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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Monthly Mingle No. 9 - Arabian Nights

MMApril2007

So life was a bit chaotic during Meeta's MM No. 8 and I didn't get a chance to participate.. but not this month - nothing was going to keep me from joining in on the fun! Not even having absolutely, positively no farkin' idea what to make. None. Nada. The big goose egg. Zilch.

This gal doesn't venture much past the Italian, Mexican, Asian, Southern regions of cuisine very often and hoooo baby! did it ever become blatantly apparent when Meeta announced the theme!

So.. well.. my offerings aren't very creative - actually she suggested both in her write up. And although I've made many versions of the one recipe, the other was very new to us and even after being more than a little apprehensive as to how it'd taste, we both really enjoyed it! So Yay! to trying something new and crawling a lil ways from our comfort zone. We rock. We are so worldly now. heeee!

And so without further ado.. I present to you -

Baba Ghanoush
Baba Ghanoush!!

And yeah, the ONLY reason I made it was not my love of eggplant.. it was only because I love saying it! Baba ghanoush!! Baba ghanoush!! It's hella cool!

Okay since I've never had this before I can't vouche if the recipe I found was authentic, but it sounded really good and ended up tasting really good too.. you be the judge:

1 large eggplant
1/4 c. tahini, plus more as needed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
1 pinch ground cumin
Salt, to taste
1 TBS. extra-virgin olive oil
1 TBS. chopped, fresh, flat-leaf parsley
1/4 c. brine-cured black olives, such as kalamata

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill.*

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

Prick the eggplant with a fork in several places and place on the grill rack 4 to 5 inches from the fire. Grill, turning frequently, until the skin blackens and blisters and the flesh just begins to feel soft, 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and peel off and discard the skin.

Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl. Using a fork, mash the eggplant to a paste.
Add the 1/4 cup tahini, the garlic, the 1/4 cup lemon juice and the cumin and mix well.

Season with salt, then taste and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed.

Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the parsley. Place the olives around the sides. Serve at room temperature.

*My Notes: Okay so THAT's the way Mimi Bobeck prepares her Baba Ghanoush. Lisa, dead tired from her 8 in the dungeon prepares it this way:

Baba Ghanoush

Preheat oven to 375º F.

Peel the eggplant (although next time I'm going to skip this step as well) and cut into 1/2 inch disks. Place them, single layer, on a cookie sheet and salt them, then drizzle a lil olive oil over them. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown and soft.

While the eggplant is roasting in the oven, get out your trusty food processor and toss in all the rest of the ingredients (I cut the tahini down to 1/8 c. at first because a few of the reviews said it overpowered the eggplant, but I used a 1/4 c. in the end), including the kalamatas but excluding the olive oil. Once your eggplant is roasted, toss the disks right in with the rest and process until it all looks good and mashy.

Transfer to a pretty bowl and drizzle the olive oil over it. Serve with freshly baked pita chips. Ohhh and awwww over what you've been missing all these years. ;)

Secondly, I made kebabs! Partly because Meeta said they legally met all the requirements for this month's Mingle, but mostly because my friend, Laurie, of Laurie's Kitchen made these recently and they looked amazingly good (much better than mine looked!). Although I used a different marinade - and only because I had so much of it left from my Easter ham and I wanted to get rid of it.

Kebabs
Pork Tenderloin Kebab (or ham!) marinade/sauce/glaze

1 c. packed brown sugar
5 TBS. balsamic vinegar
1 TBS. dijon style mustard

Mix well and pour over your intended meat for a quick 30 min. marinade (can use the marinade for glazing after you remove the meat) or just as a super yummy glaze.

Thanks for a cool theme this month, Meeta!! I look forward to checking out the round-up - and ya'll should too! :D

xoxo

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Comments on "Monthly Mingle No. 9 - Arabian Nights"

 

Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said ... (4/10/2007 1:20 PM) : 

Hooray for Baba Ghanoush...I love this stuff. I'd say you made the real deal!

 

Blogger Meeta said ... (4/10/2007 2:21 PM) : 

Baba Ghanoush, babay!
You rock girl for taking on this challenge and Hubbs rocks for being a darling and accepting all my challenges with nonchalance!
Thank you for the entry! HUGS!

 

Blogger Heather said ... (4/10/2007 4:59 PM) : 

I love the phrase baba ghanoush too. I find myself calling my dog it all the time. I have never tried it either, now I will have too.

 

Blogger JennDZ said ... (4/10/2007 6:14 PM) : 

Beautiful, the mediterranean stuff is right up my ally! And Baba sure is fun to say!

 

Anonymous Laurie said ... (4/10/2007 10:13 PM) : 

Hey Lisa, these look soooo good! I will have to try the Baba Ghanoush soon! I hope you really enjoyed the kebabs! I will definitely try out your marinade as well, it looks awesome and thanks for the mention! xoxo

 

Blogger Helene said ... (4/10/2007 11:02 PM) : 

Lisa, what are your trying to tell me, that I should name my first born Baba Ghanoush?! I bet it is delicious, and with those kabobs...oh man Talk about good!

 

Blogger Gattina said ... (4/11/2007 6:47 AM) : 

oh my sweetie, I think I hear your kebab chanting... eat mmmeeeeee.... Here I come!!!
I never try baba ghanoush (any "My First Word Book" should now include it, eh?!) sound fantastic! I know sesame seed paste can taste very potent, but I will follow your instruction *kiss kiss*

 

Blogger breadchick said ... (4/11/2007 8:32 AM) : 

I must be the only person on earth who just can't get her mouth around Baba Ghanoush. First I thought it was the recipes/dishes I had at the restaurants/stores I went to. But MBH and I live on the Watertown/Belmont/Cambridge MA border and Watertown has one of the largest Armenian communities in the US. I have tried it several times at all our favourite Lebenese/Aremenian/Mediteranian restaurants there and nope, just don't like it. Yours looks so lovely though, I may just try it for about the 100th time to see if it really and truly is me. The kabobs do look very good too!

