Tag Archives: eggplant

Green Herb Shrimp with Eggplant Couscous

I have a long-time relationship with shrimp, and usually choose it over chicken. If you can find fresh local jumbo prawns from your local farmers market or Whole Foods, make sure you add it to your  shopping list.

This dish is great for entertaining, but also easy enough for a midweek dinner. I adapted this dish from The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook, and chose it especially for the green herb citrus sauce. I like to make things that are versatile enough to recreate again and again. This sauce is no exception, you truly could serve it with anything.

Green Herb Shrimp with Eggplant Couscous

FOR THE HERB SAUCE:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

4 green onions, white and light green parts, trimmed

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 cloves garlic

2 anchovies (optional)

Juice of 2 limes

FOR THE SHRIMP AND EGGPLANT COUSCOUS:

1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4 cups diced globe eggplant (about 2 medium)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous

1/4 cups coarsely chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3 cup diced feta cheese

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a food processor or blender, combine all of the sauce ingredients and blend until fairly smooth with a few herb flecks. Put half of the sauce in a blow along with the shrimp and set aside to marinate for 1 hour, reserving the other half of the sauce.

2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a cast-iron pan or large skillet over medium heat. Add the eggplant and saute until the edges are browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Cook the couscous according to the package insturctions. Transfer the couscous to a large mixing bowl and add the eggplant, the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, the basil, red pepper flakes, feta, and vinegar. Toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Cook the shrimp until they just turn pink, about 2 minutes maximum on each side; be careful to avoid overcooking them. Toss the cooked shrimp in the remaining herb sauce and serve with the eggplant couscous.

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Veggie Dumplings with Garlic Soy Vinaigrette

love dumplings (or pot-stickers), but was intimidated by the task of homemade dough.

I recently revealed five essential kitchen gadgets for the home chef, including the food processor (I will always stress the importance of having one): a miracle tool that allows you to create restaurant quality food at home (including dough). With the touch of a button, complex tasks are made easy.

This recipe was, of course, inspired by my mother – who gave me the food processor that I obsess over today. The process was simple, albeit slightly time consuming; it was a successful effort in the kitchen and I would do it again and again.

Veggie Dumplings with Ginger Soy Vinaigrette

You will need

For the dumpling dough (makes 26 to 30 dumplings):

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 cup boiling water

1/4 cup cold water

For the filling (makes two different types of dumplings):

Ginger/Eggplant/Red Pepper/Shallot/Garlic

1/2 cup minced ginger

2 cups chopped eggplant

1 cup diced red pepper

1 cup minced shallot

1/2 cup minced garlic

Leek/Mushroom/Carrot/Garlic

2 cups chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup minced garlic

1 cup chopped leeks

1 cup chopped carrots

For Garnish/Sauté:

1 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup chopped green onion

2 cups white bean sprouts

Step 1: Make the Filling Ginger/Eggplant/Red Pepper/Shallot/Garlic

1. Heat a heavy-bottomed saute pan on medium heat; drizzle olive oil in pan. Add shallots and cook until translucent; about 4-5 minutes

2. Add red pepper and cook until soft; another 5 minutes

3. Add eggplant and ginger; cook until flavors combine and eggplant is soft and cooked all the way through. Season with salt + pepper. Set aside

Make the Filling Leek/Mushroom/Carrot/Garlic

1. Heat the same heavy-bottomed saute pan on medium heat; drizzle olive oil in pan. Add leeks and cook until translucent; about 4-5 minutes

2. Add the carrots; cook another 5-7 minutes and add mushrooms and garlic. Deglaze the pan with some white wine (pour in a half cup; stir…it will scrape up all the yummy bits from the bottom of the pan) Season with salt + pepper. Cook another 5 minutes and set aside

Step 2: Make Dough and Prepare for Filling

1. Insert steel blade in food processor; place flour and sesame oil in food processor bowl. With machine running, add boiling water. Add 1/4 cup cold water, processing until ball of dough is formed

