Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Yummy Lunch

Leftovers are often better than the first time round. Mostly for the cook, I think, because you're not eating something you just sweated and fussed over - or even if you did not sweat or fuss it still feels like you culinary baby when it's first prepared, and it's not that great eating your baby.

For lunch today I ate leftovers from the perfect Boxing Day supper. Here's the recipe for those who check in to my blog for recipes. I haven't posted one in a while:

Roasted Eggplant with Peanut Sauce

Slice up one medium size eggplant or about 10 baby eggplants or maybe 2 of the Japanese kind. If the skin is tough, score it or cut strips away. It will soften with cooking but it can be a bit much. Season with salt and pepper and put on a baking pan liberally-coated with olive oil. Bake at 450 celsius for about 10 minutes on each side until it's looking toasty and shiny and smelling like eggplant should smell.

In the meantime, make the sauce: 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of something tangy (balsamic vinegar, lime juice, dry wine - whatever you have), 1 tsp sugar, 1 Tbs soya sauce, 1 small garlic clove minced up and a sprinkle of dried chili flakes plus 1/2 cup of water. Heat and stir on the stove until it bubbles. You may want to add some more water to keep it runny. Don't burn the peanut butter or you'll have to start over.

When the eggplant is roasted, arrange it on a platter. Drizzle the sauce over it. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Szechuan Green Beans with Minced Pork

While the eggplant is roasting you can make this. Put on a pot of rice too.
Wash and trim as many fresh green beans as you can fit into your wok or skillet. More is better. While you are doing that, brown up 1/4 pound of ground or minced pork in some oil in your wok, nice and brown and crispy. You really only need 1/4 pound. It's for flavour - the green beans main event. During the last minute or so, throw in a clove or two of garlic, minced or sliced. Set the pork/garlic aside and put the green beans into the wok. Stir fry them. If you like them crispy, stop when they are all bright green and shiny. If you prefer them wilted, keep cooking until they are wilted. Both ways are good. When the green beans are cooked, toss in a spash of water (1/2 cup maybe?), a couple of tablespoons of soya sauce, and as much ground fresh chili paste as you like. I use sambal oelek. You could substitute chili flaked or chopped fresh chili or chili oil or sauce. Stir it all together, mixing the pork/garlic back in. Stir fry just a bit longer to distribute the chili heat evenly throughout the beans.

Serve the green beans with rice and the egglplant beside it. It's very yummy and good after a monstrous European feast, and even better reheated for a lunch a day or two later.

question: what do you like to eat the day after the feast?

alternate question: what's your favourite leftover meal?

mompoet - procrastinating


Carol said...

Not eggplant, Mompoet!

mompoet said...

Yup. I believe it is an under-rated veg. If you've only eaten it in moussaka or heavy parmigiana, it's worth a try with an Asian-style presentation, or in a tomato-onion sauce with some garlic and olive oil. It's so good I'm taking it to a new year's eve party, along with some curried roasted yams. mmmm