o Cookalong - #22 Eggplant

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see most clipped and recent clippings Posted by wizardnm (My Page) on Tue, Feb 23, 10 at 15:53

Lorijean44 has chosen Eggplant for this Cookalong.
Guess we are on a real veggie kick!

I don't do eggplant, so maybe there will be a recipe that will tempt me to try it.

Please check this thread after March 6th if you have posted....you maybe the one to pick the next subject.

Now, let's dig out those wonderful eggplant recipes!

Nancy

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Cookalong # 21---Beans Follow-Up Postings:

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Posted by jessyf (My Page) on Tue, Feb 23, 10 at 15:59

Cold Spiced Eggplant - Craig Claiborne & Virginia Lee

2 medium young eggplants (about 1.75 lbs total, Japanese work well)

3 Tbsp light soy sauce 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar 2 Tbsp sugar 2.5 tsp dry sherry or shao hsing wine 1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp oil 1 Tbsp minced garlic 1 Tbsp chopped ginger 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1. Steam eggplant for about 30 minutes, or until tender to the core. Let cool.

2. Combine Soy sauce through sesame oil.

3. Over a high flame, heat the tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and add the garlic and ginger. Cook about ten seconds, then stir in the soy sauce mixture. Bring to just a boil and remove from heat. Let cool.

4. Cut or pull the cool eggplant into shreds. Pour the sauce over, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve - better the next day.

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Posted by annie1992 (My Page) on Tue, Feb 23, 10 at 16:04

Oh yeah, I love eggplant. This is one of my favorite snacks, from Eating Well, and it's low enough in fat and calories to go on the Slimmer Dinners thread. Elery will grill the eggplant if he's here, otherwise I just slice it and roast it and the garlic in the oven on baking sheets.

Baba Ganouj

2 medium eggplants, (about 1 pound each) 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled 1/4 cup lemon juice 2 tablespoons tahini, (see Note) 1 1/4 teaspoons salt Extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish Ground sumac, for garnish (see Note)

Preheat grill to high.

Prick eggplants all over with a fork. Thread garlic cloves onto a skewer. Grill the eggplants, turning occasionally, until charred and tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Grill the garlic, turning once, until charred and tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

Transfer the eggplants and garlic to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, peel both. Transfer to a food processor. Add lemon juice, tahini and salt; process until almost smooth. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sumac, if desired.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Per serving: 32 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 1 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 5 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 2 g fiber; 245 mg sodium; 163 mg potassium.

Annie

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Posted by canarybird (My Page) on Tue, Feb 23, 10 at 17:06

Eggplant may be used in this recipe instead of bubango.

There are close links between the Canary Islands and Venezuela, thus there are many customs and recipes shared by both countries. Here is one of them.
Bubangos are a type of small, pale green zucchini.

STUFFED BUBANGOS - Bubangos Rellenos "( Venezuela)

2 bubangos - (small pear-shaped zucchini) 1/3 cup soft breadcrumbs 1/3 cup milk 1/4 cup grated white cheese - (I used parmesan) 1 beaten egg 1 teas butter a sprinkle of fine dry breadcrumbs or fine cracker crumbs

1. Cut the bubangos in half lengthwise and steam or boil until soft but not mushy. Scoop out the pulp, leaving a little next to the skin.

2. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk and add the other ingredients and the pulp.

3. Refill the skins, cover with the fine dry crumbs and brown in the oven.

Source: "Buen Provecho - Caracas Cookery" - Caracas, Venezuela.

SharonCb

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Posted by mustangs (My Page) on Tue, Feb 23, 10 at 17:39

I love eggplant too. My favorite is plain ole roasted with rosemary, k-salt, and EVOO. I eat it like popcorn!

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Posted by cloudy_christine (My Page) on Tue, Feb 23, 10 at 19:12

Here's a great moussaka recipe, from Craig Claiborne's New York Times Cookbook. It makes an enormous amount. I always make half the recipe, and that fills an 11 x 11 Corningware baking dish.
Make the meat sauce the day before, so you can lift the chilled fat off the top.

