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Beemer

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Recent Recipes [Sep. 10th, 2018|10:30 pm]
Beemer
Yesterday I made an eggplant-tofu stirfry, and dry-fried green beans. And last weekend, I made a big batch of ratatouille. (Hooray for big batches of farmer's market veggies that I then feel obligated to cook! And potlucks.) And the weekend before that I made a nice mustard-y coleslaw to take to a pool party. I was very satisfied with how they all turned out, so here are some recipes.


Easy Ratatouille

1 large eggplant, diced large
3-4 medium zucchini, diced large
1 medium (yellow) onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced (pressed)
3-4 medium tomatoes, diced large
1-2 large bell peppers, diced large

5 Tbsp olive oil
salt
pepper
thyme
basil

Heat 2 Tbsp oil in heavy bottomed pot over medium [4] until shimmering.
Add eggplant and season generously with salt & pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned in spots, about 2 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl.

Repeat same steps with zucchini.

Reduce heat to medium.
Add 1 Tbsp oil and onion and season with salt & pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown, 6-8 min.

Add garlic and thyme and cook 30 seconds until fragrant.

Add basil, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant and zucchini.
Stir gently until combined.

Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low.
Simmer, stirring occasionally, for an hour and a bit.
(Until most of the water has cooked off and texture is silky.)

Taste and adjust salt.

Additional flavoring options that sound good but that I haven't tried:
1 Tbsp paprika
1/4 cup red wine
splash of (balsamic) vinegar






Pan-Fried Eggplant and Tofu with Garlic Black Bean Sauce

4 Asian eggplants (or equivalent), quartered longwise and sliced
1 package tofu
a few peppers, diced / cut into strips

oil

2 heaping Tbsp black bean sauce
2 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp pressed garlic
2 tsp sesame oil

Drain tofu, slice bite-sized, and pat dry.

Heat enough oil to cover bottom of pan on medium.
Fry tofu until crust forms on both sides; remove to paper towel.

Heat some oil in pan and fry eggplant (in batches, probably) until starting to brown, 2-3 minutes.

Add peppers and sauce ingredients and mix well.
Reduce heat, cover, and cook 5-7 minutes.

Add tofu, mix, and heat through.

Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped parsley.






Dry-Fried Green Beans

2 lb. string beans trimmed, pat-dry, and diced to roughly 2-inch length

1 lb ground pork (or turkey / chicken)

4 large cloves garlic, chopped (2 heaping Tbsp pre-chopped)
2 Tbsp ginger paste
4-5 scallions, whites & greens chopped separately
a few shakes dried red pepper
a hefty pinch of salt

2+2 Tbsp oil

Sauce:
3 Tbsp soy sauce
4 tsp (ish) fish sauce
2 Tbsp tomato paste

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat WITHOUT oil until the skillet is well heated and almost to a smoke point. Dry-fry green beans in batches over medium heat for 4-5 mins until the beans change color, start to brown, and are slightly blistered but not burnt.

Add 2 Tbsp oil and stir-fry beans for 2-3 additional minutes; set aside.

Add 2 Tbsp oil, garlic, ginger, white parts of scallions, red pepper, and salt. (Spatter warning!) Sauté until fragrant (about 8-10 seconds), then add ground meat. Sauté, breaking up chunks, until the meat is completely cooked through and no longer watery. (But don't overcook it if it's turkey.)

Turn off heat. Add sauce, mix through, then add green beans back to the skillet and toss to coat everything well.

Stir-in green parts of scallions and serve over (cauliflower) rice.
(Allow to cool before adding green onions if serving later.)

[I forgot to fry the beans in oil; I only dry-fried them. It still turned out well. I also had not enough beans, by the proportions; 2 lb is a whole lot.]






Mustard Coleslaw

Everybody want to put lots of sugar in this recipe. The only problem with that is that sweet coleslaw is horrible. This way is much better.

a bag and a half shredded coleslaw mix
4 or 5 ribs of celery, chopped

like 1/3 to 1/2 cup mayo (eyeball it - two big heaping spoonfuls)
a couple tablespoons dijon mustard
about as much grainy mustard, and then a bit more
a splash of cider vinegar
several shakes hot sauce
a hefty pinch MSG
a medium squeeze of lemon juice
like a teaspoon or more celery seeds
a few shakes of paprika
several shakes garlic powder
black pepper
salt

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients, taste and adjust proportions, then mix it all up good.

(Use your hands; you can mix it more thoroughly and it's easier to avoid getting it all over the counter since you probably don't have a bowl big enough for vigorous mixing.)

It wants a surprising amount of the grainy mustard; probably more than you think. Taste it. The MSG is important; the dressing needs umami to round it out and make it taste balanced. If you don't have a big bag of aji-no-moto in your cupboard, go get one!
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