Monday, November 5, 2012

Delicious beets and eggplant.

Howdy doody! I am so awake, it's crazy. I actually slept until about 9:30 because oddly my chickens stayed quiet. And then after I did dishes and laundry I decided to make coffee with my new french press. It's actually really easy. I figured it would be, and I like it a lot better than those complicated machines. (I know what your thinking, but for someone who drinks coffee like 3 times a year, they are complicated to try and figure out.) I have some supper yummy cream from grass fed cows (I know, cows not goats. But hay! I can't control when the goats are pregnant!) so I decided to pour some it. I usually like my coffee black, but I needed to use up the cream, plus with the cream in it pares a bit better with this awesome chocolate. Unfortunately its only 55% cocoa (I like baking chocolate. So Yummy!) but the Ancho and Chipotle chilies and dried cherries make up for it. Plus they wrap them in love poems, awwwwww. 

 Yesterday at about 6 I started dinner. I was just going to fry up the eggplant that I had, my husband likes to eat them like french fries dipped in mustard and ketchup, he likes them basically any way, but that's the easiest. I fry them in a batter like fried chicken in a bit of olive oil in a pan.  But, about halfway through I decided to use up the zucchini and bell pepper that I had. I was being to lazy to clean up the dishes, so I didn't have enough room to batter the eggplant, so they were going to be kind of plane. I ended up making this fancy dancy thing that tasted so good! i normally don't like zucchini at all, and I only sort of like eggplant, but MAN! This was GOOOD STUFF! The side veggies are sauteed with a bit of butter and olive oil, and molasses. They tasted like roasted beets but tool way less time to cook.

Eggplant baked in a Bechamel sauce served with zucchini, bell pepper, and beets.
Serves 4. Active time is about an hour, inactive time about 3 hours depending.

  • 2 large eggplant sliced to a width of 1/2 inch and with the bitters drained. (slice them and put a couple layers of paper towel between them to remove the bitter juices. This will take from about 1 hr to 3 hrs)
  • olive oil, for frying. (do this at a lower heat. If you want to fry them faster use grape seed oil)
  • 4 tbsp of butter
  • 1/4 cup of flour. Either white wheat, spelt or rice flour or cornstarch. (I have never tried anything else to thicken a sauce, but I know that these work great.)
  • 2 1/2 cups of milk
  • 4 to 8 cloves of garlic minced
Preheat an oven to 350. Fry the eggplant in oil of choice for 2-3 minutes on each side. Layer them in an 8 inch baking dish with the garlic and some salt and pepper. In a saucepan melt the butter and combine the flour with it. Let it get a bit brown then slowly whisk in the milk. Let it thicken and bubble a bit then pour over the eggplant. You can either season the sauce with salt and pepper or put some Parmesan or Asiago cheese in it. About 1/4 cup of cheese if you choose to do this, I went with the salt and pepper instead. If you want you can also put some cheese on top. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is bubbly and a bit golden.

Beets and Zucchini: even if you dont like zuccini you will love this.
  • Six medium zucchini
  • 4 beets
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 4 tsp of molasses or maple syrup
  • 2 tsp of fructose or sugar (it actually seemed to need this even with the sweetness of the beets)
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup of cilantro chopped. you can always use parsley if you don't have cilantro. 
  • Feel free to add any Swiss Chard or other type of green sliced into ribbons.
  • salt and pepper
Slice the zucchini and beets thinly, about 1/8th of an inch or thinner if you can manage it. A mandolin works great for this. slice the bell pepper fairly thinly. Put everything in a saute pan reserving the cilantro and other greens. When the butter melt mix it all together, you want everything to be a bit purple. Put the lid on and cook until the beets are easily pokeable. Add the cilantro and if you chose to have greens put those in now also, saute until the greens are easily chewed. Serve with the eggplant dish. 

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