Measure Twice, Cut Once… (Eggplant Stir-fry)

Now that I’ve tasted my own eggplant dish, here are my impressions.

Meh. Nothing bad, but nothing good. Very average. I ended up eating it all though. Not too bad though, considering this is my second dish for this blog and my first time stir-frying something. Hell, I wasn’t even quite sure what stir-frying exactly was….

First, we’ll start with my eggplant. I cut most of my pieces waaaaaay too thick! As a result it took much longer than it should have to cook all the way through. Some were even a tad bit raw on the inside still. The thinner pieces tasted pretty decent however. My proportions were way off too. I decided to not follow through with the recipe religiously. I used one eggplant instead of four… I should’ve probably either used four or cut down my other ingredients to one-fourth of what they should’ve been. Oh well. Live and learn.

I think I did a good job with the peppers, to say the least. They were a little thicker than what the recipe called for, but it didn’t really affect the stir-fry method. They also gave my dish that little extra kick that it needed. Besides the sauce, at least.

As for the garlic… I should’ve put way less! It was overpowering but not enough to completely destroy the dish, you know?

Then we have the sauce which was a mixture of oyster sauce, sesame oil, and sugar, which was pretty damn good. I could probably put that on other Chinese cuisines…. Salty and little sweet!

Though it was nothing too special, it at least looked like eggplant stir-fry, and I’m pretty happy about that.

Gotta go! Still got essays and essays to write.

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Egg(plant) On My Face (Eggplant Stir-fry)

Ta-da! A red and brownish vegetable medley. What do you guys think? I don’t think it looks too bad!

It wasn’t inedible either. I certainly stuffed my face with it for dinner, although I was pretty hungry. That’s not to say it tasted it was the best eggplant I’ve ever had, though. Honestly, the presentation was probably better than my execution, but you’ll hear more about that tomorrow!

Oh yeah, no video this week. Sorry! Didn’t bother taking it, as I didn’t want to spend time editing. I’m going to be crazy busy until the end of next week. I’ll start taking video again soon, though!

For now, I’ve got essays to write. Later!

Putting All My Eggplants in One Basket (Eggplant Stir-fry)

Let’s do this, shall we? I got this recipe from the Food Network site, contributed by Katie Chin.

I murdered one whole Asian eggplant by cutting it in half length-wise and then slicing into it diagonally into half-inch pieces. As you can see, I’ve got the eyes of a mole and cannot cut a vegetable properly to save my life. That’s why you see all those fatty pieces in there.

Then I discarded the bits into a bowl filled with water and two teaspoons of salt, letting it sit for five minutes until that sodium goodness dissolved.

Then I committed another act against humanity by disemboweling a tomatillo pepper, effectively deseeding it. Actually, I just cut it in half like the eggplant.

Chop! Chop! Chop! Thin slices, please. Thank you.

On the side, I whipped up a little somethin’ somethin’ with one teaspoon of sesame oil, one teaspoon of sugar, and one tablespoon of oyster sauce.

Put my veggies in a bowl along with a couple teaspoons of minced garlic.

Then I splashed two tablespoons of vegetable oil in my wok-like pan on high heat…

… and dumped those suckers in! Some oil splashed on me. It was as if the food were spitting on me for doing something horrible… oh well.

Stir-fried for a good two minutes!

Threw in two tablespoons of water and stir-fried again for another two minutes!

Then I added the ooey-gooey oyster sauce concoction and stirred it around for a bit.

Buuuuuuut a problem arose. Remember how I didn’t cut the eggplants properly? Yup, my eggplants were not fully cooked, so I had to stir-fry it some more for a good… oh… three to four minutes? Yeah.

Anyway, you’ll see the final product tomorrow! Ciao.

Adventures in Market (Eggplant Stir-fry)

I didn’t know eggplants could get so ginormous. The original recipe called for four Asian eggplants, but holy crap, I could barely even fit one through my door. So I only used one…

Here’s the ingredients:

  • 1 Asian eggplant
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1 tomatillo pepper

Actually there were also supposed to be two peppers, but I cut that down to just one.

Let me tell you, it was pretty awkward shopping at Sprouts the other day. I felt like everyone was staring at me, judging me with their veteran eyes. They all seemed so experienced in the art of grabbing-vegetables-and-getting-the-hell-out. Meanwhile I was standing there, looking dumbfounded, not knowing what in the world to get.

Here’s a story for you. I saw a small tub of pre-cut garlic for five bucks. “Eh, I don’t really need that much, but I don’t see garlic anywhere else.” So I took it. Of course, two minutes later, I found a pack of five cloves for four bucks. Awesome. Dropped the tub and gathered the cloves. THEN, I spied on the other side a bunch of individual cloves. Couple bucks. Great. Dropped the bushel (is that the right counter?) cloves and grabbed the single piece of garlic. Fast forward five minutes. I’m in the Asian aisle and I see a jar of minced garlic. Three dollars. Worth it. Dropped the clove, picked up the jar. And that was the pointless tale of my garlic adventure.

Also, holy crap. It took me forever to find the right oils and oyster sauce. I could’ve asked for help, but my pride blocked my view of any grocery store attendants.

