Posts Tagged ‘soft foods’

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laghataq (vegan eggplant, tomato, and pepper dip from afghanistan)

January 4, 2019

one whole eggplant
one red bell pepper
2 medium tomatoes

2 cloves garlic
1 T whole cumin seed
1 T whole coriander seed
1 t paprika
pinch of garlic powder

1 T tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

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preheat oven to 300

roast eggplant whole on 425 in skin. strip and discard some skin and anything burnt, and slice eggplant into rounds. place on baking sheet in one layer.

separately, toast coriander and cumin in dry frying pan. grind. grab your blender and add the ground cumin/coriander, a small can of tomato sauce, 1 T tomato paste, 2 whole cloves garlic, lots of olive oil (to taste,) and a pinch of garlic powder.

back to the baking sheet. layer sliced pepper and tomatoes on top of eggplant. top with sauce.

bake 1.5 to 2 hrs, or until eggplant is soft.

let eggplant cool. add everything to blender and pulse until chunky but not pureed.

top with plain, unsweetened yogurt with a little garlic powder and salt mixed in.

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recipe adapted from Humaira’s recipe at Afghan Culture Unveiled – adaptation by friedsig

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This was a little disappointing. I felt it could really benefit from lemon juice or vinegar, or something else acidic to cut the bitterness of the eggplant and the tinned tomato sauce flavor. I cut the tomato sauce from a regular can to a small can because I’m trying to eat low-sodium now, and added a bit more olive oil. Hard to imagine this dish with any more tomato sauce – it was extremely tomatoey. It tasted more like a mildly seasoned spaghetti sauce than a dip or an eggplant dish. I used a good quality Palestinian olive oil, but if you only have supermarket olive oil, you may want to skip this recipe, as a ton of the flavor comes from the olive oil. I also cut the cumin and coriander from a tablespoon of ground spices to a tablespoon of whole spices toasted and then ground, because it seemed a bit excessive, but maybe using the whole amount would help cut some of the aluminum can flavor.

Reminds me a lot of Mughlai-style eggplant from India, but lighter without the ghee and heavy cream.

My other tomato paste and eggplant recipe is Georgian-style eggplant stuffed with carrots and parsnips, but laghataq is less sweet without the carrots and parsnips. I think I’d still recommend the Georgian-style dish over this one if you wanted something healthy and interesting and very different from a tomato sauce. You could also serve as a dip with fresh pita, crackers, raw carrots and other veggies, or whatever you like – but I far preferred this as a tomato sauce than as a dip. For my tastes, this laghataq is not exactly a dip. However, if you are looking for a really unique spaghetti sauce, or a tomato sauce to eat with grits, or something to flavor white beans or okra, or something different for an egg dish like shakshouka, or something to freeze and bring down for chicken parmigiana, try this laghataq!

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habichuelas con dulce (sweet red beans and sweet potato in coconut milk)

November 24, 2016

if you like sweet red bean paste snacks, you will love habichuelas con dulce, a sweet dominican and puerto rican dessert that’s gluten-free and almost kinda healthy. you can drink it chilled, but i like to sip on hot habichuelas con dulce on a chilly day – it’s filling and sweet.

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boil a sweet potato

separately, prepare red beans (kidney beans). if using dry beans, cook til a bit overdone. if using canned red beans, use about two cans

cook with a can of evaporated milk (or a half-cup or so of milk or half-and-half) and a can of coconut milk til softer.

blend in a blender, or mash together with a fork if you don’t have a blender or food processor.

add a cinnamon stick and around seven cloves, the cooked sweet potato, sugar to taste, and a handful of raisins, and simmer on low heat til fragrant.

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recipe by friedsig, based on this habichuelas con dulce recipe

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khatta meetha baingan, improved recipe (sweet and sour indian eggplant)

August 28, 2016

If you love sweet and sour eggplant, but don’t want to deal with making the coconut and sesame paste for baghara baingan, this is a perfect bet.

