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Eggplants and Aubergines


Rosie x
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The creamed eggplant recipe from Smithy's foodblog is wonderful. Just wonderful, and a great base for any braised beef dish with lots of thick sauce.

My tip for eggplant is to grill them on an outdoor barbecue whenever possible, instead of frying or broiling or baking. The grill gives eggplant a smoky flavor that just adds another layer of flavor. I love the flavor of grilled eggplant and could it eat with just a sprinkling of a good sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Marcia.

Edited by purplewiz (log)

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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Here is what I like to do with eggplant, which I don't believe has been mentioned:

slice them unpeeled into long slender strips and "quick pickle" them on the stove with vinegar, water, salt, sugar. I'll usually add a few hot peppers and garlic. I find they can stay quite firm and almost feel like linguine in the mouth.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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  • 3 weeks later...
Here is what I like to do with eggplant, which I don't believe has been mentioned:

slice them unpeeled into long slender strips and "quick pickle" them on the stove with vinegar, water, salt, sugar. I'll usually add a few hot peppers and garlic. I find they can stay quite firm and almost feel like linguine in the mouth.

This method sounds somewhat like, but not exactly the same as, a technique used to make "eggplant pasta" demonstrated on one episode of Good Eats. I haven't followed the recipe provided by Alton Brown on the Foodnetwork, but I thought I would try to make eggplant noodles, given my love of eggplant.

So, tonight, I took two large Italian eggplants, peeled, and then cut into "linguine" strips, with a mandoline. I salted the strips and "purged" them in a colander for about 45 minutes. Then I made pad thai, using the eggplant pasta instead of rice noodles. The eggplant doesn't taste like rice noodles, but since it absorbs the sauce, the dish did taste like pad thai. I just snuck a bite of the leftovers, which have absorbed the sauce even more, and I really like it.

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  • 1 year later...

This is a wonderful thread and I want to try every recipe here. I was always told to salt my eggplants to reduce bitterness but I have stopped since eggplants are not as bitter as they used to be, is salting still widely done?

The trend here is to grill a whole eggplant (I use the long black Japanese eggplants). When the eggplant has completely collapsed then the flesh is pureed and combined with creamed mashed potatoes for an interesting Middle Eastern twist on the common side dish.

Another way is slicing the eggplants, brushing with olive oil, sprinking with salt/pepper and putting in the oven for about 45 minutes on medium high (200 C),

gallery_63527_6502_85842.jpg

perhaps these should have been left in a bit longer.

Cheers, Sarah

http://sarahmelamed.com/

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To me my latest discovery has been charrgrilled eggplant with charmoula which is almost identical to chimichurri except fresh cilantro is not known and used so it is a welcomed change. Even thought I have quite a few Spanish speaking Moor friends few of them would suggest such recipes but stressed that most Spanish cultural heritage is Moor.

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  • 4 months later...

I had a beautiful shiny firm globe eggplant and wonderful fresh herbs. I had big plans. Then life threw me a curve. I wanted comfort food, I had little time, and I could not pre-fry the eggplant because the house is for sale and no smells are allowed. I took a disposable aluminum pan, sprayed to coat, and layered Yukon Gold potato, eggplant, and a mix of ground pork/chuck/veal well seasoned. The layers also included a bit of grated raw milk farmhouse cheese and parmesan as well as fresh basil, thyme, parsley and oregano, and masses of fresh chopped garlic and some sliced onion. After it was all layered and patted down I gave it a little splash bath of cream. This was in keeping with an excellent recipe I learned here for cream roasted potatoes. I covered the first hour and then let brown up a bit. The teenagers got pretty curious and one overcame his eggplant fear and ate a big bowl. This was really good comfort food with basically only assembly. There was no watery issue from the eggplant, or any bitterness, and the flavors were good. Next time I will add in garden zucchini for a taste and textural contrast. I was just so pleased that I could let the oven slowly do the work for me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was taught to make a wonderful dish by a Roman Chef. He sliced the aubergines lengthwise and salted them, dried them off very well and set them out on an oven tray and dried them in a low oven until almost leather-like. (also did this with courgettes) when cold he would drench them in the best EVOO he could afford, lots of finely chopped garlic, lots of chopped parsley and a small spritz of lemon juice. The aubergine flesh drinks up the wonderful garlic olive oil and becomes soft and unctuous.

Needs an overflowing basket of good bread to sop up the wonderful juices. Oh and a wee bottle of vino :wink:

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I was always told to salt my eggplants to reduce bitterness but I have stopped since eggplants are not as bitter as they used to be, is salting still widely done?

Hi,

Actually salting is used to leach moisture from the eggplant. You may also cook the eggplant pieces to eliminate moisture before using oil.

