This is a real mood-elevator. Laura says it's Thai-Indian fusion soup, which describes it pretty well, maybe with a touch of Japanese or Korean:
2 thin “Thai” eggplants, salted, drained and cubed
1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, mashed
1 ½ inch thick slice of fresh ginger, mashed (comes to about a tablespoon)
1 ½ quarts of chicken stock (more if needed)
10 cooked fish balls, disks should work fine as well -- you can find these at any asian food store with a freezer section. Squid rings would work too.
salt to taste
handful of chopped cilantro
½ tsp coriander
2 ground cloves
T ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
Sauté garlic and onion until translucent
Add spices, sauté until covered uniformly
Add chicken stock, simmer for ½ hour
Add eggplant, cooked fish balls, and cilantro
Cook until hot, about 15 minutes
Serve over rice noodles
This is heavenly the next day, but don't try to save it with the noodles -- they'll dissolve.
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
5 oz. unsweetened chocolate
¼ cup cocoa
1/2 cup bourbon
2 T half and half
½ tsp. salt
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 T. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
Fresh raspberries and mint leaves, optional
Preheat oven to 325
1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler
2. Put the cocoa in a 2-cup measuring cup. Add enough boiling water to come up to the 1 cup measuring line. Stir until the powder dissolves. Add the whiskey, salt, and half and half. Let cool.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar, and beat until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract, baking soda and melted chocolate.
4. With the mixer on low speed, beat in a third of the whiskey mixture. When liquid is absorbed, beat in 1 cup flour. Repeat additions, ending with the whiskey mixture. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top.
5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.
6. Transfer the cake, still in its pan, to a rack. Unmold when the pan is cool to the touch. and sprinkle warm cake with more whiskey (At this stage I had to do some reconstructive Cool completely before serving, garnished with confectioners’ sugar, raspberries and mint leaves.
I sauteed onions, garlic, eggplant, and lamb and then cooked them covered in
white wine (Barefoot Sauvignon blanc), lemon juice, tomato sauce,
oregano, salt, pepper, a few peas for color, and a dash of curry powder (to offset the
bitterness of the eggplant -- you can't taste it.) It's delicious with the little red potatoes and I'm sure it would also work well with rice.
If you're cooking eggplant for something like this, be sure to peel it, cube it, salt it liberally, and let it drain for about a half hour in a colander, then rinse off the salt and dry it in a dish towel. This USUALLY gets rid of the bitterness. If there's just a little bitterness left, you can add a touch of curry or brown sugar, but if there's too much then you just have to throw away the damn eggplant and buy another. Our grocery stores have had a run of bad eggplants, so we were really happy when this one (grown by a local farmer) turned out perfect.
According to Bon Appetit magazine, "cheddaring is . . . a process::
It's how the cheese gets its texture. Curds are cut into slabs and then piled on top of one another. The weight drains moisture from the curds and compresses them, which takes about an hour to complete.
2 T light olive oil 1 onion, ch0pped two large celery stalks, chopped one clove garlic, crushed two whole cloves 1 cup brown lentils
2 quarts water 1 cup chopped carrots three medium baking potatoes, diced 1 T tomato paste 1/2 cup milk 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1/2 chicken bouillon cube (*vegetarians substitute 1/2 veg cube) salt and black pepper to taste
Saute the garlic, onion, and chopped celery in the olive oil until wilted but not brown. Toss in two cloves, salt and pepper. Toss in lentils, potatoes, and carrots. Add water, tomato paste, and bouillon cube. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer about an hour. Uncover, add cayenne pepper, and reduce liquid to desired consistency. Add milk and heat briefly. Adjust seasonings. Serve.