Moussaka à la Grecque

* 3 medium eggplants * 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil * 3 onions, chopped * 2 pounds ground lamb * 3 tablespoons tomato paste * 1 1/2 cup red wine * 1/2 cup chopped parsley * Pinch cinnamon * 6 tablespoons unsalted butter * 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour * 1 quart whole milk, heated * 4 large eggs, beaten * Pinch nutmeg * 2 cups ricotta * 1 cup fresh bread crumbs * 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Peel the eggplant and slice it crosswise 1/2-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides of each slice lightly with salt, arrange in 1 layer on paper towels and let drain for 30 minutes.

In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderate heat; add as many slices as will fit in 1 layer and brown on both sides. Repeat the procedure with 4 tablespoons of the remaining oil and the remaining eggplant. Drain the eggplant as they are cooked on paper towels.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the onion to the skillet and cook until the onions are brown. Add the ground meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is no longer pink. Combine the tomato paste with the wine, parsley, and cinnamon. Add this mixture to the skillet and simmer over low heat, stirring often, until all the liquid has evaporated. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

In a sauce pan, over low heat, melt the butter, add the flour and whisk for 5 minutes. Turn up the heat to moderate and add the milk in a stream, whisking. Simmer for 5 minutes, add salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat. Cool slightly and stir in the eggs, nutmeg, and ricotta.

Grease and 11 by 16-inch pan and sprinkle the bottom lightly with bread crumbs. Arrange alternating layers of eggplant and meat sauce in the pan, sprinkling each layer with Parmesan and bread crumbs. Pour the egg sauce over the top and bake one hour in a preheat 350 degree oven, or until top is golden. Let cool twenty minutes before slicing.

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Posted by doucanoe (My Page) on Tue, Feb 23, 10 at 20:21

Yeah...I'm gonna have to pass on this one. Have not tried an eggplant dish that I have liked.

But as Nancy said, maybe someone will post something that will change all that! I'll be watching!

Linda

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Posted by ruthanna (My Page) on Tue, Feb 23, 10 at 20:38

I never really liked caponata that much until I tried this recipe about 25 years ago. It became a favorite for packing for lunch.

CAPONATA

1/2 cup olive oil 3 cups diced eggplant (3/8" cubes), about 1 medium 1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onions 1 cup celery in 1/4 " slices 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes 3 Tbs. minced garlic 2 Tbs. tomato paste 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 12 small stuffed green olives, sliced into thirds 12 black olives, pitted and sliced into thirds 1/4 cup small capers, drained 3 Tbs. sugar 1/4 " 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 1/2 cup lightly packed minced parsley 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper

In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the eggplant and saute several minutes until partially soft. Add the onions, celery, tomatoes and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add the remaining ingredients, and toss lightly. Chill until ready to serve. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Notes: Chopped anchovies can also be added. Diced zucchini can be substituted for half of the eggplant. Diced yellow peppers make a colorful addition.

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Posted by althetrainer (My Page) on Tue, Feb 23, 10 at 21:07

Oh I love, love, love eggplants! My favorite is pork-stuffed eggplants cooked in oyster sauce. Used to eat it back in Hawaii.

Unfortunately, my two boys wouldn't touch eggplants, not even in ratatouille. :-( So I cook eggplants for myself; don't bother to spend a lot of time and efforts for just one person. I steam, grill, stir fry eggplants then season with salt, pepper, and oyster sauce. Still love it that way! :-)

Al

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Posted by caliloo (My Page) on Tue, Feb 23, 10 at 21:14

This is absolutely hands down my favorite way to eat eggplant....

Eggplant caviar From Kyra’s Secrets of Russian Cooking

1 large eggplant 1 large onion, chopped very fine 1 small can tomato paste 1 green pepper chopped very fine 1 tsp vinegar (or slightly more) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tsp powdered sugar salt & pepper to taste

Bake the eggplant until tender. When cool, skin it and chop very fine. Saute onion and pepper in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add tomato paste and simmer 4-5 minutes, add in the remaining oil. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and chopped eggplant. Cook very slowly over low heat for 20 minutes, adding more oil if needed. Remove from heat and put in a container in the refrigerator. Serve very cold with thin sliced black pumpernickel, unsalted butter and ice cold vodka.

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Posted by ruthanna (My Page) on Wed, Feb 24, 10 at 7:49

Alexa, I have made your eggplant caviar recipe and it's delicious. I also make a recipe called eggplant caviar but it's a different flavor.

