This week I bring you another wonderful guest post from another of my lovely blog pals….introducing: Suzanne from A Pug in the Kitchen. As the name suggests, Suzanne shares her home and her kitchen with her much loved pug, Nando; she is a great cook, sharing and creating wonderful recipes, her love of food stemming from her family and upbringing, and she is always extremely supportive of her fellow bloggers and their recipes. I hope you enjoy Suzanne’s recipe this week, I’ve got to say, it looks good to me..
So, Suzanne, what would you feed me?
When Elaine asked me to do a guest post for her incredible series “What would you feed me….? I immediately said yes of course I would love to, and then I got nervous. I am sure all of you know Elaine and her wonderful blog “Foodbod”, she is the Queen of sauces, dips, tremendously tasty vegetable dishes and a master at using Tahini. Elaine is Vegetarian, GF, free of processed sugar and foods, she is a healthful eater and cook. I wanted to make a dish that fits her food criteria and one that she would enjoy!
I LOVE Persian and Middle Eastern cuisine and I know that Elaine does too. I decided to make one of my favorite Persian stews. Khoresht e Bademjan or eggplant stew and serve with basmati rice prepared the Persian way, in other words it’s par boiled, then steamed and the rice at the bottom of the pan forms a crisp crust called tahdig, usually the Khoresht contains meat but in this case I am using just eggplant along with some roasted potato and chick pea’s so this is not exactly the Persian way but will have the same flavor profile. I am serving the stew with basmatic rice and no Persian meal would be complete without some yogurt so I mixed some plain yogurt with cucumber and mint.
Elaine my love, I do hope you enjoy, I made this just for you!! The stew would be delicious with Elaine’s harissa added.
Khoresht e Bademjan (Vegetarian)
Serves 6 comfortably
2 medium eggplant peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds then quartered
2 potatoes (I like Yukon gold) skin on, cut into bite size chunks
1/2 cup garbanzo beans (I used canned)
6 oz can tomato paste
1 smallish onion peeled and chopped
pinch of turmeric (approx 1/4 tsp)
4-4 1/2 cups water
2 dried limes (poke several holes in them with the end of your knife or something sharp)
Heat oven to 375 degree’s. Toss the eggplant with some olive oil and place on parchment lined baking sheet, sprinle with a little sea salt and black pepper. Roast in the oven approximately 25-30 minutes until it’s nicely browned and cooked through. Remove from oven. Now on the same baking sheet add the potatoes and roast 30-35 minutes until they are golden brown. Set both aside. NOTE:Traditionally you would fry the eggplant but I prefer to oven roast it uses less oil.
In medium saucepan heat some olive oil and fry the onion until soft and translucent and lightly browned add the turmeric and stir cooking for about a minute. Add the tomato paste and cook stirring frequently until it caramelizes. Add the water and the dried limes and cook for approximately 45-50 minutes on medium heat, it should thicken. Add the garbanzo beans and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, now add the eggplant and potato’s and cook for 15 minutes on med/low heat. Before serving remove the limes.
Rice (The Persian Way)
3 cups Basmati rice (white or brown) Increase cookng time if using brown basmati
1 tablespoon salt to soak rice then more for cooking
2 tablespoons Butter divided
Generous pinch saffron
1/4 cup Water
enough vegetable oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pot
Put rice in bowl and rinse until water drains pretty clear. Add more water to cover rice add a tbs of salt and let rice sit for an hour.
In large saucepan or dutch oven with lid(I use non stick) fill with water, add some salt and bring to a rolling boil. In small bowl combine 1/4 cup water and saffron let rest.
When water is boiling drain the rice and add to the pot. Stir to separate rice and let cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes you are par cooking the rice, test a grain it should be hard in the middle. Remove from heat and drain into collander and rinse with cold water.
In your pot that you cooked the rice in wipe to dry and just coat the bottom of the pan with vegetable oil and 1 tbs butter, when butter has melted and its hot add the rice, drizzle saffron water and 1 tbs of butter. Cover pot with paper towel and place lid on. Turn heat to high and let steam build in the pot it takes approximately 10 minutes, reduce heat to medium or medium/high (depending on your stove) and let cook for 45 minutes. Pay close attention you will smell the nuttiness of the tahdig forming but if you notice a burnt smell turn heat down immediately.
Put a few inches of cold water in your sink, When rice is done take to sink and sit the pot in the cold water for ten-seconds this will help the rice to release. Place serving dish on top of the pot and invert. The rice should come out in one piece looks almost like a cake.
Yogurt, mint cucumber
Yogurt, Cucumber, Mint
1 17 oz container yogurt (I like whole milk greek yogurt)
2 kirby or 1 regular cucumber peeled and chopped
1-2 tsp dried mint
season with salt and pepper if you like)
A squeeze of lemon
Mix the yogurt, cucumber and mint, lemon juice together, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Suzanne, thank you so much for this fabulous meal, I love every bit of it – the aubergine stew, the crust on the rice…all gorgoeus 🙂 xx