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Preparing an Eggplant questions.....

 
 
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 08:52 am
I got an eggplant yesterday for Bean.
I got one that was firm outside, no blemishes, and when I pushed my finger into the side, the dent my finger made bounced right back. So that tells me it is good .
BUT.. I have never even so much as cut one open before. I just cut this one open about 5 minutes ago and I am confused as to what to do from here.

There are seeds... Do I have to remove them?
Does the inside ALWAYS feel dry ans spongy ? Or is there something wrong with it?
I am steaming it so I can mill it and start giving it to Bean... should I remove the skin before or after I steam it?

Is there an odor I need to check for to make sure it is still good?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,544 • Replies: 15
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husker
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 09:03 am
watching with interest, didn't cut into mine yet.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 09:05 am
Maybe I should have waited to cut mine. Laughing
I feel wierd, I have never even SEEN the inside of one of these things. It looks like a squash and has a very interesting texture.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 09:05 am
Usually when prepare eggplant I simply peel the skin and slice and cook. I never remove the seeds. I never noticed a particular odor from an eggplant, but if it ever went bad (usually I prepare it close to when I buy it), it is obvious – like way too soft.
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 09:12 am
Usually you cut the eggplant only halfway through, put
salt inbetween the slices and let it stand for a while.
This makes the eggplant juicy. Afterwards you either fry
the slices or cook them.

However, since it is for beans, I'd remove the skin and just cook the eggplants until they're mushy. You might want
to season it a bit, as eggplants have no taste of their own - similar to zucchini.

For a more "grown up" version: I mix some flour with
salt, pepper and freshly pressed garlic, dip the eggplant
slices into it (both sides) and fry it with olive oil. It's a
great side dish.
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shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 09:22 am
MMMmmmmm that sounds good.

So the seeds are safe then? They didnt FEEL hard or crunchy. I think when I am done steaming it , I will taste the seeds myself and make sure they are not chocking hazards.

I have powdered garlic, i can always put some of that in the slices of eggplant for flavor. Bean cant have extra salt yet.. ( causes kidney problems in babies her age) so I have to substitute . Garlic would be good I think.
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 09:24 am
The seeds are safe to eat shewolf.
Before you put garlic powder on bean's eggplant,
try beforehand if she'll eat it plain.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 10:21 am
The seeds are so soft, you don’t even notice them. I can’t imagine them being choking hazards. For a baby I wouldn’t worry too much about seasoning the eggplant as they typically do better with more bland food anyway.

Instead of frying (to avoid as much grease and fat as possible), I usually bake them with a little olive oil on the bottom of the pan. I have done this with french fries and fish before too.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 10:30 am
You must be using a fairly large eggplant. The larger the eggplant, the larger the seeds. Small (baby) eggplant have almost invisible seeds. If its large then go ahead and peel it 'cuz the skin can be tough on the big ones. The smaller ones have quite tender skin so I usually don't peel those. I don't bother to salt mine.

For the grownups I make a saute of eggplant, zucchini, onions and fresh thyme in olive oil. At the last minute throw in a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, crushed garlic. Remove from heat and add a splash of balsamic vinegar (quick, no-bake ratatouille).
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shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 10:33 am
I think i will try them bland on her first. I can always add a pinch of garlic powder if they are not to her liking to begin with.
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 10:37 am
hmmm, never had eggplant....wondering if garlic sauteed eggplant is good....
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smorgs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 02:59 pm
Shewolf, I love aubergine and it's very good for kids (easy to digest). We used to eat it regularly when we lived in Iran. Eggplant, aubergine or baademjaan, is used extensively in Middle Eastern cuisine. You only really need to salt older/larger aubergines, and remember to rinse and pat dry. When a recipe calls for frying (aubergines are notorious for absorbing and holding oil) you can brush them with a little olive oil and bake them in the oven. The skin is edible, and not removed in most recipes, however this is down to personal taste.

I have posted a favourite recipe of ours, we have it mainly on Sundays. Tasty and veggie...perfect with a dollop of natural yoghurt and freshly baked naan bread.



Mirza Ghasemi (Baademjaan Ghasemi)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Ingredients: (6 servings)
8 small seedless eggplants
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 eggs
2 medium tomatos
1/3 cup of cooking oil
salt
black pepper
Directions:
Bake the eggplants in oven until cooked. This occurs when the eggplants swell and the skin bursts. Take eggplants out of oven and let them cool down slightly. Peel them and cut the hard tops. Cut into small pieces.

Bring water to boil in a small pot. Cook tomatos in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain the pot and let cool slightly. Peel them and cut into small pieces.

Fry garlic in oil over medium heat until golden. Add eggplants and fry further for 3-4 minutes. Add tomatos, salt and pepper and fry until the excess water is gone.

Beat eggs well with a fork and fry separately until half-cooked. Add to eggplants, mix and fry further for 1-2 minutes. Can be served with white rice or Iranian bread. This is a delicious dish from a region by the Caspian sea in northern Iran.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 03:08 pm
oh wow.
that sounds wonderful!
thankyou for the recipe!
I have eaten eggplant before...never cooked one for myself.
I just might have to muster the courage and make this recipe for me and Mr wolf soon. :-)
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 08:15 pm
I agree with Smorgs, re eggplant and salting. I was going to post on this when I came home from work, and yep, I'm now home from work. It was a practice developed to take care of the bitterness in older eggplants - the salt pulls the liquid with its bitterness out. If you do that, at least in older recipes you are supposed to remove the liquid. Smorgs mentioned patting with paper towels. Me, if I do that because the recipe is so adamant that I just obey, I rinse it, to get rid of all that salt.

I tend to pick young eggplant, tend to leave on at least some of the skin, tend to oven bake, fairly quickly.

My favorite eggplant recipe is probably already in some post here; it's a simple thing in one of my old paperbacks by Craig Claiborne, and I still do it when the spring eggplants show up in the market. Will post either the recipe or a link when I track it down.

Another thing I've tried to do on my own is a dish I had at Ca'Brea in Los Angeles. A simple slice of eggplant, say 3/8" thick or maybe 5/16" - grilled with good mozzarella strewn but not as a full layer on top. Plonk on table, there you are, perfect.

Er, I haven't done it perfectly myself, but I only tried it once.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 08:23 pm
OK, I found the thread with the recipe -
http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=17425&highlight=eggplant+rice+claiborne
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2005 10:15 am
Yum!
that sounds wonderful.
I can also 'tweek' that recipe for bean. I can bake it and add a small amount of cheese on top and let her have that as finger food.

One thing I learned about steaming eggplant... ( Oh boy!) It gets SOOO soggy. That was the WRONG approach for that . Live and learn.
The skin was so soft it just mashed in my fingers as I picked it up. The flavor was next to GONE and I could not get the skin off of it. It came off like a thin plastic film. Messy.... squishy .... tasteless.. >sigh<
Bean likes it though.. Confused Since that was the point of the eggplant, I guess I accomplished my goal.. but I wont do that for my family meals. In fact, I wont do it again for her. It has a great texture when it is ripe, but steamed??? oooo i would rather eat a brown bananna with my fingers.. Laughing
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