Friday, August 21, 2009

Eggplants and Clams

I bought 2 Japanese eggplants, because they looked so cute, skinny and lighter in color than your typical globe eggplant. I also bought some stuffed clams from Sprouts. Breadcrumbs, chopped clams, seasonings, some minced veggies, stuffed into clam shells. It reminded me of stuffing (heck, it was stuffing), and made me want turkey. No picture, because I forgot.

But here's a picture of the end result. I was pretty impressed with the shell pictures I took - so much so that it was difficult to decide which ones to use. And that never happens to me. It's too bad that the background in the pictures changed color, but oh well. (Anybody know why that happens?)

With the first eggplant, I made Baked Eggplant Chips with Za'atar, from Anh at A Food Lover's Journey. They were delicious, and I think za'atar is my new favorite seasoning blend. Even Hubby liked it, and he hates thyme. I used the proportions from Laurie's recipe at Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska. My eggplant slices were a little uneven, resulting in the thinner parts burning and sticking to the tray before the thicker parts were done cooking. So, they weren't very pretty - hence, no picture.

With the 2nd eggplant, because I finally bought a can of tahini, I made Baba Ghanoush (or Moutabal, depending on what country you're in) from Mercedes at Desert Candy. I didn't use a food processor to chop up the roasted eggplant, just chopped chopped chopped until I got the consistency I wanted. I was completely amazed with how good this was! Hubby couldn't stop talking about it for the rest of the night. "This is so good", "can you make it again like this?", "I want this every day". It's a winner, I'd say. Again, no picture, because it was, well, a bowl of greenish-brown chunky mush. Not very appetizing to look at.

I was also going to cook up some asparagus (olive oil, s&p, bake til done, equal parts soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, a little butter), but my bunch had been lounging in the fridge too long, and got a little mushy. Ick.


Bob said...

Mushy asparagus is a tragedy. I think the background thing is because of contrast. One shot is of the front, which is light, one of the inside which is dark. So the background looks different. But that's just a guess, I could easily be wrong. ;)

Vicki said...

Hey Bob - I think you're right on both counts.

Desco said...

Re: Baba Ghanoush

Throw the skins in!!!

You may want to scrape off any really charred skin, but a lot of the eggplant's best flavor and nutrients (including some very powerful anti-oxidants apparently) are in the skin. It pains me when I see recipes that call for you to scrape out the insides (or worse, squeeze them out like toothpaste) and discard the skin with all of that smokey flavor you're after.

Vicki said...

Hey Desco - I'm going to respectfully (!) disagree with the skin thing. It's papery and chewy and bitter, and never mashes up. Maybe it would mash up if you used a grinder (which I don't have) or a food processor (which I can't be bothered to use), but for my hand-chopping method, it just doesn't work. I'll take a One-A-Day supplement to make up for the antioxidants :)