Another effective way to reduce moisture it to microwave the eggplant pieces.

Tim

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  • 2 weeks later...

My local honesty-box vegetable shack has risen from the ashes, and they have started selling "old" Japanese eggplants at around a dollar a dozen (100 yen for 10, to be pedantic). These are probably not seedy or over-ripe, they've just been picked a few days and left at temps close to 100 deg F in a tinroofed shack, and are starting to deflate and lose their gloss.

Recommended recipes for the less wonderful eggplants in our world?

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My local honesty-box vegetable shack has risen from the ashes, and they have started selling "old" Japanese eggplants at around a dollar a dozen (100 yen for 10, to be pedantic). These are probably not seedy or over-ripe, they've just been picked a few days and left at temps close to 100 deg F in a tinroofed shack, and are starting to deflate and lose their gloss.

Recommended recipes for the less wonderful eggplants in our world?

Grill them over charcoal, or in a super hot oven if a charcoal grill is not available, until the skins are blackened all over, for about 20 minutes in all. It is important to burn them until they are black so that the flesh inside tastes smoky. Mash the flesh lightly with some cumin powder, small amount of chopped garlic and a squeeze of lemon. Add salt and pepper. If you'd like it a little more creamy add a small amount of natural yoghurt but this is not necessary in my opinion.

This is a wonderful topping for some bruschetta or use as an accompaniment for meat or fish.

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Do whatever you do with good eggplant, with one change.

Slice them, put them on a paper towel lined plate, and nuke them for, oh, a minute and a half. They won't be watery, won't be bitter and will be slightly pre-cooked for the recipe of your choice. All that salting standing stuff will be blown away, the flavor will improve, and they'll cook faster.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Cut them in half-inch cubes and sautee over high heat in a generous splash of oil for 5-7 minutes, until they start to soften and brown. Then pour in a mixture of equal parts shaoxing wine (or dry sherry) and light soy sauce, half a teaspoon of sugar, some chiliflakes and freshly grated ginger. Stir for about another minute, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Sprinkle with scallions and serve over rice.

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I ended up currying them with some tomatoes..letting them sweat out their own juices to make a rich, spicy sauce.

Joe, I'll definitely try chargrilling, though I wonder if they will be as tasty as fresh eggplants done that way.

I'll be over at that stand again at the crack of dawn tomorrow, anyway!

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If they were already kind of wilted, they might make okay pickles, like Marcella Hazan's pickled eggplants. They're great on a sandwich, or with a plate of bread and cheese before dinner, since they're quite garlicky.

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I'm surprised that no one has said babaganoush yet.

Actually, I thought this post above kind of had that covered.

Grill them over charcoal, or in a super hot oven if a charcoal grill is not available, until the skins are blackened all over, for about 20 minutes in all. It is important to burn them until they are black so that the flesh inside tastes smoky. Mash the flesh lightly with some cumin powder, small amount of chopped garlic and a squeeze of lemon. Add salt and pepper. If you'd like it a little more creamy add a small amount of natural yoghurt but this is not necessary in my opinion.

I'd also think about ratatouille or caponata, both good ways to disguise slightly over-the-hill vegetables.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I agree - but don't let an Italian hear you say that one of their recipes (caponata) is a good way to disguise over the hill vegetables. To their mind if you're using over the hill vegetables you've failed before you've started cooking.

But ratatouille is French and they won't mind about the quality of the vegetables so you're safe there... :biggrin:

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Lately I have enjoyed making a 'deconstructed babaganoush'

Essentially, grill up some eggplants which have been sliced in half.

Prepare some fantastic Tahina - top eggplant with a mound of tahina, chopped parsley, good squeeze of lemon juice, and if you have it, some spring garlic mash/oil & s&p.

Awesome dish.

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I like the idea of babaganoush "deconstructed" - the thought of putting lots of work into less than wonderful eggplants was bothering me!

The curry....was made with Japanese roux. I had other plans, but got a phone call from son at school saying "Please meet me at the hospital..." :shock: ...so roux it was. The "waterless" treatment is always tasty, though.

Ratatouille...yes, but you have to put other ingredients in, and with 5-10 eggpants, there ain't room!

Pickles, I think that is a FINE idea.

Mabo nasu (like mabo tofu, but with eggplants) is another quick but tasty dish I'm planning to use.

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Eggplant Terrine:

this is to die for:

Software:

1)crushed head of garlic in 1/2 cup of olive oil

2)red bell pepper (char the skin throughly over flame, reserve in a covered bowl)

3)egg plant (sliced 1/4-1/2 inch thick, heavily salted both sides, on a wire rack over he sink, let it drain for 1-2 hours. Rinse off salt and stack the eggplant up and hand squeeze as much moisture out of eggplant slices as possible. Rinse, and repeat...egg plant slices should be wafer thin.)

