Thursday, October 18, 2012

Roasted Eggplant with Goat Cheese

People have been passing germs around the office for the last month and despite taking vitamins and drinking more orange juice then I can ever remember, I finally succumbed to the cold this past weekend and have been miserable ever since. The worst part is that all I want to do is sleep, but as soon as I lie down, I start to cough. So instead of resting I've been jamming, working on forgotten sewing projects, cleaning and drinking tea by the gallon. I guess I'm not capable of curing up on the couch in front of the TV for very long.

Spiced Eggplant Raw

Also, because if this cold I have also had almost no appetite and absolutely no desire to go grocery shopping, so dinners have consisted of odds and ends around my pantry and fridge. That's not nearly as sad as it sounds though because according to my sister, a person can live for a month on what's in my kitchen when I say I have no food.

Spiced Eggplant Baked

I'd pinned this recipe from The Kitchn a while back and finding one lonely eggplant in my fridge and a tiny wedge of leftover goat cheese, I mixed what I had and waited while the oven did it's job. Since I'd halved the recipe, but kept all the spices and garlic at their original amounts, the flavors were stronger, but I loved it. It was warm and comforting and made for a quick and simple meal served over steamed rice. Just goes to show that you don't absolutely have to follow a recipe to the letter to end up with a delicious dinner (and I'm hoping the extra garlic helps me kick this stupid cold...I'm not good at being sick!). And tomorrow, I think I'll make soup out of the giant butternut squash my coworker gave me from her garden. Who knows? It might be another week before I have to go grocery shopping again.

Spiced Eggplant

Roasted Eggplant with Goat Cheese for Two
Adapted heavily from The Kitchn, partially because I don't like cilantro and mostly because I didn't have smoked almonds.

1 large eggplants
Kosher salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled and divided
Steamed rice (optional)

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Cube the eggplant into 1-inch pieces and put in a large bowl. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and set aside while making the marinade.
2. Whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, smoked paprika, and cumin. Dab away any extra water that has beaded up on the eggplant and toss with the marinade. Stir in the garlic. Spread the eggplant on a large baking sheet, lined with parchment and slide onto a rack placed in the center of the oven. Roast at 400°F for 40 minutes, or until very tender and slightly browned. Stir it halfway through to make sure it browns evenly. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
3. Whisk together the lemon juice, soy sauce and most of the goat cheese (reserve a little to garnish). Return the eggplant to the bowl and toss with the lemon juice mixture.
4. Serve on it's own or over steamed rice. Go back for seconds.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Irish Cream Brownies

The alternate title to this post should be "Cleaning out the liquor cabinet" because these brownies really and truly live up to their name. These are not "Hint of Irish Cream" or "Touch of Irish Cream" or "There was a bottle of Irish Cream in the kitchen when I was making these and therefore might possibly have absorbed some by osmosis". These are most definitely "Hey, I'z gots Irish Cream and might get you drunk. Let's hang out!" brownies.

Baileys Brownies

A year or two ago I hosted an all-out Halloween party at which one of the things I did was re-label all the bottles in my liquor cabinet with creepy cool labels and it has stayed that way ever since. Mostly because I get a kick out of pulling out a bottle labeled "Contaminated Blood" when I make margaritas, or "Vampire's Kiss" when I make martinis. It has been a while since the party though and slowly my cabinet has regained it's upstanding (boring) constitution, however in the very back there was a giant handle of Irish Cream still labeled "Ye Olde Spider Venom" and I'd decided that it was time for it to go.

Baileys Brownies Cut

I have a favorite brownie recipe that I've been making off and on ever since I'd discovered it, and in addition to churning out incredibly dense, moist, flavorful brownies, it easily absorbs a large quantity of liquid of your choosing, making it perfectly adaptable. Originally I had made it with a concentrated glug of Guinness, and really the only difference this time around was that I replaced the 1.25 cups of beer with 1.25 cups of Irish Cream. That's right, I said 1.25 cups of Irish Cream for a single batch! And they came out amazing! So click on the link above (or here) if you have some extra booze lying around and you want to give these a try. They travel great and are perfect for sharing.Oh yeah, and if you eat the whole batch they might get you drunk :D