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Old 08-13-2007, 08:53 PM   #1
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ISO help/comments on cooking eggplant

i love eggplant and cook it often, using different methods and of course have varying results. hoping you can help me decode the cooking eggplant secrets.

about a week ago - i cut an eggplant into rounds, marinated the pieces in an oil and vinegar mixture and chilled them in the fridge for about 4 hours and then put them on the grill. I cooked them for a few minutes on each side until they had nice grill marks on them. then i chilled them for about another 3 hours and served them cold. they were great, albiet a little mushy.

tonight - i cut an eggplant into rounds, salted them and pressed them for about an hour. i had to go to the gym, so i rinsed off the salt and let them stand at room temp for 2 hrs while i went to the gym. came home and there was a ton of liquid in the plate, which I was surprised at since i rinsed the salt. so i drained the liquid and squeezed out the rounds, releasing more liquid. i then basted them with balsamic and put them on the grill for a few minutes on each side until they had nice grill marks on them. they came out a little tough (not bad though), it just felt like either i should have cooked them longer or marinated them.

what do you think?

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Old 08-14-2007, 12:15 AM   #2
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I like to slice into rounds and dip them in Extra Virgin Olive oil and minced fresh garlic and then grill them on a hot fire very yummy
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:05 AM   #3
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Or slice into rounds, sweat them, meal, and fry! They also make make great "french frys"

Enjoy!
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:21 AM   #4
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Maybe you want to rethink the refrigeration after cooking step..? Why not just eat them when they come off the grill?
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:25 AM   #5
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I prefer mine fried. As bob said, makes great faux fries.

I also just like it cubed, tossed in oil, a little sesame seeds, a little tomato paste, and oven roast. Add in with other veggies or you can puree for a nice dip spread a la babbaganush(sp*).
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:08 AM   #6
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My fav is fried but I have cooked them (cubed) with onions, peppers, tomatoes and chickpeas with whatever s&p,basil your choice. You could add chicken or vegatable broth to make it more liquid. Serve with some toasted bread slices. Once I layered the bottom of a large serving dish with thick slices of bread and poured it on top.
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:33 AM   #7
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My husband loves baba ganoushe. We also love them cut into relatively thin rounds, brushed with olive oil and broiled or grilled, topped with a slice of tomato and some mozerella, and put on a bun. Come to think of that I haven't done the latter in ages.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:11 AM   #8
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baba for sure, ratatouille, caponata, (these last two can be served warm, room temp or chilled, and are great the next day) also use it in my pasta and lasagna ...so good.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:21 AM   #9
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Have you tried the slender Asian ones? We love them and I use them for everything including pizza.
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:30 PM   #10
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There are many schools of thought about grilling veggies. I love to do it but appear to be a maverick about it.

a) I NEVER marinate any vegetable for any reason at any time. Moisture + produce = mush. I put my veggies on the grill dry, then use a baste.

b) Re: Eggplant... Peel, slice into slices anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2" thick. I don't salt them. Grill on one side over medium heat, until dry looking on the grill side, probably 2-3 minutes. Flip the slice. Brush the slice with whatever oil, vin, herb, S&P mixture you use. Grill the other side 2-3 minutes. Flip the slice and brush that side with the baste. Grill only a short time once basted. HINT: You will start to see bubbles on the top side of the slice as it completes cooking. Be careful - eggplant scorches awfully fast.

c) Try this - grilled sweet potatoes. Slice washed, unpeeled sweet potatoes vertically, about 1/4" thick. Grill on both sides a few minutes dry as in eggplant procedure. For the baste, use REAL maple syrup, corn or canola oil and salt. Whenever I do grilled veggie platters, I have to make TONS of these because they fly off the platter.

Love to do onions, garlic and shallots in little foil packets with S&P, olive oil and chopped herbs - tuck into foil pack and throw in the back of the grill (NOT directly on the coals), turn occasionally. When you are done with all the veggies, they should be soft and sweet. I like to cut a Spanish onion into a sort of flower (cut all the way down STOP at the root). Once the onion is cooked, I place it in an Asian soup bowl which holds its shape nicely.
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