Monday, June 2, 2008

Eggplant Week

Post is a little later today (and will be a little shorter) because I'm out of town right now and my internet's a little spotty. Also, I think blogger was down this morning. However, I'm making up for it with something special and never-before-seen on vegetables are friends, but I'll get to that in a moment.

I'm going to skip the usual vegetable/fruit debate because I feel like we've covered that many a vegetable/fruit ago. That aside, its interesting to note that the eggplant is botanically classified as a berry. I had a lot of fun with eggplants this week. These pendulous, purple friends are so easy to make in a variety of fun and unhealthy ways.

I found that frying eggplants allowed too great a margin of error (if the oil is not the perfect temperature, they absorb too much oil and become inedible); however, baking them in a pan of oil gave a similar effect minus the guess work! I made very thin slices of eggplant and breaded them and baked them on a pan of olive oil for about 25 minutes and ended up with delicious slices of eggplant heaven. As an added tip, I salted them and towel dried them prior to breading. I tried the baking-not-frying method both with these eggplant chips (accompanied by a blue cheese sauce) and then again with thicker slices for some eggplant parmasean. I tried this both with a Chinese eggplant and a regular eggplant and while I couldn't really tell the difference, many friends seemed to prefer the Chinese eggplant.

That's actually all the eggplant cooking I did for myself--as I mentioned, I'm out of town at present--but luckily where I am is chock full of delicious eggplant eating options. The other day I tried eggplant pizza. I'd never even seen that before! I thought it was quite serendipitous. Also, just tonight I stopped by a nearby Greek restaurant and got some moussaka. Its a layered casserole with eggplant, lamb or beef, and bechemal on top. Its impossible not to like anything with bechemal on top, but the eggplants certainly pulled their weight in this delicious dish. Had I not previously liked eggplants this week, moussaka would be reason enough to friend them.

Now for the surprise promised four paragraphs hence. I have always (since the onset of spinach week oh those many posts ago) sought to maintain my anonymity here in the blogosphere. Mostly just for a lark since almost everyone who reads this knows me and/or shares a bloodline with me (with the notable exception of the wonderful susan t!). However, I feel it is difficult to get through eggplant week without posting a picture of myself from last Halloween when I went as an eggplant. Why would I go as an eggplant when I didn't even like them or any vegetables last October, you may wonder. Mostly it was because I had purple tights and no where to wear them. So without further ado:
I wish you could get a better shot of my felt leaf cap with pipe cleaner accent--I really was quite proud of that. Also, apologies to the bear that's with me (who I know reads this faithfully) for an unauthorized picture posting.

Next week: celery!


Susan Thompson said...

Well that picture was a pleasant surprise! And I feel inspired to bake some eggplant. I've added it to my grocery list.

I looked up the word bechamel in the dictionary only to discover it was something I've made many times.

Celery: When I was growing up, for a Thanksgiving relish tray, we used to mix a little orange juice with cream cheese and spread it in the celery. Or you could skip the orange juice and just go for spreadable cream cheese. And of course, thinly sliced or chopped celery can be sauteed along with onions and added to anything you would add sauteed onion to (soups, etc.). In my family, we always added celery and onion to the turkey stuffing.

Susan T.

Bear 141 said...

I approve of the picture, but you should know that now I'll expect to receive some percentage in royalties once takes off and you become rich and famous.

Also, I love eggplant and I'm glad you enjoyed it too! And moussaka is great. I had some when I was in Greece. so delicious. Good luck with celery week!


Melody said...

You should know Mom that the celery is the very reason I used to hate stuffing. I still don't like celery. It is all in the crunch. That said, you have to try ants on a log - peanut butter and raisins on the celery.

Also did you know that celery has so few calories that you burn more calories then you take in when you eat it? (Unconfirmed...)

Melody T