EGGPLANT CAVIAR " makes about 5 cups

4 large eggplants 1 Tbs. kosher salt 1 cup EV olive oil 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Halve eggplants, lengthwise, score with a knife, and sprinkle lightly with the kosher salt. Cover with a heavy plate and weigh down the plate to press out the moisture for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375. Oil a baking sheet.

Squeeze out any excess water from the eggplants. Place the eggplant halves, skin sides up, on the baking sheet. Bake until the meat is completely soft, 35 to 45 minutes. Set aside to cool.

When cool enough to handle, skin the eggplants. Chop the pulp and tie in a large square of dampened cheesecloth. Let hang above the sink or a bowl until most of the liquid has drained off, about 15 minutes. (Note: I sometimes just drain the eggplant mixture in a colander instead of the cheesecloth but it's better with the cheesecloth method.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Add the eggplant pulp and stir to mix. Cover and refrigerate for one day before serving. Serve with breadsticks or pita chips.

EGGPLANT SOUP (serves 10-12)

2 TBL olive oil 2 TBL butter 1 medium onion, chopped 1 lb lean ground chuck (I use sweet Italian sausage) 1 medium eggplant, peeled & cubed 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 cup finely sliced carrots 1 cup chopped celery Two 16 oz cans whole tomatoes 3 1/2 cups beef broth 1/2 tsp. nutmeg (I use 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and 1/4 tsp. ground coriander) 1 tsp. sugar 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper 1/2 cup macaroni 2 TBL minced parsley Parmesan for garnish

Heat the oil & butter in a 6-8 qt Dutch oven. Add the onion & saute until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the meat & cook, stirring until it begins to brown. Add the eggplant, garlic, carrots, celery, tomatoes (break up the tomatoes), broth, nutmeg, sugar, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover & simmer 2 1/2 hours.

10-15 minutes before serving, add the macaroni & parsley to the soup & simmer until the macaroni is tender. Serve hot sprinkled with Parmesan.~~

Source: Ginger@ Recipe Exchange

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Posted by caboodle (My Page) on Wed, Feb 24, 10 at 10:37

I really like eggplant. Did you know that there are male and female eggplants? This, from The New Food Lover's Tiptionary: Male eggplants have fewer seeds (which are often bitter) and have a rounder smoother blossom end. The blossom end of a female eggplant is typically slightly indented.

A recipe we like:

Eggplant - Asian Style ====================== 1 medium eggplant (will serve 2) Prepare by peeling and slicing or cutting into sticks. I sometimes salt it, let sit for a while and squeeze out water.

2 scallions clove garlic, smashed T minced ginger, opt

Sauce:
1 1/2 T soy sauce 1 T vinegar 1 T sugar or 2 T hoisin sauce 1 t cornstarch something to add heat, to taste

Saute eggplant along with scallions, garlic, and ginger if you are using it.

When tender add sauce and cook until raw cornstarch taste is gone and sauce is translucent.

Judi

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Posted by caboodle (My Page) on Wed, Feb 24, 10 at 10:44

We also love this:

Eggplant Parmesan (America's Test Kitchen - modified) ===================================================== 1 globe eggplant, I like to peel it salt flour 2 cups bread crumbs 3 beaten eggs or buttermilk (or both) pepper up to 2 cups marinara or meatless spaghetti sauce 1 cup mozzarella cheese parmesan cheese

Slice the eggplant into about 1/4 (or so) inch rounds, lightly salt it and let it sit in a colander for an hour. This sweats some of the moisture out of it and supposedly some of the bitterness. Squeeze or pat on it gently to remove more liquid.

To begin breading, lay a few pieces at a time on a clean kitchen towel and press down to get any extra moisture out. Dip each piece in flour, then in beaten eggs, and then in peppered bread crumbs.

Lay them on a rack or waxed paper as you work. Spread a few T oil on a rimmed baking sheet.

Pop this in a 425 degree oven to get it really hot and then take it out and lay the eggplant on it. Pop it back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until nicely browned; remove from oven and turn pieces over and bake 10 or so more minutes.

Remove from oven and top each piece with warm marinara sauce and a little mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Place back in oven and heat until cheese melts.

