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 Post subject: Eggplant Recipes
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:58 pm 
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Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
This has been a very good year for the eggplant in my garden. Only three plants, but with at least 20 per plant, I'm giving it away, eating it regularly, and cooking eggplant parmesan to freeze. I love it, but would like some variety. :)

I found a recipe for a chickpea and eggplant tart online recently (can't remember if it was here or somewhere else--sorry!), but am starting this thread to see if anyone else has recipes. I have several Middle Eastern recipes, including a pork/tomato/eggplant casserole, and baba ganoush, in addition to the classic Italian eggplant parmesan, but wonder what other recipes are out there?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:13 pm 
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You should try places like www.chowhound.com or www.foodtv.com

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:56 pm 
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Those places abound, certainly. I like http://www.epicureous.com/ and http://www.marthastewart.com.

I started the thread more in the nature of sharing HERE, at the Dirt Doctor site. I found it useful to locate a jelly recipe here when I was harvesting wild local grapes, and I plan to post the recipe we settle on after another batch or two.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only local gardener who has eggplant growing in great abundance, and others who planted probably also eat it, so I'd like to learn others' have favorite recipes.

I have a couple I'll post as soon as I dig them out. Until then, I have made several pans of eggplant parmesan to freeze.

Peel however many eggplants you're planning to use, slice them across the plant in 1/2 inch slices. Set them out in a colander over a sink or plate and sprinkle them with salt. Turn each piece over an salt the other side, and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Wash off the salt and proceed to breading the pieces.

I use three plates, one for the wet slices, one with some flour sifted onto it to dredge the slices in, and one for my seasoned bread crumbs. I have a bowl with an egg I've beaten with a fork and added maybe a teaspoon or two of water to it.

Using my unpatented dry hand, wet hand method, I pick up the wet slice with my right hand, move it around on the flour, and push flour onto the edges with my left hand, then turn it over. Roll it around if you have to. With my dry hand I pick it up and place it in the bowl of egg, and with the wet hand I move it around and turn it over. Holding it by a couple of edges I pick up the slice and place it on the bread crumbs, pushing crumbs up around the side and nudging it around then turning it over.

Once the slice is completely breaded I pick it up with the dry hand and place it in a skillet that has about 1/4 to 1/3 inch of canola oil that has about 2 tablespoons of butter added (for flavor. You can leave it out). Saute each side until it is golden brown and move to drain on a section of newspaper with paper toweling or a flat brown paper bag on top.

Once the slices are cooked I take a canned spaghetti sauce (I also have my own sauce, but it depends on if I remembered to thaw it) and spoon a little in the bottom of a casserole or cake pan, then a layer of eggplant. Cover this with a heavier amount of sauce, followed by a liberal sprinkle of mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. I sometimes make two or three layers of this if I'm eating it right now, but to freeze it I make one layer. Then I can more easily separate part if I don't want to heat the entire pan later.

I often eat it just this way, but of course you can also cook a pan of spaghetti, heat some more sauce, and serve the parmesan and the pasta together.

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 Post subject: Re: Eggplant Recipes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:19 am 
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I found a very nice recipe for an eggplant and tomato sauce on Lidia's Italy this fall. I made and canned a batch over the weekend, and it is a generous amount, but cans great (simple water bath, since there is no meat, process for 40 minutes).

It's called Slow-Cooked Summer Tomato and Eggplant Sauce (http://tinyurl.com/yjobsqn) that I found when searching http://www.lidiasitaly.com/. And it really is slow cooked; even with the more than two hours she suggests in the recipe, I simmered so it would reduce for more like 3 1/2 hours. She says it makes about 3 quarts of sauce, but I ended up with 5. I was using a a big can of tomatoes (6 pounds, her recipe calls for 5) and I used four good-sized eggplants. I have 12 1/2 pint jars and four pints, and about a half-pint in a container in the fridge to eat this week.

5 pounds ripe plum tomatoes
1 1/2 pounds firm eggplants
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups finely clopped onions, about 1 1/4 pounds
1/4 cup finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon peperoncino (or to your taste)
3 or 4 large branches of fresh basil with leaves

8-quart dutch oven or saucepan, with cover, is needed.

These are her instructions:

Prepare the tomatoes for sauce. Trim and peel the eggplants.Cut them lengthwise in 3/4-inch wide slices, stack the slices and cut them into 3/4-inch wide strips, then chop into 3/4-inch chunks.

Following the procedures for “Initial Sauté” in the main recipe, stir together the oil, the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the saucepan. Cook for 5 or 6 minutes, add the garlic and let it caramelize it in a “hot spot,” then stir in a couple tablespoons of water and cook the onions and garlic together for a minute or two.

Now pour the eggplant pieces into the pan, sprinkle on 1 teaspoon salt, and turn to coat the pieces with the oil and sautéed onion and garlic. Cook over low-medium heat, uncovered, stirring and turning the eggplant frequently. If the pan gets dry and the pieces start to brown, stir in several spoons of water; lower the heat if needed.

Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until the eggplant chunks are very soft, almost mushy, but still retain their shape. Pour in the prepared tomatoes and juices, rinse the tomato bowl with 2 or 3 cups water and pour it into the pan (the eggplant needs the additional liquid). Sprinkle on the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, the peperoncino and stir to blend everything together. Submerge the basil branches in the sauce, cover the pan and raise the heat to medium.

When the sauce reaches the boil, lower the heat to keep an active simmer and cook, covered, for 40 minutes or so. The eggplant should now be broken down and melting into the tomatoes.

Uncover the pan and let the sauce bubble gently and gradually reduce. Stir carefully as it thickens, to make sure the eggplant doesn’t stick to the pan bottom, lower the heat if necessary. Cook uncovered for a total of 45 minutes to an hour, until the sauce has the consistency you like, then turn off the heat. Pull out the basil before using, and store as in the main recipe.

The only mystery here is 'what is the main recipe?' I don't know what else this was meant to go with, but by itself it's a great sauce for anything you would use regular tomato sauce for. That's how I intend to use it.

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