4)goat cheese

5)balsamic vinegar

6)salt/pepper

Hardware: saran wrap, soup bowl, vacumn sealer/vacumn bag

The Program:

brush eggplant slices with garlicky olive oil and saute at medium heat until well browned

Peel and remove seeds from bell pepper (do not rinse), lay skin out as a flat sheet

line the soup bowl with an excess of saran wrap.

line the bell pepper in the bowl until interior surface covered, and excess bell pepper hangs over the edges of the bowl. season bell pepper with salt and pepper.

add a flat layer of eggplant

add a flat layer of goat cheese, drizzle small amount of balsamic vinegar and garlicky olive oil over the goat cheese.

add a flat layer of bell pepper,season bell pepper with salt and pepper.

repeat the layers and seasonings until the bowl is full.

fold the excess red bell pepper from the first layer, over the top of the terrine, fold the excess saran wrap over the top off this, an dpress down to remove air pockets.

at this point I have placed the bowl in a vacuum bag and sealed it under vacumn to compress it and refrigerate at least over nite. alternatively, it could be covered with a plate and a heavy can placed on top to compress.

at service, remove the vacuum bag, use the saran wrap to pull the terrine out of the bowl/mold. open the saran wrap, and invert the terrine onto a plate, remove the saran wrap.

the terrine should appear like a bright red dessert cake...use a serrate knife to cut into cake wedges, serve cold as an appetizer.

it's looks great, and the taste is profoundly good.....next time i make one, i'll post a pic..it's really a nice way to present eggplant, it tastes ethereal, and you can make it a day or two ahead of time, making it ideal for dinner parties..

Edited by Heartsurgeon (log)
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  • 3 months later...

I have a nice eggplant in the fridge, but I haven't been able to make anything with it, because i can't make up my mind what i want--I love eggplant almost any way....

baba ghanouj --at room temp, very oily, lemony & garlicky, with pitas

tempura style

eggplant parm--I do love this

japanese style--broiled with soy sauce and sugar

any other thoughts?

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My absolute favorite eggplant dish is meat(less)balls.

Basically, fried eggplant balls. I can't stress to you how delicious they are. Better than meat meatballs.

Polpette di Melanzane

2 medium eggplants

1 medium (or large if youre a garlic lover) clove of grated garlic

Roughly 2 tablespoons (QB) of fresh chopped parsley,

2 small handfuls of grated parmigiano, or pecorino or a mixture

2-4 handfuls of DRY preferably homemade breadcrumbs* depending on your hand size and wetness of eggplant

More breadcrumbs for frying

1 egg

A drizzle around the bowl of olive oil

Salt and fresh cracked pepper QB

Oil for frying. (I used Corn oil, olive too heavy)

Tomato Sauce for dipping

Cut eggplants in half and bake halves at 180-200 until soft about 20-30 minutes. Scoop out and combine with all the above ingredients. Mixture should seem almost too wet to form. If you put too little bread crumbs, they wont hold their shape. But if you put too much, they will be bread balls with a little bit of eggplant. Form into medium sized flat meatballs or shape of your desire, coat in breadcrumbs and fry on medium heat until golden brown. Really, you just have to get a little color and cook the egg which is why I made them flat. Serve with tomato sauce/marinara sauce...

Basically its your average meatball (with slight variations) recipe sub eggplant for chopped meat.

I also don't usually grate garlic, but I think it worked REALLY well in this recipe.

Another optional ingredient is capers. I am not a fan though.

*The reason you use dry breadcrumbs as opposed to wet stale bread like in meatballs is because the eggplant is somewhat watery and with the addition of egg, you need to soak up the liquid.

You might also consider:

Caponata

Stuffed Eggplant

Or

Funghetto (yummy!!)

Edited by ambra (log)
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My favourite is Sichuan Fish-Fragrant Aubergine. Peel one large aubergine then cut into chunky batons. Deep fry them till golden, carefully drain them from the oil. Make the sauce; fry garlic, ginger and scallion white till soft then add a dollop of chilli bean paste (one or two tablespoons to taste). Add a splash of shaosing wine, soy, sugar and Chinese black vinegar. Loosen with water or stock if required to cook out the ingredients. The sauce should be thick and glossy from the sugar. Add the aubergines back in and coat with the sauce gently. Finish with chiili oil and green onion tops. The balance of flavours should be hot, sweet and sour and should look something like this:

20090404b copy.jpg

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