You can also place the oven-fried eggplant in a casserole dish and put the marinara sauce and cheeses on top. Pop back in the oven to melt the cheese.

Judi

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Posted by sally2 (My Page) on Wed, Feb 24, 10 at 10:57

We're not real big eggplant eaters here, but every summer my co-worker gives me eggplants from her garden. I quit growing them because they were too successful - I had more eggplants than we could eat! I'll be glad to learn from this thread how to prepare them so we like them. I did watch Michael Chiarrelo the other day, and he explained that the reason for pre-salting the eggplant is not only to release the liquid, but by doing so, it removes the bitterness. I always thought that step was a bother, but now I'll not skip that step, and maybe we'll like them better.

Sally

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Posted by denise8101214 (My Page) on Wed, Feb 24, 10 at 11:10

Here is the link to all the previous Cookalongs.

Here is a link that might be useful: All the other Cookalong Links o RE: Cookalong #22 ------ EGGPLANT clip this post email this post what is this?
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Posted by beverlyal (My Page) on Wed, Feb 24, 10 at 15:28

I see there are several of us who do not "do" eggplant. I too, hope I see something to change my mind here.

Beverly

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Posted by lpinkmountain (My Page) on Wed, Feb 24, 10 at 21:52

I am not a huge eggplant fan either, but being a fan of middle eastern cooking and mediterranean cooking, I eat it often, but mostly in the summer. I have found that eggplants vary tremendously in flavor and texture. I don't know how to choose a good one, but maybe this male/female thing might help. I know I heard the bit a bout presalting.

I might be game to try caponata again. I ADORE and LOVE ratatouille so I keep thinking I will like its racier cousin caponata, but so far I haven't found a recipe I really like. I roast eggplant and mix it with roasted red pepper for dip with pita chips and hummus. I also love eggplant parmesean but don't often make it due to it's being time consuming and then if the end results are really good it's probably fattening. I have two recipes for eggplant in my "to try" folder, an eggplant stew and eggplant rolatini, but I doubt I'll get to them in the next few weeks. Possibly the stew.

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Posted by beanthere_dunthat (My Page) on Thu, Feb 25, 10 at 0:00

Ah, Judi, that Asian-style recipe sounds, good. I find I don't like the globe eggplants, but I like the long, thing, Japanese egglants, espeically with a spicy or sour sauce.

This recipe claims to serve four. Meal for two is more like it. We sprinkle cilatro and a little minced pineapple on top.

Thai Red Curry Soup with Chicken and Vegetables Yield: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients;
2 tablespoons corn oil 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste 12 ounces skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips 4 ounces green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths 2 small Japanese eggplants, cut into 1-inch pieces 3 cups canned low-salt chicken broth 3 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk 1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla) 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Method:
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add curry paste; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken; stir 2 minutes. Add green beans and eggplant pieces; stir 1 minute. Add broth, coconut milk and fish sauce; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in basil and serve.

Bon Appétit -- September 1997

========= I have NOT tried this one yet. I'm waiting for summer and the farmer's market. That's the only time i can find any eggplant around here. The groceries don't carry it.

Turkish Baked Eggplant with Chile, Feta, and Mint

Ingredients:
4 eggplants Olive oil Salt and pepper 2 onions, thinly sliced 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 2 medium fresh red chiles, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced Juice of 1/2 lemon 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled 3/4 cup Greek-style yogurt A handful of fresh mint leaves, torn Extra virgin olive oil

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Halve the eggplants lengthwise and then score a diamond pattern into the flesh of each half on the cut surface, being careful not to cut all the way through. Pour about 10 tbsp olive oil over them and season with salt and pepper. Turn them over to make sure they are well coated. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes.
2. While the eggplants are cooking, saute the onions in 1/4 cup olive oil until soft and golden. Add the garlic and chiles and cook for another 2 minutes, until they are soft as well.
3. When the eggplants are tender put them on a serving plate, cut-side up, and squeeze lemon juice over them. Gently press the cooked flesh down to make a bit of room for the onions. Fill the eggplant cavities with the onion and sprinkle the feta on top.
4. Dab the yogurt over the eggplants and throw on the mint leaves. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top before serving. You can serve this warm or at room temperature.

