Around the World in 52 Weeks: Eggplant Bharta and Peas

I’ve been the worst world traveler ever. I got sick last month and I totally fell off the cooking wagon completely, so my kitchen travels suffered. Out of this sick month though, I did only miss two of the meals I was supposed to cook (Brunei and Isle of Man). In the next two weeks I’ll be doubling up and making sure I get back on track. This was the one resolution this year that I really didn’t want to fail at, so my cold that turned to a sinus infection will not defeat me!

I’ll also be posting my most recent traveling dish on the usual Saturday. I just wanted to get back on track a little here.

So this dish is Pudina Chicken and Eggplant Bharta and Peas. As I’ve said many times, Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines. In facts, I actually have traveled to India.

It was truly one of the best experiences of my life. The only bad thing is that I got a little spoiled by good Indian food, authentic spices, fresh and delicious bananas, and even the lack of meat. I’m a little hesitant at home to make vegetarian Indian dishes because I feel like I need to use paneer, but I have no idea where to get that locally.

I know this meal is hardly authentic with the Pudina Chicken. When I was in India I didn’t eat chicken at all – everything was vegetable based or paneer based. Maybe I should have made a veg dish. Now I’m kicking myself. The pudina was good, but the bharta was better and is the recipe I’m sharing.

On another note, I’m always looking for ways to prepare vegetables I don’t like. Eggplant is that vegetable in this. I loved this preparation.

Eggplant Bharta and Peas
(source)

 Ingredients
1 eggplant
1/2 onion
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 jalapeno
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/4 lime
butter, as needed
oil, as needed
salt to taste

Directions

1.  Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and spread with butter. Place the eggplants sliced-side down on a baking sheet. Roast the eggplants at 500 in the oven for about 30 minutes.

2. Place the onion, garlic, and jalapeno in a food processor and puree.

3. When the eggplant is finished roasting, use a spoon to scoop out the roasted innards. Discard the skin. Mash the eggplant until smooth.

4. In a medium saucepan heat some oil over medium-high heat and add the pureed vegetables and mustard powder. Cook until slightly browned.

5. Add the mashed eggplant and peas to the pan. Cook until warm, and then reduce temperature to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the peas are fully cooked.

6. Before serving squeeze in lime juice.

7. Serve over rice.

* serves 2

I’d like to see people travel the globe with me.
Every Saturday I will be posting my recipe, as well as pictures to ethnic cuisines you have made and want to share.

- You must mention The Law Student’s Cookbook‘s Around The World In 52 Weeks in the entry you link. You can either use a link or use the banner.
- In your post you must  at least mention what cuisine the dish is.
- Email me your recipe at elizabeth@crabtech.net. Make sure to include:

* Your name or blog name
* The direct link to your post
* A picture of the dish or permission to pull a picture from the post

- Make sure to email me by Saturday at 12noon Pacific Standard Time

Banana Walnut Waffles

I never knew until the morning I made these waffles that my boyfriend hates walnuts. What the? How have I been with this man for 2 years and not know something like this? Additionally, HOW CAN SOMEONE NOT LIKE WALNUTS? I think we either need to breakup or have an intervention – maybe both.

Well, or I can just get double the walnuts in everything from now on. That’s pretty much what I do with avocado since he’s allergic to it. Every possible opportunity I can to eat avocado I’ll eat it since I can’t do much with it at home.

In other news, I loved these waffles walnuts and all.

BANANA WALNUT WAFFLES
(source)

Ingredients
3 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

1. Preheat your waffle iron.

2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar.

3. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, bananas, and walnuts. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until incorporated.

4. Cook according to your waffle iron instructions.

* serves 4
* Shared with Foodie Friday 

Baked Crab Cakes

This month over at bakebakebake the theme is seafood. I’m used to making sweet dishes for BBB entries, so at first I was really thrown off on what I should do. When I got my head into the right frame of mind I decided I would make a baked crab cake. I like crab cakes when they’re fried and crispy, so I wasn’t completely sure I would find a recipe that would capture that in a baked version. Additionally, I have never used canned crab before (only canned tuna,) but I couldn’t justify buying fresh crab.

Needless to say, they turned out great. I think the canned crab actually made these work really well, due to the texture. Additionally, despite being baked they still were really crispy. Also you will see Emeril’s Essence used in these! Basically until I use all the Essence I will be replacing it anywhere salt or Cajun seasoning is called for.