I already have another khatta meetha baingan recipe on this blog. However, it’s more of a loose idea of a dish than an actual recipe. Here’s a new version (well, new to me). I found it on some website late at night – don’t remember where I got this from. I’ll keep looking…

– Roast a bunch of eggplants. Maybe 8 tiny “Asian eggplants” or 2 big purple ones. I used about 5 brinjals.
– Heat 2 T mustard oil in a skillet, or a teaspoon of black mustard seeds in 2 T neutral oil like coconut or canola.
– When sputtering, add 1 t whole cumin seed and 1 t whole fennel seed. Fry til sputtering.
– Add 3 dry chilis, a few curry leaves, and an onion. Fry til onion becomes translucent.
– Add 1 T garlic. Fry 1 min.
– Add 1 t turmeric, 2 t coriander, fry 1-2 mins.
– Add 2 tomatoes and some tamarind paste or tamarind water, to taste.
– Add the gutted roasted eggplant and simmer for twenty minutes.
– Add a sprinkle of sugar, to taste, and serve topped with fresh cilantro and/or plain yogurt with rice.

Super flavorful, healthy, and satisfying. Sweet but not too sweet, savory, spicy but not too spicy, and just as sour as you like it. Definitely one of my favorite ways to prepare eggplant.

Eggplant is so cheap and plentiful at the farmers’ market at this time of year – take advantage of it!

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bourbon chicken liver pâté

August 17, 2016

“Pâté” feels pretentious, but chicken liver is less than half the price of hamburger meat.

I eat organ meats because:
they’re cheap
they’re delicious
it reduces waste
they’re nutritious (one serving is 280% of your daily need for vitamins A and B12)
did I mention they are cheap?

If you do eat meat, I highly recommend you give chicken liver a try. It’s so quick to cook, and very easy.

One of my favorite preparations has never made it onto friedsig, so here we go: a modification of the classic bourbon chicken liver pâté. This one is modified from epicurious.

– Heat a cast iron pan with about 1.5 T butter, or however much you like. (They say half a stick.)
– Saute a medium onion over medium-low til it caramelizes.
– Add a minced clove of garlic.
– Add one container (~1 lb) of rinsed chicken livers. (Pick off the little globs of fat if you want, but leave some on if you went light on the butter.)
– Saute about 4 minutes on one side, then flip.
– Add lots of fresh or a little dried sage and thyme. Add salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Stir and add 2 T bourbon.
– Make sure each piece has been cooked on both sides when stirring.
– Cut one of the biggest livers in half. If it’s no longer bloody, mostly cooked, but still pink in the middle, it’s perfect. Don’t overcook – 8 minutes should be plenty.
– Blend in a blender or food processor. Do NOT add the liquid unless you want a drinkable pate – just the liver and onions. You can add the liquid as needed to blend into a thick consistency. I like to add a dash of heavy cream, but that is optional. Or, like epicurious suggests, scoop it into tiny bowls and add a little melted butter over the top.

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modified from epicurious

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You can serve this as a dip with cut up veggies, crackers, or toasts. You can use this as a sandwich spread – great with lots of fresh greens and herbs. You can roll this up in greens and make it into finger food. You can add a little to make a sauce richer, or to sneak it in if you don’t like the taste. You can eat it with pasta. You can layer it in casseroles like any other meat. Just try a little spread on a cracker!

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hyderabadi baghara baingan (indian sesame peanut eggplant)

August 16, 2016

this recipe by tarla dalal looks like everything i am craving today in one recipe. plans for khatta meetha baingan went right out the window once i read this.

8 to 10 brinjal eggplant (these are a small variety, so use much less if you have large dark purple eggplant)
1/4 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)
1/4 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
1/4 tsp nigella seeds (kalonji)
8 to 10 curry leaves (kadi patta)
1 to 3 green chillies, slit
4 tbsp oil
salt to taste

For the coconut and sesame paste
2 tbsp sesame seeds (til)
2 tbsp grated fresh coconut (or dried coconut flakes)
2 tbsp raw peanuts
1 tsp chopped ginger (adrak)
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp coriander (dhania) powder
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera) powder
1/2 to 1 tsp chilli powder, depending on your taste
1 tsp tamarind (imli) pulp

For the garnish
2 tbsp chopped coriander (dhania)
Method

Slit the brinjals, lengthwise, into four, but leave the stems on, so the eggplants remain joined at the stem. Keep aside.

For the coconut and sesame paste

Combine the sesame seeds, coconut, peanuts, ginger, garlic and onions in a pan and dry roast them over a slow flame till the flavours are released and the ingredients are lightly browned.
Add the turmeric powder, coriander seed powder, cumin seed powder, chilli powder and tamarind paste and grind it to a smooth paste using ½ cup water. Keep aside.