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Posted by jimster (My Page) on Fri, Mar 5, 10 at 21:19

The name translates to The Imam Fainted. Presumably he swooned upon tasting this dish. For real eggplant lovers, that would be understandable. There are other stories of its origin, but I like that one best.

This recipe is adapted from Recipezaar.

IMAM BAYALDI

2 medium eggplants 2 medium onions, chopped 3/4 cup olive oil 2 garlic cloves, crushed 3 medium tomatos, peeled and chopped

salt and pepper

Saute the onions in a little oil.

Add the garlic, tomatoes, salt, and pepper.

Cook until it comes together as a very thick stew (no liquid).

Cut the stem ends from each eggplant and cut eggplants in half lengthwise.

Make 3 lengthwise slits, almost from end to end, cutting into the flesh about 1 inch deep.

Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add the eggplant, cut side down, and fry gently, until dark golden-brown on cut side.

Turn over and fry on skin side a couple more minutes.

Remove from oil (most of it will have been absorbed) and place on paper towels to drain for atleast 15 minutes before proceeding with recipe..

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Hold each slit apart and spoon as much of the vegetable mixture as possible into each cavity. The slits won't hold much. Don't worry.

Spread any remaining vegetable mixture on top of the eggplants.

Arrange eggplants in a baking dish just large enough to hold them.

Drizzle with the remaining oil.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until tender.

Let cool and serve at room temperature.

Jim

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Posted by jimster (My Page) on Fri, Mar 5, 10 at 21:24

This eggplant dish will be enjoyed by everyone. You don't need to be an eggplant afficianado to enjoy it. This is my own recipe for papoutsakias.

The name is Greek for "little shoes", which describes the eggplant halves, filled with a mixture of chopped eggplant, ground meat, sauce and seasonings, then roasted. I like to roast them covered in a Weber type grill for the smoky flavor, but they are very good done in a regular oven.

PAPOUTSAKIAS

3 medium eggplants 1 lb ground beef or ground lamb 1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce 1/3 cup olive oil 4 garlic clove 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese basil salt and pepper

Cut eggplants in half lengthwise.

Scoop out flesh of eggplants using a large spoon, leaving 1/2 inch of thickness to the shells (four halves are to be stuffed, the third eggplant is for extra flesh).

Smear four shells with olive oil and roast, flesh side down, on grill or in 400 degree F oven until lightly brown, about 10 minutes.
While the shells roast, brown the meat in a LARGE skillet, about 10 minutes.

Remove meat and set aside.
Meanwhile, chop eggplant flesh coarsely and the garlic finely.

Add olive oil to the skillet and cook the chopped eggplant and garlic until the eggplant is well done and soft, about 30 minutes.

Add all ingredients, except shells, to the skillet and cook until everything is nicely combined, about 10 minutes.

Fill the shells with the mixture.

Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Roast until bubbly and brown, about 10 minutes.

Jim

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Posted by jimster (My Page) on Sun, Mar 7, 10 at 14:05

I don't know the protocol for choosing topics but I have a suggestion for one.

While reading food photography tips from dcarch and SharonCB, and perusing Sharon's excellent food photography tuturials, it occured to me that it might be fun to have FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY be a Cookalong topic.

It would be motivation for many of us to take a step toward better food photography. It might helo some to get around to posting a photo for the first time. In the long run we might see more posts illustrated with photographs, which is always a good thing.

Jim

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Posted by kathleen_li (My Page) on Sun, Mar 7, 10 at 15:23

This is a simple one, but a good and easy appetizer...
Eggplant Mini Pizza .

Photobucket

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Posted by beanthere_dunthat (My Page) on Sun, Mar 7, 10 at 16:26

Jim, just to answer the implied question, Nancy usually picks a name randomly from those who repsonded to the current cookalong and that person picks the next topic. Isn't it about time for that? So you may get your wish. :)

I guess the reasons I don't post pictures is that my experience with Photobucket was more annoying than conducive to photo-sharing, so I haven't tried out any of the other free services.

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Posted by canarybird (My Page) on Sun, Mar 7, 10 at 18:09

Jim this part of the forum is still about discussions of food, and in the Cookalongs a member chooses an ingredient or food item, and those who wish to participate then post recipes using that ingredient.

