Sunday, 22 January 2012

For the Love of Eggplant

Let's review. We love curry. If you've been paying attention you may know this. What you may not know, as it is a recent discovery for us, is how much we love eggplant. A year ago, all I knew about eggplant was that I liked the colour a whole lot.

As an aside, why are all vegetables called 'red' really purple?  'Red' onion, 'red' cabbage. Think about it and marvel.

Eggplant Curry

- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups mushrooms, cut up
- 1 large eggplant, peeled, cubed and soak in water
- package Gardien beef tips (opitional)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp garham Marsala
- 1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2 cups basmati rice

Cook basmati rice according to package directions.

While the rice is cooking, put olive oil in large pot, heat on medium low heat. Add onion, and sauté till beginning to brown. If using Gardien, put on with the onion, so both are browned.

Add garlic, cook about a minute, then add mushrooms and eggplant. Both will cook down. Add salt and spices, spice to taste, I just put what I used in this dish. And Denise likes it spicy, and I like it not too, too hot. This combo seems to work.

I usually simmer about 10-15 minutes on low heat. Then the rice should be about done too.

Serve curry over rice. Yay! You just cooked with eggplant! Look at you. Now go brag to your friends.

- Melina  : D

So eggplant. It's a scary vegetable. Had no idea what to do with it. It wasn't until our friend Janis, who spent much time in China and Hong Kong and came home with 2 of the cutest kids ever, gave us a tip that we dared experiment. You see, eggplant absorbs a lot of oil when it's cooked. Then it can get all slimy and icky. Eww. The greatest trick is to soak the cut eggplant in water first! GENIUS! Then it repels any oil used in cooking.

I want to find a million things to do with eggplant. Right now our favourite is this 'Beefless Tips and Eggplant Curry'. If you have feared the eggplant, or even if you haven't, you must try it. It is AMAZING!

Take it away Melina! 

~ Denise

Friday, 13 January 2012

Brill Banana Bread

So, I love banana bread. Some folks don't. Denise's mom thinks it's stupid to 'cook with bananas'. If you are like me, and come down on the side of pro banana cooking, read on, my friend, read on.

Have you always wanted to be a wizard? In the kitchen, I sometimes feel a bit like an old time alchemist, with my flours and sugars and potions. Ok, it's vanilla, not a potion, but let use some whimsy here, ok?

What follows is my first recipe. All mine.

Brill Banana Bread

- 3 bananas,over-ripe and mushed
- 1 tbsp flax meal
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 tsp vanilla
-3/4 cup brown sugar
-1/4 cup applesauce
-1/4 cup soy milk
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
-1/2 cup unbleached white flour
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-3/4 tsp baking soda

Preheat over to 350*

In small bowl, mix warm water and flax meal well, and set aside to thicken.

In medium bowl, mash bananas. Add applesauce, soy milk, vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add thickened flax meal, mix well.

In separate large bowl, combine flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Combine well.

Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and combine till ' just mixed'. Pour in greased loaf pan. Sprinkle Demerara sugar on top. I used 1/4 cup. This was nice because it was all crunchy on top, but if you want to use less, of course you can.

Bake for about 60-ish minutes. Make sure that a knife inserted comes out clean.

 Denise's comment was intermittent moaning, and observed it was more 'cake' like than 'bread'(which I meant as the highest of compliments! ~ Denise). I was most pleased with it and will be treating loved ones to banana bread soon. I think you know who you are!

Hugs, Melina.