Baked Crab Cakes

Ingredients
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp mustard powder
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp Essence
1 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 eggs
12 oz canned crab meat

Directions

1. Preheat oven the 375 and grease a baking sheet. Set aside.

2. Combine breadcrumbs, baking powder, parsley, mustard powder, pepper, and Essence. Set aside.

3. Stir together mayonnaise, vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, and eggs until smooth. Fold in crab meat, then fold in bread crumbs until well blended.

4. Shape the mixture into about 12 crab cakes and placed on prepared baking sheet. They will seem kind of wet.

5. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the crab cakes over and bake for 15 more minutes.

* makes about 12 cakes

Beef Stew

This month Food ‘n Flix was hosted by La Cocina de Leslie. The movie this month was a movie I had never seen before, Last Holiday. Georgia Byrd, a woman who lives just an average life has a life changing moment when she learns she has only a small amount of time left to live. Georgia regrets not going for her dreams while she had the chance, the dreams of being a chef, the dreams of traveling.. So she cashes in her life savings and goes on a European adventure before she dies. To enter Food ‘n Flix this month, go here to check it out. You have until the 29th!

Georgia seems to have a love affair with the Food Network, with the first dish she makes in the movie being from Emeril Lagasse. I decided that in the spirit of the movie I would make a dish of Emeril’s. This stew was perfect. The flavors were absolutely amazing. For something as simple as stew, I was surprised this could be full of so much flavor. Part of the recipe calls for Essence. I made way too much of the spice mixture just for this stew, so I’ve been including it in every recipe I’ve cooked since. It’s a wonderful combination. If you see me mention  Essence in the ingredients of my upcoming posts, this is what it is!

Beef Stew
(Emeril Lagasse)

Ingredients
3 tbsp olive oil
3 lbs beef, cut into chunks
2 tsp salt
2 tsp Essence (recipe below)
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp butter
1 lb mushrooms, quartered
2 cups onions, chopped
2 cups carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups beef stock
4 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp ground allspice
4 cups russet potatoes, chopped
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Directions

1. Set a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 3 tbsp of olive oil. Season the beef with salt, pepper, and Essence. Add the meat to the pot and cook until brown on each side. Remove the beef and set aside.

2. Add the butter and mushrooms to the pot, and cook until well browned. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute until the onions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes. Add the beef stock, tomato paste, allspice, and beef. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes.

3. Add the potatoes. Recover and cook 30 minutes more.

4. Stir in peas. Remove from heat. Serve over rice or egg noodles.

* serves 6

Essence

Ingredients
2 1/2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried thyme

1. Mix all together thoroughly. 

Around The World Update and an Open Question

I got sick and have fallen behind on my Around the World in 52 Weeks project. I will catch up though and post the recipes soon. I’m going to have to double up some weeks of kitchen-travel, that’s for sure!

Does anyone who reads this have either a blog or a vlog where they review products? I have a proposal for someone interested. It is not a kitchen related product, but contact me if you want more information at omniscents@hotmail.com
If you know someone who might be interested please let me know!

Spicy Meatballs and Spaghetti

This is the first month I’ve participated in the Crazy Cooking Challenge. Every month a new dish is listed to be created, using a recipe from a blog found elsewhere on this world wide web we surf. This month’s challenge was spaghetti with red sauce. I knew when I saw this that I needed meatballs, because no spaghetti is complete without them. But I didn’t want normal meatballs, I wanted something more! So I surfed the web and found normal meatball recipe after normal meatball recipe. When I stumbled upon Blissfully Delicious however, I changed paces. The Spicy Turkey Meatballs that Yudith made are anything but your traditional meatball. Using prosciutto in her meatballs, she added that spark I was looking for!

Now unfortunately when it came to meatball making night I had forgotten to buy prosciutto. But I did have pastrami, so I decided to use that instead. And also.. stupidly, the ground turkey I was going to use had been in the refrigerator too long and had to make its dissent into the trash. With only the Italian sausage thawed, I decided to just go with it and make sausage/pastrami meatballs.

So while my meatballs may not be exact replications of Yudith’s, they got their inspiration to do something different and be more than a boring ball of meat.

Spicy Meatballs and Spaghetti
(inspiration)

  Ingredients
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
2 oz pastrami, thinly chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 jar marinara sauce
1 lb dried spaghetti

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Pour the bread crumbs and milk together. Let sit for 5 minutes.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sausage, pastrami, bread mixture, Parmesan, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Combine with your hands. Add the olive oil and eggs and mix together well.

4. Roll the mixture into 2-inch-round meatballs and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

5. Pour the marinara in a large pot. Add the meatballs and bring to a simmer.

6. Cook spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain. Place spaghetti in individual bowls and top with meatballs and sauce.

* serves 3

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