Thursday, May 20, 2010

Eggplant - My favourite ingredient at the moment

I'm in love with eggplant at the moment, I've always liked it though I haven't cooked it all that regularly.  My mum however has a glut of eggplants growing so I am cooking them up every week, searching for new & interesting ways in which to prepare them.  This has to be my favourite recipe yet, they are Eggplant & Port Patties from Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion.  The ingredients sounded a bit odd, I have certainly never heard of a rissole of any type containing eggplant that's for sure,  but I trust this book & gave it them a go never to look back.  The patties are moist, didnt break up at all while cooking, the eggplant gives them a delightful creamy, nutty & smoky flavour, & the simple tomato sauce pulls it all together amazingly.  I ate mine alone & cooked up some pasta for the kids to eat theirs with, Chloe, who has been very fussy lately asked me right away to make them again one day & even ate by herself (her thing at the moment is to make us feed her to take the focus of Josh) & even Josh gobbled up every last mouthful of his though he is less hard to please seeming to devour anything I put before him.  I cant wait to make them again & will double the recipe next time.  Here it is with a couple of small changes of mine for those who want to have a go...

Eggplant & Pork Patties - adapted from Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden companion

Makes 10

1 eggplant (about 400g)
200g baby spinach, washed
200g minced pork
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
100g fresh ricotta
30g breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (extra for crumbing)
olive oil, for frying
1 qty Fast Basic Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)

Heat a barbecue grill plate until hot.   Roast eggplant, turning it 2-3 times so it roasts evenly, it will take about 30 minutes fir skin to char and eggplant to feel quite soft.  Remove with tongs & cool a little.  Peel away charred skin.  Halve lengthways & put into a colander resting over a tray to catch any juices.  After 10 minutes, wrap eggplant in a clean tea towel and gently squeeze.  Chop flesh quite finely & place in a large mixing bowl. 

Place spinach in a non stick frypan over medium heat for a few minutes until wilted down (you will not need any oil as the water on the leaves from washing will be sufficient).  Place in a colander & press with the back of a spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.  Chop finely and add to eggplant.

Add pork, garlic, ricotta, breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt, pepper & egg to eggplant/spinach mixture & mix very well.  Cover with glad wrap & refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Divide mixture into 10 balls & slightly flatten each one.  Roll each patty into breadcrumbs.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large non stick frypan & gently fry each patty for 5 minutes on each side.  Add the tomato sauce to the pan & cook for an extra 10 minutes.  Tuck in!

Fast Basic Tomato Sauce

1/3 cup extra virgin oliv eoil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
500g ripe tomatos, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
8 sprigs basil
salt & black pepper

Heat oil in  a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add onion & bay leaf, then cover & cook for 5 minutes or until onion is well softened but hardly coloured.  Uncover & add tomato, garlic & herbs.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for 10 minutes or until tomato has collapsed.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Blend with a bamix to a smooth consistency.

1 comment:

The Food Hunter said...

This sounds really good!