is the lighting (afternoon into evening).  I have already deleted 6.
Kid #1 is happily walking into 'teen land' having started at a new school (an arts school which she had to audition for and we're very proud of her for getting accepted into).  We've been inundated with stories of new friends, new teachers (all of whom are epic apparently) and how today's dance class was... oh yeah, and can I take clarinet lessons (god... NO)
Huffington Post classified this piece as 'Weird News' but I don't think that there is anything weird about it.  In fact, I was thankful for the information and appreciated the commitment to education that the artist displays.  Be warned: There is audio that kicks in automatically (which I can't stand Huffington Post... Please make it my choice, Thank You) so if your kids aren't comfortable with the word 'clitoris' then think about volume.

First pay cheque day is not until the middle of the month which means we are still scrounging around and making whatever we can find in cupboards and the freezer.  Beans are my friend.  Orzo is cheap but looks classy.  Fortunately, being the end of summer means that vegetables are plentiful.  Also, fortunate that I haven't used everything in the freezer from last year.  I think that the very last thing will be soup with last years frozen green beans and broccoli along with whatever is dying in the crisper.  I would guess that this dish comes in at well under 10$ in total but don't quote me on that.  If it's not under 10$ then it's awfully damn close which is saying something when it makes that much food.

Corn, Zucchini and Tomato Orzo adapted from Eat to Thrive
serves 6-8

1 generous cup orzo, uncooked
1/2 cup onion
1 med/lg zucchini, thinly sliced
3 cups cremini or button mushroom, stems removed and quartered
1 cup corn kernels
1 can (about 400 ml) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups diced tomato (keep the juice)
3/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tsp honey
2 tsp salt
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Bring about 3 cups of water to a boil.  Add salt and then the orzo.  Cook until al dente (about 8 minutes).  Drain - reserving some liquid - and set aside.
Heat a heavy bottomed dutch oven or large pot over med heat.  Add about 2 tbsp oil.
Add the onion and the zucchini.  Cook for about 6 or 7 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes - turn down the heat a bit if you need to.
Add in the corn kernels and drained black beans.  Mix well
Add the tomato with the juice, vegetable broth, honey, salt, chili powder, cumin, chipotle powder and cardamom.  Mix and simmer at med/low heat for a few minutes.
Turn the heat down to low and add in the cooked orzo - add a little bit of the pasta water - and mix well.
Add the cheddar cheese and mix.  Remove from heat, cover and allow the cheese to melt for about 5 minutes.

Powered by Blogger.

Archivo del blog

About Me

My photo
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

My Favourite Cookbooks

  • Naparima Girls High School Cookbook
  • The Silver Palate Cookbook
  • More-with-Less Cookbook
  • Moosewood Cookbook

About Me

My Photo
Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
View my complete profile



Blog Archive



FBC Member