Sue was actually home by the time I made this, but she’d told me she had a big lunch and wouldn’t want dinner.
I had a leftover tandoori style lamb shoulder chop from two nights before (hardwood charcoal mmm), and most of a kabob of vegetables (onion bell pepper tomato). I found a slightly freezer burned garlic naan not much bigger than my hand (less than two thirds the size of a pre-made personal pizza crust) in the freezer. While I pre-heated the grill, I put down some sauce: a heaping teaspoon of coriander chutney and a scoop of plain Greek yogurt. Diced up the vegetables and lamb, dropped that over the sauce, added a small handful of shredded mozzarella, a slivered Serrano chile and a sprinkle of garam masala.
I turned off the front burner and let it bake with indirect heat, turning it a couple times until the cheese was all melted, less than ten minutes, under 30 counting the pre-heat.
Delicious, accompanied by a tall glass of ice water, The Clash’s “London Calling” and Ann Leckie’s “Ancillary Justice.”
Sue’s out for the evening again (my turn on Thursday… she’ll probably get no more imaginative than French Toast).
I had a couple eggplants I’d bought before the Iron Chef pot luck, to have in case the chosen ingredient was more Mediterranean. It’s not her favorite as a main course, so I’m more than happy to work with it again. I thought about doing the Bulgur salad again, but kt’s too soon to repeat myself.
Strong candidates were eggplant parmesan, or something Indian. I really didn’t want to fry (I will lose some weight one of these months)… even a lot of the Indian dishes used things like half-cups of oil, coconut milk, etc. But I found one recipe that looked light, spicy, and relatively quick. This is a great weeknight meal that takes less time to cook than it does to make rice (especially the brown jasmine rice I put up in the rice cooker). I haven’t seen an Indian cookbook specify cooking anything in a microwave before, 1000 Indian Recipes by Neelam Baira surprised me here.
It certainly was spicy: one measly Serrano chile being stir fried and the air in the kitchen was very hard to breathe.
It would have been vegan if I didn’t dollop on some greek yogurt… which served nicely to tone down the chile.
Recipe: Indian Stir-Fried Eggplant
adapted from 1000 Indian Recipes by Naleem Baira
1 large (1lb / 440g) eggplant
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) salt
2 tsp (10ml) oil
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) cumin seed
1/4 tsp (1.25ml) cracked black pepper
1 Serrano chile, chopped fine
about 1/3 cup (80ml) finely diced red onion
2 small cloves garlic, chopped fine
1.5 tsp (7.5ml) finely chopped fresh ginger
about 1/2 cup (120 ml) (around 10) chopped grape tomatoes
1.5 tsp (7.5ml) ground coriander
a large pinch turmeric
1/4 cup (60ml) chopped cilantro
To serve: brown jasmine rice, greek yogurt, a pinch of garam masala
Cut the eggplant into bite-sized pieces (I cut it in eights lengthwise, then 1/2″ slices)
Place eggplant in a microwave-safe baking dish, sprinkle with salt, cover, and microwave on high for 4 minutes.
While your rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the mise en place, read a magazine… (brown rice takes too long to cook)
In a wok, heat the oil on high. Turn on your vent hood, by all that is holy.
Add the pepper and cumin seeds, stir until fragrant (3o seconds at most)
Immediately add the onions, garlic, ginger and chile. (this is when it will get hard to breathe)
Turn the heat down to medium, stir fry the aromatics until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. If the heat is too high and it’s drying out, add a little water.
Add the coriander and turmeric, stir, then add tomatoes, stir for one minute
Add the eggplant and cilantro and about 1/4 cup (120ml) water, stir for about 5 minutes until everything is soft.
Serve atop rice, with a sprinkle of garam masala and a dollop of yogurt. And a drink.
Sunday night was bachelor night – Sue was meeting some friends, so I’d be on my own, which means I can eat things she doesn’t like. So wandering the local market, I debated fish, squid, clams (thinking about clams with miso for a future edition of Bachelor Chow Honors Class)… and settled on mussels. I probably should have picked up another leek — I thought I had two left, but only had one, and had enough mussels in a two-pound bag to overeat for dinner and lunch today.