On Sunday, after my race/long run, I was exhausted to say the least. I kinda felt like a walking zombie (and not a fast one, like in 28 Days Later), a slooow one who just wanted to go to bed. No go though…no bed for me. I had to meet my friend for brunch (or whatever you go eat at 2:30…mid-afternoon snack?) so I had to kinda rush when I got home from my run. No quiet me time. But, maybe my run this morning was my me time? Maybe I need to rethink this whole thing. Anyway…brunch (mid-afternoon snack?) was delish (I scarfed down my food. Long run days I tend to be starving the entire rest of the day) and afterwards I planned on dropping by Whole Foods then my regular grocery store to pick up my weekly goodies (i.e. groceries). (wow-this is turning into the post of parenthesis. Goal-no more parenthesis for the rest of the post.) I had already pulled a recipe online to make that night from Post Punk Kitchen, so I walked around Whole Foods and then Key Food grabbing bits and pieces and magic for my concoction, all while exhausted and hungry. And my foot was starting to hurt-my mood was going downhill. By the way, if you are ever in New York, please visit the Whole Foods on Houston and Bowery. It is amazing and huge and airy, very un-New York supermarket-like. At most supermarkets in NY you can barely fit a shopping cart through the aisles. Not this amazing Whole Foods. I lurve it. I almost brought a sleeping bag there to sleep among the carrots and Almond Butter. Tangent!!!
What was this recipe, you ask? Spicy Peanut Eggplant and Shallot Stew. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you be tempted to making it? I sure was! I, however, did not read the recipe very closely at all and did not realize that it had many many steps. If you’ve noticed in the past, my recipes tend to take not much time to throw together, and then they just cook for a while. This one…lots of steps. Must read things more closely, Betsy!!! I started it at 5:30 and what time did I eat? 8:45. For someone who was exhausted and hungry, that process was not a winner. When my roommate came home and I was sweating over the stove, and I told her how long I had been cooking, she said “Man-I hope it’s worth it!” And you know, it hadn’t crossed my mind. I just assumed it would be good. But, I veered from the recipe several times and was nervous that my eggplant was not ripe at all (smelled like unripe bananas when I was salting it and cooking it-not a good sign I’d say.) Oh no!! I used parenthesis. Don’t hate me. Anyway, so then I got nervous-what if it sucked?? I’ve made stuff that’s sucked before, so it could happen. 3+hours of my life down the drain for a crappy soup with banana-tasting eggplant?
When it was finally done, I filled my new bowl (yay!) with a serving of stew-it looked good, it smelled good. Whoa-relief…it tasted good. REALLY good. Well, we all know Isa’s a genius, so no surprise here, but it was good. Kinda creamy and spicy and very flavorful. It didn’t really taste like shallots though, I think I might add more next time. And last night, when I came home late from work from an event, exhausted, I heated up some more and it tasted even better. And tonight, hungry from a hard workout, even better. This is definitely a winner-blue ribbon even. And don’t be nervous if your roommates doubt you or you eggplant smells like bananas, cause you know, deep down inside, that it would tickle your tastebuds and make your tummy happy. And taste grrrrreat! Like Tony says.
Eggplant and Peanut Stew (adapted from Post Punk Kitchen)
1 eggplant about 1 lb
1 tsp salt
2 shallots (I suggest to use more-I am going to next time)
1 medium yellow onion
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
a little less than 1/3 cup tomato paste
1 16 oz can of diced tomatoes
3.5 cups of veggie broth
1/3 cup chunky natural pb
a bunch ( as much as you desire) green beans chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Chop the eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes, toss with salt and set aside for about 45 minutes. After, rinse well with cold water.
In a dutch oven, heat about a teaspoon each of sesame oil and olive oil. Cook the shallots that were sliced very thinly, until they’re caramelized. Mine kinda fried and cooked really really fast, so next time I’m going to cook them over very low heat. Set shallots aside. Add a little more oil to the pot and add the eggplant cooking for about 25 minutes till tender. Scoop out of pot and set aside. Add little more oil and add the ginger and fry for 30 seconds. Add the spices and fry for 30 more seconds. Add the onion, that you diced and cook for about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste to the pot and cook for 1 minute. To review, OUT of the pot should be the shallots and eggplant. IN the pot should be the ginger, spices, onion and tomato. Add the diced tomatoes, broth, eggplant and shallots to the pot (the recipe calls for the string beans now, but I like mine on the crunchy side so I added them in the end) and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Test for spice and add any additional spice. I added more of everything-I always do. In a separate bowl, combine the pb with a laddleful of stew liquid and stir until the the pb is completely emulsified. Add to the pot. Simmer on low, covered, for about 45 minutes. Add the 1/3 cup of cilantro and stir into the stew. Top with more cilantro. Collapse into a chair, exhausted and eat carefully, cause it’s hot!
See-longest directions ever!