Baked Eggplant- And A New Era Begins

Dousing with yogurt

Dousing with yogurt

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Izzy Have You Eaten has been in a bit of a hiatus, but when you went off to Central America for your big adventure, I knew you would not be cooking for a while. We’ve loved hearing about your adventures and looking at amazing photographs of Trinidad, Flores, Antigua, Tulum and Tikal. While you traveled, I took the opportunity to have a little break over the summer and now here we all are, back to seize the new year! Lots more cooking to be done, Izzy.

Congratulations on your next big step, Izzy: post graduate studies, back at Melbourne uni. The incredible thing is that you will now have Little C joining you on campus to start her degree! Something you’ve yearned for.  Not sure what dad and I will do with ourselves in Sydney without  BOTH our girls……

Now of course the other dilemma: this blog name is kinda redundant because in my heart, I will be saying: Izzy AND Little C, have you eaten? Let’s think about that one… in the meantime, Little C had a play and changed the image on my blog header. It is rather artistic isn’t it? If any of you reading this have suggestions of what to do about the title, I’d be glad to hear from you in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box below.

I made these baked eggplant slices the other day, and promptly made them again a couple of days later. They are just so easy and delicious, and they work beautifully as a side, served warm, chilled or at room temperature. I served them the first time with grilled salmon topped with a fresh salsa, next time with a chicken curry. How versatile can you get? Yotham Ottolelnghi is truly an inspirational cook; i have never eaten vegetables in such combinations and variety as with him. I should send his book Plenty to you soon…

Grilled Eggplant with Yoghurt Dressing for 4

  • Two medium sized eggplants. Chose ones that are shiny, and that have a tight skin.
  • 3 table spoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt
  • salt
  • a few sprigs thyme
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Slice the eggplants the whole length in half.
  3. Place the eggplant pieces on baking paper on a baking tray. Make some shallow criss cross slits in the eggplant pieces.
  4. Brush lightly with olive oil, and bake for 30 minutes or less depending on the size of the pieces. Some smaller pieces may take a shorter time to cook.
  5. Remove from oven and arrange on a platter.
  6. With a fork, whisk yogurt with a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of salt.
  7. Drizze the yogurt mixture onto the eggplant .
  8. Scatter with thyme and pomegranate seeds, and serve.

Fabulous Fish Molee (South Indian Curry)

It has been a very busy few days since you left.  I guess now that the workmen have got access to the house, the painting and sanding have begun and so I need to keep up with them: Have you decided on the colour for the kitchen? Where are the light fixtures you want to put up? Yikes! I need to get a move on! It is exciting to be nearing the time we move into our home.

On one of my runs to drop C off to school, we shared the road with a beautiful old Citroen DS.  A smart young man in a dark suit was driving. The added charm was a big and bulky baby car seat strapped into the back of this magnificent beast. Little C took a photo and we smiled at the variety of life in our new city.

Baby on board!

After ordering half a dozen down lights from Artemide in Surry Hills, I spied some  beautiful blue eyed cod in a fish shop. It had been a chilly couple of days, and threatening to rain, so when I picked up a couple of pieces,  I decided to make a spicy curry to warm us all up.  A substitute for the cod could be a thick piece of Ling. You could also try it with some nice fat prawns…. haha, did I get your full attention here?

Fish molee is very south Indian with all the typical ingredients: ginger, tomatoes, and coconut milk. It all adds up to a very yummy fish dish! In India, one would eat it with appams, the world’s sadly undiscovered and totally delicious rice flour and coconut milk pancake. A spongy and light mound in the middle, with a crisp frill around the edges, we always score a good appam at your darling Aunty R’s home when visiting in Malaysia, but tragically not many other opportunities of eating them. Still, served over plain white rice this is a delicious curry.

Ok, so we did not have much time to prepare dinner (as usual): the finale of Masterchef was on, and both Little C and I wanted to watch it.  The fish curry was not going to take a lot of time.  For a side, I had a box of bright green French beans and half of a cabbage to cook, so we were set. We ate while watching two amazingly talented young people vie for the position of Masterchef.  Who were you barracking for? I was glad Andy won.

Satisfying meal

Fish Molee

  • 1/2 kg firm white fish (blue eyed cod, ling) cut into pieces about 10 x 5 cm
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 purple onion, sliced fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped fine
  • 1 green chill left whole, but with a slit in its tip
  • 2 cups low fat coconut milk
  • 1 large red tomato, chopped
  • 2 stalks fresh curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup oil

Method:

  1. In a bowl, combine the fish, turmeric and salt and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy sauce pan
  3. Fry the fish pieces gently until browned on each side, and keep on a plate
  4. Reheat the pan and heat a little more oil in it
  5. Fry the mustard seeds until they pop, and then add the curry leaves,wait a few moment for the flavour to burst forth
  6. Now add the ginger, onion and garlic and fry till golden
  7. Add the chopped tomato, and chilli powder and stir till the ingredients all melt and everything is fragrant
  8. Add the coconut milk, and chilli and lower the heat
  9. Add the vinegar and carefully stir so the milk does not curdle
  10. Slip the fish pieces into the gravy and stir gently. Adjust the seasoning  and cook gently for about fifteen minutes. The colour of the sauce will change to a lovely golden from the turmeric marinade.
  11. Serve hot over white rice.

Gently simmering fish molee

While the fish is simmering in its last fifteen minutes, you can quickly throw together the veggies:

Bean and Cabbage stir fry

  • 1/2 a small green cabbage,e chopped
  •  three cups sliced green beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

Crack an egg on the veggies…..

Method:

  1. In a shallow fry pan heat the oil and throw in the ginger
  2. When golden, add the vegetables and stir with some salt to taste ( about one teaspoon)
  3. Crack an egg into the centre of the vegetables
  4. Cover the pan for two minutes and lower the heat
  5. Now remove the lid, and as you notice the egg hardening, stir vigorously so that it mixes through the vegetables.
  6. Serve warm as a side.

Here’s a meal worth sharing with friends! I hope you’ll try it soon. xoxo