Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Eggplant Dishes Part 2

Asparagus Eggplant Wraps on white rice with a bun.
For the second part of my eggplant dishes I would like to present a dish that was inspired by a trip to the Granville Island Market that I took with some family members over the Christmas holidays. At the market one of the food vendors was selling a piece of feta cheese that was wrapped in a slice of grilled eggplant and held together with a toothpick. I tried it and was intrigued.

Last week I finally decided to do something similar. I like to use ingredients that I have at the house, and I didn't have any feta so I needed to improvise. My room mate had boiled a bunch of asparagus spears for his dinner but did not eat them all and let me use some to try out a new dish. I would like to present this dish simply as, 'Asparagus Eggplant Wraps'

Asparagus Eggplant Wraps

5 to 10 asparagus spears, boiled
1 small eggplant sliced thinly length-wise
1/4 C BBQ sauce (or marinade of your choice)
1 C shredded cheese

Note: The amount of all of these ingredients depends on how well you can slice the eggplant. If you can make lots of good slices then you can make lots of good wraps! If they are too thick or too thin they will not work as well.

1. Slice the eggplant length-wise, not too thin that it can't wrap or too thin that it falls apart.

2. Layer the marinade with the eggplant slices so that the eggplant slices can absorb the flavor. Let it sit for a few hours.


3. Fry the eggplant slices in a frying pan until they are not covered in wet sauce anymore.

4. Remove the eggplant slices from the frying pan and onto a cutting board. Cover one side of each slice with cheese, then place the asparagus spear near the end of the slice. I like to place the spear so there is a bit of shaft before the eggplant, then cut the bottom of the shaft off so there is equal amount of asparagus on each side of the eggplant.

5. When an asparagus spear is wrapped, impale it on a skewer; place about 5 wraps on each skewer. If you can, balance each skewer on the edges of an oven pan so that none of the wraps are touching the pan. Broil in the oven till the cheese is melted and begins to harden.

Again, I must stress that the amount you can make depends on how well you can slice the eggplant. But I believe it is possible to get 10 or even 12 wraps out of an eggplant. Good luck and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eggplant Dishes Part 1

So lately I have been trying some new things with eggplants that have turned out quite well. On its own I find eggplant to be a bit bland but is quite tasty when added to other kinds of foods and flavours. The first dish I would like to share is 'Yam/Rice Casserole' I'm not sure if casserole is the right word for this dish, but it feels right, so I'll go with it.

Yam/Rice Casserole

1 Yam (cubed)

2/3 C. Rice (1 1/3 C. Water)

1 Small Eggplant (sliced)

3 tbsp. Hoisin Sauce

2/3 C. Shredded Cheese

Desired Seasonings.

1. Wash Rice before cooking it. Cook rice and water in a small pot. when the rice begins to boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water has evaporated.

2. Boil the cubed yam until you are able to mash it with a fork.

3. While the rice and yam cubes are cooking, fry up the eggplant slices and season as desired.

4. In a small mixing bowl blend the yam with a hand blender until smooth

5. add the mashed yam to the rice, mix thoroughly.

6. Put the yam rice mixture in a small oven safe pan (such as a loaf pan) spread the hoisin sauce on top then layer with the fried eggplant slices. Cover with shredded cheese.

7. Bake in the oven (400 F) until the cheese is completely melted.

Makes 2-3 servings.

Monday, April 5, 2010

March Catch-up!

I apologize for not updating my Blog on a regular basis. I haven't been too busy to do it, I've just been a bit lazy, that's all. But I did a couple noteworthy food stuff in March (other than Pi Day) that I would like to share.

First up are "Maffles" and "Mancakes". These are Waffles and Pancakes with meat added to the mixture. The assumption is that adding any kind of meat to a meal that doesn't usually have meat in it makes it a man's meal. Therefore it warrants a 'Manizing' of its name (Waffles become Maffles and Pancakes become Mancakes). For these breakfast dishes I went with Bacon, the king of meats, on the suggestion of some friends.

I simply cooked the bacon up to a point where it was cooked but not crispy, still flexible. I suggest using a microwave to cook the bacon because it is much quicker than using a frying pan. I then chopped the bacon into smaller chucks and mixed it in the batter. I tried Maffles and Mancakes (and one botched Mancake that got scrambled).

I much preferred the taste and texture of the soft Mancake to that of the crispier Maffle. It is hard to tell from the outside appearance that there is even any bacon in them but cutting them up reveals the delicious chucks of bacon. I used maple glazed bacon because I figured it would go well with a bit of maple syrup.

Maffle and a scrambled Mancake.

Where's the Bacon?

There it is!
The other interesting food dish I made is what I would like to call a "Pudding Parcel". For the Pi Party my roommate had made a bowl of lemon pudding but didn't serve it because there was already lots of food to eat. We ended up putting it in the freezer because there was no room in the fridge. It froze and we noticed it a few days later and wanted to have some, but of course it was frozen. That's when I got an idea. I had some leftover pie crust dough from a pie I made for the Pi Party and suggested that we combine them to make a delicious treat, my roommate agreed.

I rolled out the leftover dough and cut it into squares (about 5" by 5") . Then I scooped out a chuck of semi frozen lemon pudding and placed it in the center of the square, folding the dough over the pudding to envelope it and seal the pudding inside. I then put the pudding parcels into the deep fryer. I don't remember how long they were in the deep fryer but it was long enough that the dough was crisp and the pudding was fully thawed but not hot. After the deep fryer I patted them down with a paper towel to remove some oil and sprinkled them with a bit of icing sugar. I was very impressed with how they turned out (crispy, sweet, but not hot) and look forward to trying it again with other flavors of pudding.

Lemon Pudding Parcel