Tuesday, January 6, 2009

And We're Back!

Yes, we're back. December was full of Biscochito-making, valdiguie nouveau drinking, and general reveling, with very little actual blogging. Also, sadly, I left our blog's third contributor (Tiffany's excellent digital camera) at a bowling alley. Oops. So I got the great picture to your right from Foodista. Here's a great little recipe to get your clay pot going. Spicy Eggplant Pot: (Qie Zi Bao) From Fuschia Dunlop's, Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook What's Guerrilla: Eggplant is cheap, and this preparation creates a deep flavor profile with only a few more ingredients. What's Gourmet: The earthy black bean/chile paste works with the bright flavors of ginger, garlic, and fresh chile and scallion to infuse the eggplant with full, deep, spicy flavor. It's beautiful too. Materials: Six Chinese eggplants (the long, skinny ones) cut into chunks, salted, and drained in a colander for half an hour A quarter pound of ground pork or thinly sliced chinese sausage Fragrant Bowl: A handful of dry shiitake mushrooms, soaked for a half hour in boiling water, squeezed dry and chopped, two teaspoons chopped ginger, two teaspoons chopped garlic, two tablespoons chile/black bean paste Sauce Bowl: Two thirds of a cup of stock, a healthy splash of dark soy sauce, Finishing Bowl: Two scallions sliced thin, a tablespoon of sesame oil, and a fresh red chile, sliced thin. Peanut oil to deep fry Method: Deep fry the eggplant (unless your wok is huge, you'll need to do this in several small batches.) When each batch golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Pour all but two tablespoons of the oil back out of the pot and get ready to stir-fry. Seriously, have all your ingredients ready to go or you'll scorch the shit out of something. Toss in the ground pork and let it sizzle for a minute until it loses its moisture. Then add the fragrant bowl and stir until it's all, well, fragrant. Add the sauce bowl and and return the eggplant to the wok. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and simmer for a minute or two, then remove the wok from heat and stir in the finishing bowl. Serve the stew in a classy, authentic clay pot if you have one. Or just ladle it over rice and dig in.