It seems like everything with Eggplant is compared to ratatouille. In fact, ratatouille has very little in common with the popular dish called by that name (which is more properly referred to as ratatouille niçoise). Anyway, it is how a dish is put together and spiced that makes it what it is, and most important is what the chef calls it. I was looking in the fridge the other day and texted Lieve that I was making Eggplant Chile.
I was at a technical school in California once, and the only attendee of Mexican origin was from Oklahoma. Everyone wanted to try “Mexican” food while we were there, but had no idea what the various dishes were. He said, “Tomatoes, Cheese, Beans, Meat, and Tortillas, just mixed up in different ways”. Maybe a little too simplistic, but I got his message. It’s all the same basic ingredients, it’s the preparation and presentation that makes the dishes different.
So I took two medium eggplants and cubed them. In a large dutch oven I heated a couple of teaspoons of olive oil, then sauteed about two ounces of diced ginger and maybe six crushed cloves of garlic. To this I added one large chopped Vidalia onion, and sauteed until the onion was transparent. I added two chopped red peppers and cooked for a few minutes, then I added the eggplant.
I reduced the heat a little, stirring the eggplant every few minutes, while I chopped about eight ounces of white mushrooms and two or three ounces of Medina olives. I added about two tablespoons of chili powder, another tablespoon of dry basil, two teaspoons of dry mustard, and maybe a teaspoon of cumin seed, stirred everything together and added the mushrooms and olives. Then I chopped a bunch of cilantro, maybe a cup, and added that.
I covered it and dropped the heat to the point it just bubbled here and there, and left it for about an hour. when I came back there was a little too much fluid, so I left it uncovered and stirred it occasionally while I made some wild rice.
Wonderful fall meal.
1) reasonably stocked kitchen.
So now you understand why I don’t often share recipes. I don’t write this stuff down or measure, I just cook. I will share my Martini recipe, it’s very precise. You will need a proper shaker and glass.
Grey Goose Vodka
Fill shaker with ice cubes. Add one ounce vermouth. Shake well while singing the Jeopardy theme.
Pour cold vermouth down the drain.
Place three olives on a toothpick, place toothpick in Martini glass.
Pour four ounces of vodka into shaker. Shake well while counting to fifty three by prime numbers.
Pour cold vodka into glass.
Perfect Martini. Precision is important at times.