Friday, August 20, 2010

Eggplant? Really?

People laugh at me because I have food rules. In case you're blissfully unaware of them, allow me to give you a good laugh:

1. No peppers. I'm allergic. So this one isn't funny.
2. No fungus. I'll cook them for mushroom lovers in my house, sometimes, but I don't eat fungus.
3. Food segregation. My food can't be mixed, and really shouldn't touch.
4. No roots, except orange ones. I'll cook with onions, but pick them out of my food, and I don't like potatoes. Again, I'll cook them for my family, but I'm not a fan.

5. No purple food! Everyone else can have grape jam, and I've even made it, but I don't eat purple food.

So, imagine my surprise and horror when my farmer brought me not one, but TWO, eggplants.

Ryan's "How to fix food" book suggests that eggplant can be fixed by encasing it in concrete and dropping it in the East River. OK with me, because it's purple food, but it was in my house and needed something done with it, and the East River is about 100 miles away. So off to my cookbooks I went for suggestions. I have forgotten exactly where I found this, but I believe it was either Craig Claiborne or Fannie Farmer.


1 eggplant
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup melted butter
salt & pepper to taste

Boil the eggplant in a large pot for 15 to 20 minutes. Cut it in half lengthwise and carefully scoop all of the meaty center out without breaking the shell (and good luck with that!) Coarsely chop all of the eggplant, including the seeds, and stir in with the rest of the ingredients. Place the eggplant shells in a greased, curved baking dish, which will support the shell while it's cookin
g, re-stuff the eggplant shell with the eggplant/breadcrumb mix, and bake at 350F for about 45 minutes, until it's lightly browned on the outside.
So, I wrecked one of my 2 shells. And the eggplant looked most unappetizing. So I grated some extra sharp cheddar cheese over the top before serving it. At least the cheese looked pretty.

As for the eggplant? Well, the best review I got for it was, "It has no flavor." The next day, my daughter's Italian friend was here, gooing that she loves eggplant. When she wasn't looking, I put the second one in her purse. Good thing the girls these days carry big honkin' purses.

So, my final word? In defense of eggplant, it is a very pretty vegetable, second to none. However, I still don't like purple food. Christo, I know you're out there laughing at me!


Debbie Cook said...

Hahahaha! I'm Italian and my grandparents cooked it all the time, but I don't care for eggplant. At. All. Although it has nothing to do with its color ...

Big Dude said...

Interesting food rules :-). Eggplant's a little like squash - not alot of flavor but can be used with lots of other flavors. Next time just peel it and it won't be purple anymore :-) - my favorite eggplant is white and looks like an egg for which they were named.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I love eggplant in Ratatouille but that is no good for you as it has pepper in it as well:-( Diane

gMarie said...

I find eggplant has to be cooked just right. I usually peel it (no more purple) because the skin can be bitter, then bread and bake it. Top with tomato sauce and cheese - eggplant parm. But if it gets overcooked and mushy - I'm done! g

El'bow and Hauwii said...

ugh sanne hates eggplant!!
and she doesnt like patatos to :D

El'bow & Hauwii

Mickle in NZ said...

WIthout even reading this post - your vegetable/potato peeler makes short work of eggplant skin - then slice/chop etc the remaining flesh and pop into a colander with a little salt sprinkled over.

My surgically shortened (most of large intestine removed) and dodgy "what is left" innards still love well cooked Eggyplants. Be aware - regardless of lack or presence of colon, egg plant food can result in "gaseous" innards!!!

Katherine Aucoin said...

I'm laughing my arse, but in a kind and loving friend way ;-)

After all this time how did I not about you and roots, orange, purple, and touching? Sheesh, you must really hate visiting my blog!

Eggplant needs A LOT of garlic, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, butter and seasoned bread crumbs.

I bet if you came to my house and I lied like a cheap rug and told it was squash, you'd love it!

Have a great weekend!

Pam said...

You crack me up...I never knew you had so many food rules. I can't believe you don't like potatoes!

Sue said...

Rob likes eggplnt parmesan so I make it for him. I've tried it and while it certainly isn't my favorite, I can eat it if nothing better presents itself.

I do like the color though and would like to make a shawl in that deep purple.

doggybloggy said...

HOW DID YOU KNOW??? the one that cracks me up the most is the food segregation one - eggplant makes my tongue tingle if I eat too much and BTW IT ISNT PURPLE INSIDE! And the anti potato thing verges on blasphemy.

The Blonde Duck said...

I think my rules would be:

1) No fancy yuppie crap, like truffles and foi gras.
2) When it doubt, fry or eat pie.
3) I always need a bigger freezer.
4) I don't cook Asian food.
5) Tofu looks like a spounge.

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Chef Dennis said...

you are so funny, sneaking the eggplant in her purse! next time just grill it, but my favorite way is breaded and fried......I worked for a guy that wouldn't eat round food, except for tuna stuffed tomatoes, he also wouldn't eat green food....if everyone ate the same thing, it would be really boring!

Tatersmama said...

I love eggplant parmigiana (is that spelled right?) but it has to have lots of seasoned breading and cheese on it. Plus, I always peel it... Voila! No more purple! ;)

I am with you on the potatoes though. My older sister could eat them 10 times a day, so we had them for most meals and I don't like 'em anymore. I do like Idahoan instant mashed though. ;)

Anonymous said...

LOL.. I agree with one of your rules which is don't touch my food. I can't stand anyone eating off of my plate. I do love eggplant though with a little a little cheese and sauce. Yummy!

Pam said...

Hey, you forgot no grill marks!!!

altadenahiker said...

I love the thought of someone walking around without knowing there's a giant eggplant in her purse.

This was very funny, and I never would have guessed your food rules. You hide your eccentricities well.

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

Oh my gosh! I would never have guessed you were such a picky eater! My favourite eggplant dish is baba ganoush. It is a great dip with pita bread. I think it would fit into your food groups - without the skin, eggplant is not purple! It is hilarious to put it in her purse!

Channon said...

I guffawed in such a fashion that Gretchen has raced to my side, making her own little "huffs" (think, "I want to yap but I'm inside")... all over the second eggplant slipping into a handbag.

I love eggplant. That stuffed recipe is so similar to the first "casserole" I fell in love with that I might require some for lunch.

lostpastremembered said...

Dr Lostpast is totally allergic to peppers too! Going to an Indian restaurant where peppers might have touched oil can send him into a spin... he also doesn't like eggplant (unless it's in babaganoush and unrecognizable) and when I made it last night, smoked and delicious in pasta he tasted one bite and ate the noodles... he said it was great for eggplant and by the 1/2 teaspoon-full! Oh well, at least he tasted it! Great recipe... I love eggplant!