Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Easy bake eggplant

My husband's favourite dish is this "eggplant thing," as he titles it. His mom cooks it up for him and he shovels it down by the forkful. It's eggplant slices soaked in salted water, fried in olive oil, and patted dry with paper towel. Then, the wilted eggplant is tossed with a garlic tomato sauce and served chilled with the most potent garlic-yogurt topping.

In my loving and trying-to-please way, I've replicated the dish at home for my husband. As simple as the dish sounds, it's very labour-intensive. To get a decent amount worth serving, you need lots of eggplant. Every time I make it, I swelter over a frying pan of hot oil, flipping each small piece in turn.

The eggplant cooks and absorbs the oil quickly. Unfortunately, my face gets as oily as the eggplant. That's definitely a cooking experience I'd like to avoid repeating. Consequently, I've been on the look-out for easier eggplant alternatives.

Today, I adapted this baked eggplant recipe that was recently published in my local newspaper. It certainly involved fewer steps, and best of all, it practically made itself in the oven. Instead of serving it with a tomato sauce as the recipe suggests, I topped it with a mixture of garlic, yogurt, and salt to taste.

1 large eggplant
1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 eggs
olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Using a basting brush, generously coat the foil in oil.
  3. Peel the eggplant and then cut it into half-inch thick slices.
  4. Mix bread crumbs and cayenne together in one bowl. In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork.
  5. Dredge each piece of eggplant through the egg and then the breadcrumbs and place on baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Flip each slice and bake for another 20 minutes.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My adventure with rhubarb...

What did I do when my mother-in-law sent me home with a grocery bag full of fresh-cut rhubarb? Well nothing, at first. I never cooked rhubarb before. I don't think I've ever eaten rhubarb either, except maybe years ago in some rhubarb-strawberry pie.

I asked my mother, searched the web and scoured the indexes of my cookbooks for suggestions on what to do with the rhubarb. I found rhubarb stew, rhubarb pie, rhubarb crumble, rhubarb jam...I started to feel like I was repeating that shrimp scene from the Forrest Gump movie.

Rhubarb stew seemed to be the easiest. I could make it in my crock pot and serve it as a side dish or dessert on its own or as an ice cream topping. Plus, I thought I could can it in some the of the jars leftover from making strawberry jam and give it back to my mother-in-law. That would be sweet.

Having never made rhubarb stew or rhubarb anything, I'm not sure if it was supposed to turn brown. But it did. It tastes OK, sweet and tart all at the same time. I served it hot over vanilla ice cream garnished with organic ginger snap cookies I bought at the grocery store. It's not a huge hit in our household but I like the fact that its side effect is natural internal cleansing. I read that on the internet and I hope that part is really true.


6 cups of chopped rhubarb
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon

  1. Stir ingredients together in crock pot.
  2. Turn on low and cook for approximately 8 hours.