 

Blogger Cheryl said ... (4/11/2007 8:55 AM) : 

Baba Ghanoush could be one of the all time best words to say.

Those kabobs look absolutely mouth watering good. Oh my!

 

Anonymous veron said ... (4/11/2007 9:50 AM) : 

Babba ganoush does have a nice ring to it and who can resist pork kebabs. hmmn...kebabs.

 

Blogger Acme Instant Food said ... (4/11/2007 12:03 PM) : 

Wow, all ya needed was a sequined veil! Nobody would even know it was you under there serving up those tasty kebabs until you said "Baba Ghanoush" and started giggling uncontrollably.

 

Blogger Patricia Scarpin said ... (4/11/2007 3:19 PM) : 

I've never had baba ghanoush!!

Lis, it looks terrific, and with those pieces of pita bread... yummy!

 

Blogger Callipygia said ... (4/11/2007 6:00 PM) : 

Your baba looks great- but I must say those kebabs are utterly tantalizing. Great glaze.

 

Blogger Anuhea said ... (4/11/2007 7:52 PM) : 

Hehehe, I love saying that too...Baba Ghanoush! But even though I love eggplant, I have never tried it! I can't seem to find Tahini anywhere. Dear, I was wondering if you would mind linking my site from your blog, I'm trying to get more readers and I love checking your site daily.

 

Blogger Brilynn said ... (4/11/2007 8:03 PM) : 

I've tried a few times to make baba ghanoush, I've never succeeded... good for you!

 

Blogger Lis said ... (4/11/2007 11:28 PM) : 

Tanna - I did? Excellent!

Meeta - My pleasure, sweetie =)

Heather - HA! I've called my dogs that as well - especially the night I made it. hehe

Jenn - Thanks! And yes it is! hehe

Laurie - The kebabs were fantastic.. and my pleasure - it won't be the last time, I'm sure. =)

Helene - ACCKkkk! No don't name my fairy godbaby baba ghanoush! Lisa Jr. would be nice though. :D

Gattina - I just adore you =) Thanks for the nice compliment and YES I want you to try it and make it into something that's fabulously beautiful like you always do! *hugs*

Mary - I did like it, surprisingly.. is it something that I'll crave or want often? Nahh.. But definitely worth trying for the first time. =)

Cheryl - hee! I agree! Thanks =)

Sis - Mmmm bacon.. lol

Kev - MUAHAHAAA! Once again you've cracked me up.. the thought of me in a veil and belly dancer garb is QUITE HYSTERICAL. xoxo

Patricia - Thanks honey!

Callipygia - And tantalizing they were ;) Mmmm cheese kebabs...

Anuhea - Aww well if you ever luck upon finding tahini, I urge you to try it! =)

Bril - Thanks! xoxo

 

Blogger Sara said ... (4/12/2007 10:28 AM) : 

your glaze sounds delicious lis!

 

Blogger Rose said ... (4/12/2007 11:13 PM) : 

I have never tried Baba ganouch. But I love every thing with eggplant. It looks delicious

 

Blogger Freya and Paul said ... (4/13/2007 6:29 AM) : 

Looks delicious, I love the colour of the Baba Ghanoush! It is fun to say too!
I've yet to try the stuff myself but it looks like something I'd like.

 

Blogger Mercedes said ... (4/13/2007 2:35 PM) : 

So, I couldn't figure out how you got your baba so purple, until I read the bit about the olives- that's an unusual twist.
The easiest way to make it is to just roast the eggplant whole (prick it a couple times with a fork first), then peel off the blackened skin and toss in with remaining ingredients. Yours looks delicious!

 

Blogger K & S said ... (4/14/2007 7:23 AM) : 

looks wonderful! and so fun to say!

 

Blogger Laura Rebecca said ... (4/14/2007 7:59 AM) : 

You out did yourself, Lis! Everything looks delicious!

 

Blogger valentina said ... (4/14/2007 10:58 AM) : 

I am also a big fan of baba ganoush.Like it it has all to do with loving aubergines..I wish I could try some of yours.Delicious.

 

Blogger Kirsten said ... (4/15/2007 7:23 PM) : 

Wonderful!! I LOVE baba ghanoush - your's looks yummy and more chunky than the normal restaurant kind, which I think is good - less gray-hummus and more unique.

Delicious!!

 

Blogger Gattina said ... (4/16/2007 6:56 AM) : 

just drop by to say 'how are you' :D Still stuff up since the Easter dinner (oh that's me)?... have missed your post *hug*

 

Anonymous pom d'api said ... (4/16/2007 9:03 AM) : 

Hi! Lisa. I love this stuff, it'so good

 

Blogger Garrett said ... (4/16/2007 4:40 PM) : 

Holy crap that looks tasty! SHibby picture btw!

 

Blogger Linda said ... (4/16/2007 5:25 PM) : 

love love love babaghanoush!

 

Blogger Alison said ... (4/17/2007 9:47 PM) : 

Lis - I can just see you in your sequined veil belly dancing around the table, clinking your little cymbal thingies on your fingers, all the while balancing a tray of baba ghanoush!

 

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