2. Place dough in bowl. cover with a damp towel. Let stand 15 minutes
3. Roll dough 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surfce. cut cricles wiht a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter
4. place 3/4 teaspoon mixture on each circle. fold circle in half; pinch edges to seal. Repeat process until you have desired amount of raw, filled and sealed dumplings
Step 3: Cook the Dumplings (par-boil and fry)
 1. Using a heavy-bottomed large sauce pan, bring salted water to a boil. Gently lower in raw dumplings, and par-boil for about 3 minutes. This helps cook in the insides without overcooking the skins (you will fry them so they are crispy). Remove par-boiled dumplings and set aside on paper towels to drain
2. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet until hot. Add green onions and cook another minute. Place half of the dumplings in the pan, cook covered over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until bottoms are crispy and tops are soft. Remove dumplings with a slotted spoon; repeat with remaining dumplings
3. Serve with bean sprouts, cilantro, and garlic-soy-vinaigrette. Soy delicious!
Garlic-Soy-Vinaigrette
1. Place 3 cloves of garlic, 6 tbsp soy sauce and 4 tbsp rice vinegar in food processor and blend until smooth
 

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All About Eggplant: Eggplant Parmigiana

I love everything about eggplant. I know I must say that about all food, but seriously! You can pretty much transform it into any dish, whether it be eggplant french fries, roasted eggplant dip, eggplant arancini (risotto fritters), eggplant ravioli, eggplant parmigiana…the list goes on.  You can stuff it, grill it, fry it, roast it — there are no restrictions, which is why I love eggplant.

Let’s start with the basics: Eggplant Parmigiana

This was the first eggplant recipe I ever had and adored. I had mixed feelings about eggplant until I discovered its versatility and flavor potential. My mom taught me this recipe, so you won’t find it anywhere else!

You will need: 

1 or 2 eggplants (1 is enough for 2 people)

1 package organic cherry tomatoes

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1 package fresh mozzarella, grated

1 piece of whole parmesan cheese, and a micro-plane grater (or a regular grater with tiny holes)

1 jar organic tomato sauce (the good stuff)

1 bunch basil, sliced into a chiffonade, which means little ribbons (layer 4 or 5 pieces of basil, fold in half, and slice thin, repeat)

2 eggs, beaten with a whisk , and set aside in a shallow dish

whole wheat panko breadcrumbs (place in another shallow dish with salt, pepper, and garlic powder)

sea salt + freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the eggplant:

1. Start out by partially peeling the eggplant – the exterior should look like black and white stripes

2. Slice the eggplant into 1/2″ thick discs. Lay out on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Let rest for 10 minutes or so. This process extracts some of the natural bitter flavor – a must when cooking eggplant properly.

3. Wipe off excess moisture with paper towels.

4. Dip eggplant in egg batter, and then coat with breadcrumb mixture. Set aside. Repeat until all pieces of eggplant are covered with egg and breadcrumbs. You are ready to sauté!

Prepare the balsamic reduction: 

1. Heat balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan; bring to a boil and then simmer until reduced by at least half, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool. This reduction will be used as a garnish when you are ready to eat.

Roast the cherry tomatoes:

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out whole tomatoes.

2. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.

3. Roast for 35 minutes; or until the skin is blistery and the insides are soft.

Sauté the breaded eggplant:

1. Drizzle olive oil in a heavy bottomed sauté pan. Preheat pan with medium heat, and add breaded eggplant slices when oil begins to ripple. Do not overcrowd the pan – so you can fit about 5 slices at once, depending on the pan.

2. Flip eggplant slices when brown and crispy on one side, and cook until both sides are even. Repeat with all eggplant slices and set aside.

Layer cooked eggplant in baking dish and bake:

1. Increase oven temperature to 400° (the tomatoes should be done at this point). Drizzle olive oil in an oven-proof glass baking dish (such as Pyrex)

2. It’s time to build the eggplant towers. Start with an eggplant slice, and top with a little tomato sauce and some grated mozzarella. Add another slice, add more tomato sauce and mozzarella. Add one more slice (you should have three slices per tower), and top with sauce, mozzarella and a few roasted tomatoes. Repeat until you have several towers sitting side by side in the baking dish.

3. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Top with freshly grated parmigiana, roasted tomatoes, slices of basil, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Mangia mangia!

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