Discussions about photography can take place over on The Gallery, (it is a photo gallery) or in Conversations, where we can talk about off-topic subjects but would be out of place on the Cookalong thread.

SharonCb

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Posted by jimster (My Page) on Sun, Mar 7, 10 at 18:51

I understand that it would it would be out of the ordinary as a Cookalong topic. It is about food though just in a different way. The idea would be to engage the attention of those who wouldn't otherwise get involved with photography.

I won't press the point however, if others think it is going too far afield. Odds are against my being chosen at random anyway, so my suggestion probably will not be an issue.

Jim

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Posted by beanthere_dunthat (My Page) on Sun, Mar 7, 10 at 19:01

I'm neither for nor against it.

That papoutsakias recipe looks yummy. Would that be fresh or dried basil?

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Posted by jimster (My Page) on Sun, Mar 7, 10 at 19:20

Bean,

Ordinarily it would be dried basil because that's what I always have on hand. When fresh basil is in the garden I use it. I didn't specify an amount. I'll leave that to your judgement.

Jim

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Posted by fearlessem (My Page) on Sun, Mar 7, 10 at 19:24

This eggplant gratin from Ina Garten is one of my favorites... Its basically eggplant and some marinara in a creamy ricotta-based bechamel type sauce... SO good!

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Posted by lpinkmountain (My Page) on Sun, Mar 7, 10 at 20:16

Well, I didn't make what I had planned on making, which was eggplant with pasta, mushrooms, fake bacon bits and a fontina cheese sauce. I have rice languishing in the fridge so I needed to make something that I could eat with rice. This dish has been on my "to try" list for a long time. It was yum!

Eggplant and Chickpea Stew with Tomatoes, from the Williams and Sonoma "Vegetable" cookbook. Says it serves 4, but I would say 4 big eaters. You might get away with serving 6.

I halved the recipe, except for the chickpeas, which I forgot to halve, which is why it is kind of chickpea dominant.

2 small to med. eggplants about 1.5-2 lbs. total weight 4-5 TBLSO EVOO 1 red onion cut into wedges 3-4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 1 lb. (500 g) fresh tomatoes, pureed with a grater/shredder (yeah right, I used a can of petite diced tomatoes) 1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas 1 lb. canned diced tomatoes with juice Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 1/4 tsp. sugar 1/8 tsp. thyme pinch of ground cinnamon 1/2 cup dry red wine 2 TBLSP chopped fresh leaf italian parsley (I used a scant TBLSP dried, I hardly ever have fresh parsley on hand) Juice of 1/2 lemon (I used a dash of reconstituted lemon juice which is what I usually have on hand)

Cut the eggplant crosswise into sections about 1/2 inch thick (I like thicker ones) Heat a heavy frying pant over med. high heat. When it is hot, add 2 TBLSP of the olive oil, then add the eggplant slices and fry until they are browned on the first side, about 5 min. Turn and brown the second side, adding 1-2 TBLSP EVOO to the pan as needed. Remove eggplant and set it aside. (What I actually ended up doing is salting the eggplant for an hour or so, rinsing and patting dry, peeling it and then basting it with the EVOO and roasting it in the oven for about 10 min. on each side. Roast at 400. It would be great grilled too, I think, but I don't have a grill and wouldn't fuss with one if I did).

Heat 1 TBLSP of olive oil in the pan over med. heat. Saute the onion with the garlic until the onion becomes transluscent, 5-6 min., then add the tomato puree, fresh tomatoes (if using), chipeas, salt and pepper and otherspices. Cook gently to thicken the sauce a bit. Then add the eggplant and the wine, and simmer 10-15 min. more to thicken some more and combine flavors. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and adjust the flavors to taste.

Serve with crusty French bread and a feta cheese salad, or spoon over boiled pasta or a simple rice pilaf.

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Posted by lpinkmountain (My Page) on Mon, Mar 8, 10 at 0:18

I have to tell you that stew was excellent. I think the secret, (for you eggplant skeptics) to good eggplant is to realize it is kind of like tofu, it has texture but not much flavor, although under the wrong conditions it can acquire a bitter one. But it also has the plus of absorbing and reflecting flavors very well, and matching that with a creamy texture. If the eggplant has likely sat around for a while, by all means peel it, and salt and sweat it. Then, be generous with the olive oil and spices when you're fixing it. If it's a garden fresh eggplant you can afford to be more haphazard about preparation.

