Monday, August 8, 2011

Eggplant and Shrimp Stir-fry, Potato-Cucumber Salad, Yummy Grilled Steak and Zucchini

Lots of cucumbers, some potatoes, some Japanese eggplant, tomatoes, green pepper and more zucchini made up my share this week. Lots of possibilities!! I love the Eggplant with Garlic Sauce at the local Chinese restaurant, and wanted to make something like it. Okay, I'm not going to lie: it's really hot and as much as I like to cook, I had a craving for it and wanted to just eat it, not make it. But, I had the ingredients, so I fooled around with all the Asian spices and sauces in my kitchen, and after several tries, came up with this one, added some shrimp and had it over rice sprinkled with chopped scallions and peanuts. 
I also had a hankering for some traditional potato salad with a mayonnaise-based dressing, but felt a responsibility to all the cucumbers. Adding them to the potato salad gave the salad some crunch, and the cucumbers went well with the mustard and chives. to go with it, I grilled some zucchini and steak. I also made Chocolate Zucchini Cake- the zucchini does add nutrition, but mostly it keeps the cake really moist. 

Eggplant and Shrimp Stir Fry
Asian (Japanese) eggplant are best for this, but you can use Italian eggplants if you cut them into 1-inch cubes. I added some yellow beans from my share- green beans or broccoli would do just as well.
4 Japanese eggplants or 1 medium-large eggplant
1/4 pound beans or broccoli florets
4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
4 ounces extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or smoked sharp paprika
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
4 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon Chinese black bean sauce*
1/2 teaspoon chili paste, or chili-garlic sauce*
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch

chopped peanuts, scallions, and/or cilantro as garnish
hot cooked brown or white rice

1. Wash the eggplant and cut into 1-inch pieces. Trim the beans and cut into 1-inch lengths. Mash the garlic.
2. Blend together the water, Aleppo pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar.
3. In a separate bowl combine the garlic, black bean sauce, chili paste, sesame oil and 2 teaspoons cornstarch.
4. Heat the oil in a wok to 350 degrees. Add the eggplant in batches and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown and soften. Remove to a plate while you finish with the rest of the eggplant, and then stir-fry the beans.
5. Remove the beans to the plate with the eggplant and add the shrimp. Stir fry until pink. Put on the plate with the vegetables.
6. Drain off any extra oil in the wok and add back the eggplant, beans and shrimp.
7. Stir to combine, and then add in the soy sauce mixture. Cook, stirring, until thickening.
8. Add the remaining sauce mixture and cook until sauce is of the desired consistency.
9. Serve over rice and garnish with peanuts, scallions or cilantro.
*available in the Asian section of the supermarket

Grilled Steak and Zucchini
You can do this on a barbecue or in a grill pan inside. Serve with Potato and Cucumber Salad.
sirloin steak
1/2 cup vegetable oil (not olive oil)
1 teaspoon chipotle pepper

1. Heat your grill or grill pan. Combine the oil and pepper. Slice the zucchini crosswise on the diagonal.
2. Brush the steak with the oil mixture and place on the hot grill or grill pan, oiled side down. Brush the top with the oil.
3. Cook for 5 minutes and turn over. Brush the zucchini with the oil and place on the grill. Brush the top with the oil. Cook for 4 minutes and turn over. Turn the steak over again, if you like it medium-well, or remove to a plate to rest for medium-rare.
4. Cook the zucchini for another few minutes, until tender. Serve.
Potato and Cucumber Salad
Very traditional in flavor, but the cucumber adds some crunch and the mustard gives it a zing.
4 potatoes
3 pickling cucumbers
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon stone ground mustard
2 Tablespoons chives
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Scrub the potatoes and cut them into one-inch pieces. Fill a pot with cold water and place over high heat. Add the potato pieces and bring to a boil. Once the water begins to boil, set a timer for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, scrub the cucumbers and cut off the ends. Cut in half lengthwise and then slice into 1/4-inch slices.
3. Mix together the yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard and chives. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cucumbers.
4. When the potatoes are done, drain and run under cold water. Shake well to dry. Add to the bowl with the cucumbers and dressing and stir to coat. Chill.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
The end of the summer brings bumper crops of zucchini, often ungainly in size, resulting in recipes for zucchini pancakes, muffins, cookies, and cakes. The zucchini keeps this cake incredibly moist.
2-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon espresso powder or 2 teaspoons instant coffee

1 cup sugar 
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup apple sauce
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 cups grated zucchini

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease and flour a bundt or tube pan.
2. Combine the dry ingredients, through the espresso powder. 
3. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients in 2 stages. 
4. Pour into the prepared pan and bake 40 minutes.

I still have cabbage from last week, more eggplant, pepper, zucchini and tomatoes. The eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and pepper are screaming 'ratatouille'. But I'm not there yet. I'm thinking more of a Moroccan stew with grilled flatbread or Vegetarian chili with cheddar corn muffins. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. My friend is looking for a recipe that she can try for her new family and I think this recipe is perfect for her. I will now share this to him.

    Easy Stir Fry