Tag Archive | Eggplant

The Colour Purple

……… I DO THIS, MY WAY! …..”

A fruit of many different names – its common name is ‘Eggplant’, in British English it is called ‘Aubergine’ and here and the whole of South Asia and South Africa its ‘Brinjal’. And although it is technically a fruit – the Brinjal is all over the world used as a vegetable.

I have been collecting different Brinjal recipes now for a very long time – so today I take you to Italy, to Milan to be precise.

My friend Antonia had a splendid housekeeper, Maria, who was an excellent cook. Every time we visited Antonia’s home she used to spoil us with one delicious dish after the other. I have only one major regret – that I did not take lessons from Maria. There was always so much to do in a relatively short time that cooking lessons, I am afraid, were put on the back burner.

If and when you make this dish, try to get the little Baby Brinjal – ok, so they will be 5 minutes more work but, oh, your effort will be well rewarded.
Maria served those with polenta, cooked, cooled and then cut into squares and fried in little olive oil. Do not count calories this time, just use little oil. Those little ones are also very good to be used as part of a buffet, hot or cold – they are equally good. Two bites – and they are gone. But do not fret too much if you cannot get the baby Brinjals – just use their big brothers instead.

Maria called this “una ricetta da cucina povera” (a recipe from the poor kitchen).

This recipe is for 2 as a starter or for 1 hungry person a main dish.

Ingredients

6 x Baby Brinjal
1 x cup (homemade) pasta sauce
6 x cloves of garlic
A handful of fresh basil leaves (or 1 tsp dried basil)
1 x tsp of red chilli flakes (or 1 ½ tsp of paprika powder)
½ x cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or more!)
2 x Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Wash and dry (with a paper towel) your Brinjal.

With a sharp knife cut each one in half and then cut out enough flesh to make a ‘boat’ without cutting into the skin. Do not remove the little stem

Cut the flesh very finely and keep aside.

With a brush ‘paint’ olive oil inside and outside of the Brinjal.
Add 2 tsp of oil into a pan, when hot fry garlic quickly without letting them get brown.
Add chilli flakes (or paprika), stir and then add the chopped Brinjal flesh.
Cook on medium to low heat for a few minutes, until the flesh is quite tender.
Now add your fresh basil (or dried) and the pasta sauce, stir and let simmer for another few minutes.
Add salt and pepper – taste.

When everything is cooked fill your little Brinjal ‘boats’ with this mixture and sprinkle plenty of grated cheese on top of each one.

Transfer to a baking pan or to a low (ovenproof) serving dish – as seen in my photograph – and bake in oven at 180 C for 20-30 minutes.

That’s it – enjoy

Namaskaram
Carina

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Thai Chicken with Aubergine

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Sawasdee

As some of my loyal readers know by now, my husband JS and I have a very special connection with Thailand, Bangkok in particular, which started way back in 2002.

We used to fly over nearly every year a couple of times spending each time up to a whole month just relaxing, seeing friends etc. and enjoying their food and culture.

Over the years we have visited many restaurants in this vibrant city and yes, we too have at least a couple which are our absolute favourites, one of which is the famous “BLUE ELEPHANT RESTAURANT” at 233 South Sathorn Road, Kwaeng Yannawa, Khet Sathorn, Bangkok. 10120.

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On our last visit to Bangkok I was all scheduled to attend some Thai Cooking Classes at their equally famous and renowned School but unfortunately a health issue with me which kept cropping up forced us to fly home a bit earlier than planned and therefore I never managed to attend my classes, to which I was looking forward to so very much.

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But, be rest assured, as soon as I can fly again, we will be off once again to Bangkok and I will make sure I can attend classes under the incredible tutelage of Master Chef Nooror and her team.

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I wanted to clear out my fridge a little and when I saw chicken breast and Eggplant (Aubergine) I thought I treat myself, and hopefully you, too, to my own version of Thai

“Chicken with Aubergine”.

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1 chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 whole aubergine, just washed and “topped & tailed”, into small cubes
80 g (approximately) of Green Curry Paste
150 ml Coconut cream
2 Kaffir Lime Leaves
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
½ Tbsp sugar
2 large Chilli
Some fresh Basil
Oil – just a minimum

Method

Heat up Wok on medium heat with a little splash of Oil – add green curry paste.
Stir and when that lovely smell enters your nostrils, turn down heat to minimum.

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Now add coconut cream.

Bring carefully to a boil and immediately add prepared chicken pieces, eggplant and the kaffir lime leaves. Also add fish sauce and a bit of sugar.
Stir gently and simmer for 5-8 minutes.
Garnish with chilli and fresh basil.
Ideally serve with Thai rice.

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ทานให้อร่อย (Enjoy your meal!)
Carina

NOTES: I was lucky that I still had some of my BLUE ELEPHANT ingredients which I purchased on our previous visit to Bangkok.

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I was not able to find any Thai rice here at the moment (out of stock).

PS: All three pictures, except those credited to Carina Sebastine are courtesy of blueelephantcookingschool.com