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Slavic Eggplant Gratin with A Caraway Cabbage Side

Posted Oct 14 2009 10:00pm
S orry I haven’t written in a while, but normally I write in the morning and, within these past weeks, I haven’t had morning time. Typing in the afternoon just doesn’t really work for me for some reason. I guess I get preoccupied with other thoughts. If it isn’t work, I’m either babysitting and if I’m not babysitting, I’m working on wedding stuff. My mom even said that I should take a break from certain things, like, blogging and my homework. I stared at her and then walked out the door. Me? STOP blogging for a month? Uhm, not gonna happen. My blog is my baby and my way of informing individuals about the food they are eating along with the accompanying nutritional information. I can get enough on my blog if I have one day where I do nothing. One day – one. It also doesn’t help that she buy me cookbooks every so often as a surprise when I have shitty days or long exhausting ones. That’s like feeding fuel to the fire that you are attempting to put out.

The latest one she purchased for me happened to contain Slavic recipes. Ever since then, my cuisine has been influenced by that style of preparation and I must say I have been highly satisfied. Cabbage isn’t the only vegetable included in that group. Asparagus makes a presence along with mushrooms, eggplant, and various amounts of greenery. Now, as Kroger had this phenomenal sale on eggplants, I’ve been stocking up and roasting them for a quick meal since, when my manager was sick and since my job sucks at providing a decent schedule, I tend to find out that I’m working the next day that morning. Lovely, isn’t it?

Since I love a good eggplant, but, it takes forever to cook properly, I pre-cook certain items that I know will stay well in the fridge. So since I had some left over from my last batch, I had an idea for a lovely Germanic supper – gingersnap crusted eggplant. Oh, my, god. Eggplant and ginger is a match made in heaven. I didn’t actually have gingersnaps, so, instead I mixed crumbled Chex cereal with the spices typically added to gingersnaps and, behold, a lovely baked sweet, spicy, and creamy goodness. Along with the spiced creamy baked eggplant, I sautéed some potatoes with greens and cabbage seasoned with caraway and a few others. Caraway is similar to fennel seeds as a little goes a long way and pairing it off with cabbage, you create another heavenly marriage.

I only wish I could recreate this dish because the memory of its succulence still remains on my brain. Oh, happy days.

Gingersnap Eggplant Gratin
1 small eggplant, sliced into ¼ inch thick slices
2 gingersnap cookies crushed or:
¼ cup chex
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp stevia
¼ tsp salt or less to taste
2 tbsp nondairy yogurt
2 to 3 tbsp nondairy milk
In a 400 degree oven, roast the eggplant till it is tender and golden brown. You can do this a day ahead of time.
In a 350 degree oven, spray a gratinee/gratin dish or any decent shallow baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and arrange the eggplant slices in the dish. Overlapping won’t be a problem since they will be already cooked. Mix, in a cup, the yogurt and milk and pour over the eggplant, adding more milk to thin of necessary depending on the viscosity of your yogurt. Soy yogurt seems to be pretty thin on its own so it doesn’t need much and you don’t want your eggplant swimming anyway.
After the eggplant is evenly coated, sprinkle the gingersnap crumb topping evenly over the top and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, broiling for 3 to 5.
Greens, and Cabbage with Caraway & Potato Croutons
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup chopped greens, fresh
¼ of a large onion, sliced thin
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp molasses
Salt and pepper to taste

1 medium red potato, skin scrubbed & diced ¼ inch thick
In a nonstick pan, sauté the onions and cabbage until just soft before adding the greens.

I used kale so I added a bit more sugar to mediate the bitterness. Chard won’t need it and neither would spinach, but, if you use mustard greens especially if they’re old, you would add more sugar because they can be extremely bitter. Trust me on that one. They will be bitter. I’ve been there. Tender greens like spinach and chard won’t need much cooking time as opposed to mustard, turnip, and kale. They require a little bit more to tenderize their fibers. I overcook the cabbage a bit because I have trouble digesting it.
Towards the end of the greens, add the salt, pepper, caraway seeds and molasses. Turn off the heat and toss until well coated then transfer to the plate.
For the potatoes, dice them and toss with the seasonings. Heat a skillet or frying pan, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and add the potatoes. Sautee until they are golden brown, crispy and tender. This may take up to ten minutes.
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