Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Time Has Come...

...For me to go back to work! It's been a fabulous summer, but I'm officially back in "school" mode! My students don't arrive for class until next Tuesday, but yesterday morning found me looking like this.

So professional! It was hard to drag myself away from the yoga pants and t-shirts and get dressed out of the side of my closet that hasn't seen any action since May!

Don't be fooled though. I totally look like this when I roll out of bed pre-6am.

How do you people work out before you go to work? I can barely work my alarm clock.

This is a really busy (and stressful!) time for me, so I'll have to ask your forgiveness in advance for sporadic posting in the next week or so. Once I get my schedule figured out and get over the need to nap every afternoon (seriously, I turn into a 70-year-old woman during the first two weeks of school. It's ridiculous), I promise it will be business as usual over here.

Until then, here's a yummy curry that I made last week. Mmmmm, eggplant!

This recipe came about for two reasons. Reason #1 - Brian complained at the grocery store that I never cook with eggplant. Reason #2 - We got an eggplant in our CSA box!

This recipe is slightly adapted from Stacey's adaptation of a Food52 recipe. I did not have Japanese eggplant on hand, so I used one enormous regular eggplant from the farm. I also tossed in some curry powder because, as I've mentioned before, Brian and I like it hot. This recipe was awesome. It also makes a TON of curry. We ate curry leftovers for a week. Not that I'm complaining!
Eggplant, Cauliflower and Tomato Curry
(adapted from One Hungry Mama)

2 tbsp organic vegetable oil
1 tsp organic mustard seed powder
1 tsp organic ground cumin
1 organic onion, sliced
1/2 head organic cauliflower, cut into florets & steamed
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2
1 organic jalapeno pepper, seeded & finely chopped
1 tsp organic coriander
2 cans organic diced tomatoes, with juice
1/2 tsp organic garam masala
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp organic black pepper
organic limes, optional
chopped organic coriander, optional
raisins, optional
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat until it shimmers. Add mustard and cumin and toast until fragrant.
2. Add onions and stir occasionally until they turn deep brown in spots.
3. Add steamed cauliflower and saute until it takes on some color. Remove from pan to make room for eggplant (it won’t fry nicely if the pan is too crowded).
4. Add remaining tablespoon of oil and, when hot, fry eggplant until the skin begins to turn brown and the flesh softens.
5. Return cauliflower to pan and add chile, coriander, tomatoes, garam masala, curry powder, salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium low and cook until the eggplant is soft. Add a little water if it gets too dry (keeping in mind that you want a thick/solid sauce, not a thin/watery one).
6. Serve with rice and lime wedges. Top with chopped cilantro, a dollop of plain yogurt, and raisins.

One of my favorite kitchen tools is my Typhoon bamboo steamer. We registered for one when we got married without really knowing what we would use it for, but I seriously use it all the time. It's especially great for cauliflower, asparagus, and broccoli, although I know you can steam fish in it too. While I was working on something else, Brian presteamed the cauliflower in this recipe for me. He's so sweet!

What are your favorite kitchen tools?
I also especially love my hand held citrus juicer and my garlic press. They both make using fresh ingredients (instead of bottled lemon juice or jarred minced garlic) so much easier. They get a lot of action in our kitchen!