Monday, September 10, 2007

Eggplants with Spicy Shallot-Tomato Sauce

God, aren't eggplants gorgeous? This sauce is really easy--and with the tasty addition of tumeric, a nice vacation from the wide range of Italian basil & tomato twists on cooking.

Eggplants with Spicy Sauce

Cut as many eggplants as you want to eat into round slices about 3/4" thick. Soak them in a bowl of saltwater (water, plus 1 tablespoon salt) for at least a half hour.

For the sauce:

In a food processor or blender, blend to a paste:
1/2 a large bell pepper (red is pretty and tasty, too)
4 medium shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves or more, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
...with 4 tablespoons of water.

Set aside. In a pan, heat
3 tablespoons oil, preferably peanut (allergies--try corn oil)

When hot, add sauce paste. Stir and fry for seven minutes, or until the paste looses some of its moisture.

Now add:
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

Stir 4 additional minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and simmer 3-4 minutes.

Drain eggplants. Pour peanut (or corn) oil to 2" thick depth over medium heat. When hot, slip in eggplants in a single layer. Fry 7 minutes, or until golden brown on each side. Lift out with a slotted spoon; pat dry. Repeat until done.

Set the sauce over medium-low heat. When hot, put in the eggplants. Gently fold eggplants into the sauce. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature!

All the ingredients were so beautiful. I don't have a photo of the finished dish, but trust me, it looks ruby-red and delish.