How to proceed

Heat the oil in a deep bottomed pan, add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and nigella seeds.
When they crackle, add the brinjals, curry leaves and green chillies and sauté over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Remove and keep aside.
In the same pan, add the coconut and sesame paste and cook till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
Add the cooked brinjals, ½ cup of water and salt and cook covered over a slow flame till the brinjals are soft.
Serve hot.

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by tarla dalal

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decided to roast the medium lavender-colored italian eggplants at 425. the smaller brinjal eggplants and little red eggplants that look like tomatoes (!!) were fire-roasted over a gas stove and finished in the 425 oven.

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update:

absolutely incredible. a warning that the 3 slit green chilis and 1 t of chilli powder from the original recipe could be fiery depending on your chilis; i did 2 hot green chilis and 1/2 t chilli powder and it could be a bit hotter for my taste but is already hovering near the mild/medium line. if you have super-powered garden chilis, then beware.

the sesame-peanut-coconut mixture smells amazing as it is cooking. the tamarind and coconut add the perfect sweet and sour flavor, so the eggplant isn’t too bitter. the toasted sesame and peanut are absolutely perfect.

this is in my top 5 eggplant recipes of all time, along with georgian style eggplant stuffed with carrot and parsnip, japanese miso eggplant, baba ghanouj, baingan musasalam, and a simple eggplant parmigiana.

seriously this is amazing. tagging as “favorite”.

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baingan musasalam / mughlai baingan masala (indian eggplant and tomato)

August 3, 2016

mughlai cuisine, according to wikipedia, is a medieval cooking style from northern india and pakistan. it’s even influenced by mongolian food. the history of empire is wild.

history, eggplant, and cream are three of my favorite things, so i’m excited to try this recipe by tarla dalal

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3 cups eggplant
1 to 4 tbsp ghee (recipe called for 4; i used less than half that)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 tsp ginger-garlic (adrak-lehsun) paste
1/2 to 1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp coriander (dhania) powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato puree
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp fresh cream
salt to taste

the recipe says to start by frying eggplant pieces, but i plan to roast the eggplants whole and scoop out the flesh instead. however you like to cook eggplant, do that first.

in a frying pan, start ghee and cumin seed

add onions and saute 5 mins

add the ginger-garlic paste, chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and 1 cup of water, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 2 minutes, while stirring occasionally.

add tomatoes, cook 5 min

add the tomato puree, sugar, fresh cream and salt, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 2 minutes, while stirring occasionally.

add eggplant, cook 2 min, serve garnished with cilantro

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recipe by tarla dalal

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it’s a keeper! among my favorite eggplant recipes, for sure  [though i definitely prefer georgian-style eggplant stuffed with carrot and parsnip. as weird as it sounds, there is just something perfect about it.]

i haven’t made khatta meetha baingan in years, but i will have to make it soon to see if it’s still my favorite indian eggplant recipe, or if this (and its less souped-up cousin baingan bharta) is the new favorite.

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creamy mushroom soup

June 2, 2016

shoutout to one of the most important things on the planet:
public libraries.

thanks to them, i have access to the new 1,000 page cooking bible “the food lab” written by seriouseats.com’s j. kenji lopez-alt. this caught my eye right away.

creamy mushroom soup by seriouseats.com’s lopez-alt

2 lbs mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 3/4 in thick
4 T unsalted butter
1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, split in half and cut 3/4 in thick
1 medium onion, finely sliced
2 t fresh thyme leaves
3 T all purpose flour
1 cup milk
4 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken or veg stock
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper

1. set aside 1 c mushrooms. melt 3 T butter in a dutch oven or soup pot over med-high heat. add remaining mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 min til they begin to brown and have given off their liquid. add leeks, onions, and half the thyme, stirring frequently, til veggies are soft, about five min.

2. add flour and cook, stirring constantly, til flour is absorbed, about 30 seconds. stirring constantly, slowly pour in milk, followed by stock. add bay leaves, bring to boil, reduce heat to maintain simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, til liquid is thickened, about 10 minutes. discard bay leaves.

3. in batches, transfer mixture to blender, or use immersion blender.

4. melt the remaining T of butter in a pan and cook the reserved 1 c mushrooms til deep brown, about 10 minutes. add remaining thyme. garnish each bowl with these mushrooms.

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recipe taken from the food lab by j. kenji lopez-alt.

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really easy, quick soup. highly recommended.