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Posted by wizardnm (My Page) on Mon, Mar 8, 10 at 0:28

It was Sunday when I remembered that I needed to draw a name but the Oscars ran late and now it's Monday already!

Anyway... I drew a name just now of those who posted on this thread.

Jimster...I drew your name!

Please pick our next Cookalong ingredient and post it to this thread.
I saw your idea about pictures and I think it might be a good idea but..... for the same reason I didn't want to use meat, poultry, fish or seafood, I think it could leave too many members unable to participate. Remember, not everyone has a digital camera and some members are on dial up. Those who do enjoy posting pictures, post them when appropriate.

I'll be watching for the next ingredient...Thanks to all the contributors. Oh, by the way, I can still live without eggplant :)

Nancy

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Posted by wizardnm (My Page) on Mon, Mar 8, 10 at 9:56

Jimster???

I'm heading out for a whole day of shopping. I'll check this thread as soon as I get back on later.

Nancy

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Posted by jimster (My Page) on Mon, Mar 8, 10 at 12:40

OMG! Now I'm in a predicament. I like my idea of the food photo theme but I would hate for it to be a turn-off for a lot of us, if that's what it would be. I'm sure I can come up with a good theme along more conventional lines if need be.

There already have been a couple of comments, one neutral and one against. If I could get just a few more I would have a better sense of the feelings out there in CF land.

Jim

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Posted by caliloo (My Page) on Mon, Mar 8, 10 at 12:48

I vote for an ingredient. Photo stuff belings in the gallery IMHO.

Alexa

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Posted by beanthere_dunthat (My Page) on Mon, Mar 8, 10 at 12:57

Jim, why not do both? There's no reason the cookalong thread can't have a companion thread in the photo gallery. Folks can post the recipe here and a link to their dish there where others can make suggestions on how to improve the photographic aspects of it. Then, those who are interested in photography can post their pics without causing problems from those on slower connections, and those of us who aren't interested can scroll on by.

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Posted by ruthanna (My Page) on Mon, Mar 8, 10 at 13:08

I usually participate in the Cookalong threads and probably will in the next one, whatever you select.

However I'm not a food photographer and have no desire to be one. The only reason I post food photographs is that we have a family cookbook disc that we keep updating and if I make one of the recipes in the "book", I'll take a snapshot of it and add it to the recipe. If I post a recipe here that already has a photo with it, sometimes I include it.

I wouldn't cook a separate meal for the purpose of photographing it for the Cookalong thread.

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Posted by jimster (My Page) on Mon, Mar 8, 10 at 13:27

When I was suddenly faced with the reality of choosing a theme, I reviewed previous Cookalongs and thought deeply about it. That, plus a few additional comments, has convinced me that the food photo theme would be too much of a break from the Cookalong concept. I like bean's suggestion of running a parallel thread on photography, if we can figure out how to best organize that.

I will forward an ingredient choice to Nancy real soon now.

Jim

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Posted by jimster (My Page) on Mon, Mar 8, 10 at 21:06

I Emailed Nancy with my choice but maybe it didn't get through or maybe she is extra busy right now. Anyway, I will spill the beans here (oops, beans was #21 wasn't it?) and she will set up the thread whenever she can.

Cookalong #23 will be (tah dah):

CRANBERRIES!

Jim

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Posted by wizardnm (My Page) on Mon, Mar 8, 10 at 21:20

Jim, I think we can have some fun with cranberries!!!

Thanks!

Nancy

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Posted by beanthere_dunthat (My Page) on Tue, Mar 9, 10 at 2:36

Psst...eggplant lovers, Pllog put a recipe on the Passover thread that looks yummy. Uses Tamarind with Japanese eggplant!

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Posted by susytwo (My Page) on Tue, Mar 9, 10 at 16:19

This month's Bon Appetit featured eggplant rolls which I made this week for dinner.

They were good but a tad dull. I left out the mint, so that could be why. Next time I make them I will add garlic, chilies or some pesto.

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Posted by tmd15 (My Page) on Sat, Mar 13, 10 at 9:10

susytwo,
Fresh Basil instead of mint might be nice along with the garlic and maybe a splash of crushed red pepper flakes.

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