Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New dishes

Today, I made two things I had never made before:
  • Thai Basil Eggplant & Jasmin Rice
  • Almond "Brittle"
I had bought eggplant, some chili peppers, garlic, onion, and basil from the farmer's market on Saturday, so the eggplant dish was definitely going to make itself known this week. Since I work from home on Tuesdays, today was the day.

I cut up the eggplant into 1.5" inch chunks, salted them, and let them sit on a rack for about half an hour. I rinsed off the salt, patted the chunks dry, then popped them under the broiler for about 5 minutes.

I heated up the wok, threw on some soy bean oil, then sauteed some sliced onions until softened but not fully cooked. I took them out of the wok and put aside. I did the same thing with the eggplant. Exciting.

Back in the empty wok, I heated up some more oil (on a lower flame than before) and threw in several cloves of minced garlic, two chopped up chili peppers, and about 5 of those fiery little dried red peppers that sometimes come in Chinese dishes. After about 30 seconds to a minute, I dumped in the eggplant and onions.

I cooked them all together for a bit, then threw in the sauce, which consisted of about 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 tablespoons (loosely packed) brown sugar, and 3/4 cup water, and let things simmer under the eggplant felt done.

I poured on a mixture of cornstarch (2 tsp) and cold water (1/4 cup) and stirred over heat to thicken.

I turned off the heat, threw in some basil leaves, some chiffonaded, some ripped, some whole, and tossed. Seppo and I dug in with some jasmin rice which I made in the rice cooker.

Next time, I'd like to add bell peppers, chili peppers which are hotter (the ones I used were very mild and fruity, and not hot at all), and use real Thai basil. Maybe also add more soy sauce and some fried tofu. Yum.

Almond brittle coming soon.


Blogger Seppo said...

This was, for the record, *spectacular*. I could eat it every week.

11:19 AM  

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