Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Late Season Eggplant Dip

Now that eggplants are mostly gone from the market, it seems a little silly to be telling you all about my obsession that started at the end of the season.

At my nearest farmers market there are a fair few Southeast Asian vendors selling all kinds of greens eggplants and chilis. On a recent lazy Sunday, a perusal of the refrigerator turned up eggplants, fresh chilis, and cilantro. The ever present garlic and fish sauce meant that I had a winning combo. Here's what I did. I placed a couple of eggplants right on an open flame like so:
I cooked them until they were blackened and put aside. They should look like this:
Next I grabbed a handful of chilis:
and threw them in a mortar and pestle with a handful of lightly crushed garlic like so:
Then I pounded away. This is a great stress reliever I might add. If you like, pretend that you are crushing the bones of your favorite CEO of that bank that will soon turn you out of your home, you sicko. When things were good and crushed together I threw the paste into a wok in some oil at low heat and gently cooked the concoction. As it cooked I added a healthy splash of fish sauce.
I put the now cooked mixture back into the mortar and pestle. Next I peeled the eggplants, remember them? I added them to the garlic and chilis and added some cilantro and gave gave it a good smash and stir.
I served it up (to myself) with some raw veggies. It also goes great with sticky rice, or if you want to mix it up, on some crackers. If I was going to do it again, I'd add more chilis, but that's just me.