Cooking something new…
When I started this blog, I thought I would post a lot more on cooking, as we have tried some creative recipes in the kitchen lately. Unfortunately, they all get eaten before I can photograph them! The last food pics I got are from New Year’s Day, when mr husband made sushi and dumplings…
Yesterday, however, I did make something really different, from a recipe I found on the web (of course), using up “stuff” I had lying around. So it was sort of akin to a make-do, but with food.
There’s a little story behind it. When we lived in Rochester Michigan, a million years and four lifetimes ago, there was (still is) a little restaurant that served the BEST eggplant with basil. I always ordered it with tofu. I’m not a vegetarian, it was just really, really good this way.
Mr husband would not try it. He is firmly in the “eggplant-yuck” camp, and won’t eat it in any manner, not even breaded fried, and covered with cheese and sauce a la parmesan. The youngest of five kids, he grew up on PBJ, mac and cheese and hot dogs, with the occasional carrot (raw!) thrown in for good measure. It has taken some tenacity to broaden those horizons, and he’s made great progress. Eggplant, meatloaf and cooked beans are still off the grocery list.
But I had all these ingredients on hand last night; some lovely Japanese eggplant from the Eastern Market, 1/2 a block of firm tofu from Noble Fish, fresh Thai basil and red chilis in the garden…long with some pot stickers and eggrolls from Trader Joe’s. It seemed perfect for a cold rainy night. And mr husband LOOOVES asian food!
So I made this:
Okay, this is not my picture, but it’s close. It’s from Shiok.com
You can find the recipe here
I made a couple of variations. I used a firmer tofu, and I didn’t have any peppers. I purged the eggplant for a couple of minutes before cooking, and I didn’t add the white pepper at the end, but instead a little sesame oil for aroma. I also used a little cornstarch in water to thicken it slightly.
Sitting on the plate, next to the steamed dumplings and veggie eggroll, it looks a little purple-gray, with nice wilted basil leaves. I noticed mr husband ate everything else first, before he poked at it with his chopsticks..
About that time our son came in and loaded the rest of it up on his plate. “Great mom!” At which point I explained that, yes, there was eggplant in there with the tofu, a little variation on the usual recipe I usually make. mr husband took a bite. He looked across the table at me, a little surprised. “This eggplant is delicious!”
“Oh, you like it?”
“I think I said it was great!”
“Hmm. I thought so, too.”
Took me 25 years of marriage, but now I can enjoy eggplant. Now if I could only do something creative with meatloaf!