23 July 2009

The Little Eggplant That Could.

Last night, I started chipping away at the CSA booty. I got into the eggplant. Eggplant is not something that I use often, so I wasn't sure what kind of recipes I would find. When I was in college, my friend Liz and I used to make these delicious eggplant burgers that had walnuts in them...on a grainy kaiser roll, they were outstanding. I thumbed through a couple cookbooks and came across a recipe for Spicy Chickpea and Eggplant Stew. The recipe looked like it would taste delicious, so I planned to make that. What I didn't plan for was the amount of heat that I would be producing and how terrible standing over a stove for an hour and a half would be.

After thoroughly salting and draining my eggplant, I rinsed them and they were added to the stew of diced tomatoes, chickpeas, onions, garlic, cumin, coriander and cinnamon. The way the stew smelled, I thought it would be sweet. It smelled like it should have honey and raisins in it.

It's rare that I have more than 2 burners on the stove going simultaneously, but last night, despite being exhausted, I fancied myself up for a challenge. I was in full swing last night!
In the Oven: Baked potatoes (because eggplant stew over rice isn't starchy enough!)
Burner 1: Chickpea and Eggplant Stew
Burner 2: Jasmine Rice
Burner 3: Sauteed Crispy Onions to top the stew
Burner 4: Fixings for the middle eastern themed baked potatoes

I'm glad that I didn't add the honey and raisins (to make it more Indian rather than Lebanese, as it was intended) because my dinner guest brought a delicious Pinot Noir which went really well and helped to add the sweetness and complexity of flavors that I'd been craving. Ultimately, the meal was absolutely a success! The aftermath, however, was that I passed out promptly after consuming my portion of the meal and a glass of wine. That'll teach me to cook complicated things over a hot stove in the dead of summer. :)

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