Asian style eggplant and peppers

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Remember how I said this blog is about simple, easy cooking?  What could be simpler than a two-ingredient dinner dish?  Yes indeed.  This recipe comes from Lucky Peach cookbook.  Here’s what you do:  Buy some mini-eggplants and some cubanelle peppers (aka Italian frying peppers — light green and somewhat elongated).  You boil (!) the eggplant, heat up neutral oil and cook whole garlic cloves, then the peppers, and mush together in a bowl the eggplant, peppers, garlic and perhaps some more of the now very flavorful oil.  And salt.  Siracha if you want a tang.  With some brown rice we can call it dinner.  Beats the pants off of yucky Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce, laden with oil.

For a fancier version, check out this recipe from “Swanky sweet potato”  blog.

Ingredients (per person):

2 small-ish eggplants (or 3 for 2 people)

2-3 cubanelle peppers

6 cloves garlic

1/4 c grapeseeed or other neutral oil

Brown rice (as accompaniment)

Directions:

  1. Start brown rice if you want.
  2. Put up a big pot of water to boil.
  3. Boil eggplants, covered, for 20 minutes, until soft.  imageSet aside on paper towels on a plate or baking sheet to cool. (Will retain heat for a long time.)image
  4. Heat 1/4 c grapeseed or canola oil, and cook garlic for 6 mins, turning to brown lightly on all sides.
  5. Prepare peppers:  wash, and cut into 1″ pieces.
  6. Remove garlic to bowl.
  7. Turn up heat on oil to medium, and fry peppers, turning to blister on all sides.  Remove to bowl as they are done.image
  8. Cut stem off eggplant.  Cut into quarters, lengthwise, then in half.
  9. Mush with a fork together with salt and a spoonful (or more) of oil: garlic, eggplant and peppers.image
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Simple weeknight fish dinner

I love fish.  It is both delicious and nutritious (except farm-raised).  But I don’t eat it at home as much as I would like because I repeatedly forget how to cook it.  Here is an easy fail-proof method:  Put fillets in hot oven (425-450 degrees) and  bake for up to 10 minutes.  There.

Entire meal takes less than 50 mins.  It is a very, very low-stress meal.  You put up rice to cook which sets the outside time parameter.  Then you get out your vegetable and fish.  The fish cooks undisturbed in the oven at the end when you are steaming your broccoli or cooking other vegetables.  Easy-peasy.  A slow, little-attention dinner prep for a three-part meal.

Meal:  Brown rice, steamed broccoli, and baked haddock

Directions:

  1.  Put up rice to cook.  I like short-grain brown rice.  1+ c. water with 1/2 c. rice.  Put both in small pot, cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook 45 mins.  (When done, stir and let sit covered for 10 minutes if you have the time; it can sit longer if needed.)  Make extra if you want to have stir-fried rice with veggies on another night.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Prepare broccoli:  Cut off ends, and cut into large florets.  Rinse in colander.  Put water in pot up to steamer.  Bring water to boil and let sit.
  4. Prepare fish accompaniments:  Cut lemon; take out butter and parsley. Cover 1/4 sheet pan with aluminum foil.
  5. When rice is almost done, put broccoli in pot, cover and steam for 5+ mins.  Turn off heat before fully cooked.
  6. Chop parsley.
  7. Rinse fish fillet (6+ oz/person), put on baking dish.  Season fish with S&P; dot with butter, squeeze on lemon.  Put in hot oven and bake for 8 mins.  By this time rice should be done and broccoli turned off.  Check fish for doneness with fork.  Cook for up to 2 mins more if needed.
  8. Plate rice and broccoli, and dab with butter.
  9. Put fish on plate, squeeze on fresh lemon and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Voila!  A simple, low-stress delicious weeknight meal!  Well done!