Monthly Archives: September 2012

Eggplant with tahina – a perfect one person dinner or lunch

Being alone for a couple of days and of course full of pity for myself, I decided I at least had to eat well. Also, I wanted to do something with the huge amount of tahina I have in my cupboard (imported from Israel, presents from Israel, but there is only so much tahina a western person needs). I remembered my Israeli friend once said that when I make roasted eggplant again, I should eat it with tahina. Actually, she didn’t really understand I ate it without tahina in the first place, since in Israel this is obligatory, or so it seems.

Anyway, I wanted a quick, healthy and not too heavy dinner for one, so I bought: 1 eggplant, the rest I already had at home to make myself a nice eggplant with tahina dinner.

you’ll need: 1 eggplant, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, tahina, salt and pepper.

-preheat the oven as hot as you can (alternatively you can use the grill, or even roast the eggplant on the stove, since I don’t really like the burnt taste, I roasted it IN the oven) and out in the eggplant. Do not forget to pierce the eggplant before you do so, otherwise you will have ‘exploded eggplant’ all over your kitchen once you get it out. (no kidding, this happened to me the very first time I roasted eggplant, it is quite dangerous, because it becomes extremely hot.)

-roast the eggplant for about 45-60 minutes, depending on its size. It should look  burnt, and shriveled.

-in the meanwhile prepare the tahina: i took a big spoonfull, mixed it with a little bit of water and some lemon juice, and some salt, and some parsley.

-take out the eggplant, carefully cut it in half (hot!), sprinkle with salt and pepper, parsley. Serve with the tahina and some bread.

really, delicous, and no work at all.
Oh, and should you be in a country that is crazy about tahina, like Israel, Lebanon or so: buy a pot. it is worth the trouble of bringing it home, because it is really much better than the stuff you can get in Western Europe.

Paella!

Our Daring Cooks’ September 2012 hostess was Inma of la Galletika. Inma brought us a taste of Spain and challenged us to make our very own delicious Paella!

I was very happy about this challenge, not very original maybe, but I had always wanted to make my own paella, so I was happy to get a good recipe and some very good directions, thanks to Inma! Ther recipe wasn’t very complicated, apart from the fact that I didn’t have a paella pan, and used a wok instead, which is not ideal, cause it is not flat enough, but, it was the only pan I had in which I thought the amount of ingredients would fit in (and mind you, I used 1/3 of the original amount!). In the end, it meant I had to stir the rice some times because it wasn’t done everywhere. Well, it’s maybe not the way it is supposed to be, but it tasted great nonetheless (we ate 2,5 times of it, 2 really big eaters!)

Ingredients (slidely adapted from the one Inma gave)

  • 400 grams  calamaris, cut in rings.
  • 5 crayfish (in their shell)
  • 170gr of pork loin, diced
  • 300 gr chicken breast, diced
  • 350 gr long grain rice (par-boiled)
  • 2 Saffron threads
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2/3 of a can of crushed tomatoes
  • 75 grams fresh green beans
  • 1/2 bell pepper (capsicum) cut into strips
  • 75 grams peas (frozen)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 springs of parsley
  • Water or chicken broth to boil rice in – ratio is 1 cup of rice = 3 cups of liquid ( I actually needed a bit more)

Directions:

  1. Mise en place, you have to wash and chop all the vegetables and cut all the meat and remove the skin.
  2. In the paellera (or wok or other huge pan) heat the olive oil, add one garlic clove diced and remove.
  3. Add calamaris, sauté, then remove it and set apart.
  4. fry chicken and pork, add salt and pepper
  5. add bell pepper, add crushed tomatoes
  6. Add broth (or water) to cover the chicken and pork, boil for 30 minutes
  7. add the fresh green beans
  8. At the same time you have to make: “la picada”. In a mortar or a home coffee grinder crush 2 garlic cloves, parsley and saffron. Add a little bit of paella´s broth. Pour it into the Paella.
  9. Spread the rice through all the paellera.
  10. Add water (per cup of rice add 2 cups of water)
  11. add peas
  12. The paella must continue boiling until the rice is dry. Add some lemon drops. Add the crayfish
  13. You have to wait until the broth or water is consumed (I had to add some water here, cause not all the rice was done
  14. Turn off the heat and cover with some clean cloth towels. Let rest for 15 minutes.

Hmmmm, great taste, and as said, enough for 2 persons to last for 2 dinners and 1 lunch 🙂