Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Ginger beef and eggplant kebobs

Beef and eggplant with ginger in a soy sauce and sesame oil marinade; steamed watercress; brown basmati

The coop had some fun Japanese eggplant, the long, skinny, lavender-colored variety. So I chopped one crosswise (to make 1/4-inch rounds) and cut chunks of beef about the same size. I made a simple marinade of soy sauce and sesame oil. Then I skewered the meat and eggplant, alternating with slices of ginger. Lane grilled these. By the time the beef cooked the eggplant was perfect -- very soft, but not mushy, and with a little bit of carmelization. I only wish I'd bought more eggplant. I had originally planned to just discard the ginger when I ate the kebobs, but I had a few bites with the ginger and it gave the beef some real zing.

The coop had some beautiful watercress today. Its leaves were larger than ordinary watercress, and it was quite bitter and spicy. I steamed the greens (which toned down the flavor) and tossed with my Usual Dressing #2, 1/4 cup sesame oil, 2 T lemon juice, and 1 T honey. I wish I'd thought to toast some sesame seeds to top the greens with -- that would have been nice. Or maybe some slivered almonds for some crunch.

Alas, I did not cook the basmati long enough and so that was crunchy. But at least it was also fluffy. In order to ensure fluffy rice you're supposed to rinse it until the water runs clear. I've always read instructions to immerse in water and drain several times. But I usually just dump my rice into a strainer and run water over it for a few minutes. Afterwards I immerse it in water and I usually find the strainer method has done the trick with far less trouble. I wonder why I never read about this method. It's so much easier.

We had our friend Alex over for dinner. He's on his own while his wife, Luciana, and son, Jan, are visiting family in Argentina. Alex brought some keilbasa to grill as well. It varied a wee bit from the Japanese-inspired menu, but was mighty tasty.

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