I’ll be posting the steps and process tonight (hopefully).

Eggplant: To Stir or Fry (or Both)?

 

They’ve spoken! And my challenge for the week is eggplant stir-fry.

I like eggplants. I do. That’s why it’s a shame I never really get many chances to eat the stuff. Now that I get to make a meal based around the vegetable, I’m pretty excited!

And what is a stir-fry exactly? Just stirring a medley of veggies in a pan while I fry them up? Seems easy enough…. Okay after looking it up, it looks like I might have to toss the ingredients. Great. Get ready for greasy ceilings, everyone.

Hard-boiled School

Hey everyone!

Just letting you know that midterms and finals are among us! As such, it might be a little difficult for Ryan, Will, and I to be posting on a standardized schedule (lame I know). So before we can kick these recipes’ asses, we must first get our own asses kicked by tests and the such. Just kidding, think positively! We’ll do well on our midterms and finals, we assure you, so long as we study.

We’ll try to do our best to post regularly, but university is our sole master for now. Not that we won’t be cooking during that time, mind you; we just may post at odd intervals. Study schedules and habits are tight, especially for Ryan and Will. My finals are next week, so after that, expect regularity in your lives again. Ryan and Will’s finals come up in a month, though! So we may not see much from them, depending! Ryan has actually confirmed that he will not post until his summer starts. Remember, education first!

So until those dog days hit, our gears will slow down a bit as we go lenient on the grease. Fret not, we’ll be sizzling and sauteing on a regular basis soon enough.

Also, stay in school, kids.

– Eric

Week 2: Eggplant

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there! Coming off of eggs, this week we’ll be dissecting the eggplant and try to make the most splendiferous dishes out of this ingredient!

Why eggplant? Well it is Mother’s Day, and we all came from the seeds planted in our respective mother’s egg. Gross you out yet? Great.

The eggplant should be interesting, and hopefully nothing but good things will come out of our endeavors. Before I leave, here’s an eggplant tidbit (from Wikipedia, my most favorite source of all things): the vegetable gets its name from a group of eggplants in the 18th-century that resembled eggs in color and shape.

See you throughout the week.

No Pain Perdu, No Gain (French Toast)

It’s been a long day, friends. So let’s sit back, relax, and reflect on my first dish for this blog.

The whole thing wasn’t pretty, I’ll tell ya. I crushed an egg with my bare hands like some neanderthal. I made a mess with the batter as if a hurricane had it. And I used chocolate milk for God’s sake.

The verdict? Well, it certainly looked okay. It wasn’t the prettiest slice in the bakery, but it made do. How did it taste? Not bad at all, actually! I feel it certainly passed as food you would serve to… hmm, well maybe not customers but definitely to yourself on a Sunday hangover.

This was also my first foray into a sugary food! It certainly was sweet. Not too sure if the chocolate milk made all that much of a difference, though. I tasted a bit of the chocolate, but it wasn’t overwhelming. Heck, it barely even made a mark. I’ll just use good old fashioned straight-from-the-cow milk next time.

All in all, I’m pretty proud of myself! My french toast was far from perfect, but I’ll still toot my own horn. Toot toot.

French Toast Finale

Here you guys go… the finished product.

 

Looks pretty decent, don’t you think? Or maybe that’s denial on my part.

Anyway, before you dig into this video, just know that it’s really awkward. I need to learn to speak better in front of and behind the camera. Also this is practically my first time editing a video. And the footage is from an iPhone…. Okay enough excuses. Enjoy! You’ll hear my reflections tomorrow.

Baby’s First Steps (French Toast)

First off, my apologies; I didn’t take that many pictures! I guess I was so caught up in making the damn dish, I forgot. I promise I won’t make the same mistake next week! There will be some video of the process coming tomorrow though. And without further ado…

I cracked open my two eggs in a bowl large enough to dip the bread in later. Tossed in a dash of cinnamon, a teaspoonish thing of sugar… and of course, a cup of some good old chocolate milk (I feel like a kid!). Now that I think about it… was the sugar really necessary with all of that chocolate milk? Whatever.

Using my trusty fork, I beat that pile of mess into submission.

Heating up the pan on medium for a minute or two!

 

Now let’s throw some whipped butter into that pan! That’ll give the french toast a little more taste, I think… and it’ll grease that sucker.

Aaaaand here’s where the rest of my post gets boring. I’ve got no more pictures! I swear I’ll do better next time, and if I don’t, complain in the comments! Or shoot me a nasty email.

Afterwards, I dipped my old wheat bread into the mixture, fully coating both sides, turning it into some mud-caked monstrosity. Then, with chocolate goo drizzling all over the countertop, I apprehensively dropped it into the pan.

Sizzle, sizzle! I couldn’t tell if that noise was the toast being cooked or if it was hissing at me, begging me to end its hideous life before it transformed into something that looked like it came out of Frankenstein’s lab. I let that sit for 2-3 minutes on one side and flipped it over to the other side for about 2 more minutes.

Repeat for the other slices.

How does it look? Find out tomorrow. As the philosophical Kanye West once asked, “So what we gonna have, dessert or disaster?”