Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Eggplant Tempura

Enjoy with a coconut curry sauce and rice, or with your favorite Italian tomato sauce and pasta.

1 ½ lbs of eggplant (the small, thin varieties work especially nice here)
peanut or canola oil (enough to fill a heavy bottomed pan 3 inches deep, or a deep fryer, if you have one)
1 cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
a pinch of black pepper
1 egg, beaten
cold water, as needed

Wash the eggplant and slice into ¼ inch thick rounds. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
Mix the flour with the salt and pepper. Add the beaten egg, and stir. Add cold water until  a thin batter is formed.
Heat the oil. Try to keep the oil between 365 and 375F. Use a thermometer if you have one, otherwise just keep an eye on your heat, turn it down a bit once it is fully heated.
Once the oil is hot, begin dipping the eggplant rounds into the batter, (shake off the excess) and drop carefully into the oil. Work quickly to get them in the oil close to the same time. If you are not using a deep fryer, you will probably need to flip the eggplant to get both sides brown. Remove from oil when golden brown (2-4 minutes) and place on paper towels. Cook in batches to avoid over-crowding in the pan or deep fryer.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Crock Pot Ratatouille

2 large onions, cut in half and sliced
1 large eggplant, sliced, cut in 2 inch pieces
4 small zucchini, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large green bell peppers, de-seeded and cut into thin strips
2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
red pepper flakes, to spice it up

Layer half the vegetables in a large crock pot in the following order: onion, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, green peppers, tomatoes. Next sprinkle half the basil, oregano, sugar, parsley, salt and pepper on the veggies. Dot with half of the tomato paste. Repeat layering process with remaining vegetables, spices and tomato paste.

Drizzle with olive oil. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours.