Monthly Mingle No. 9 - Arabian Nights
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 -
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:
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.
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