Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lobster Mushroom & White Chanterelle Pizza

I took the ferry from Larkspur Landing to the Ferry Building yesterday with my son. We mostly went for the ride, but I couldn't go without seeing what Far West Fungi had on offer.  I chose the Lobster mushroom and some White Chanterelles to play with.  According to the guy behind the counter, the White Chanterelles have a fruitier, less peppery taste that regular Chanterelles.

I kept the treatment very simple and simply fried them with some salty butter and a little garlic.  I enjoyed them right from the pan but did manage to save some of them for the mess of a pizza below (it got dark on me!).  Just very thin pizza dough, the mushrooms, and a little grated Gruyere cheese. Yum!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Indian Baby Eggplant in Tomato Peanut Sauce

This light and tasty eggplant dish is a great way to enjoy eggplant without a lot of oil. Baby eggplant are cooked with Indian spices and tomatoes, a little toasted chickpea flour and peanut butter to produce a hearty vegan dish that's packed with flavor.

This was a second attempt at Indian Baby Eggplant in a Spicy Tomato Sauce. The original attempt was prettier, but this one had a much better peanut flavor.  I took a few shortcuts from the original recipe, found in the lovely book India's Vegetarian Cooking.  The original recipe also included potatoes, but I wanted something lighter and didn't miss the starch.

Here's the easy recipe:

1 TBS olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp ground cumin
2 TBS chickpea flour
6 baby eggplant, stems removed and cut in half
14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 TBS crunchy peanut butter
2 dashes of cayenne pepper
salt to taste

Heat the oil and cook the garlic, ginger and mustard seeds for 2 minutes. Add the cumin and cook 1 minute. Dry toast the chickpea flour in a separate skillet until it starts to color.

In a saucepan, combine the eggplant, diced tomatoes, peanut butter, cayenne, toasted chickpea flour, and garlic-ginger mix.  Add a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer over low heat until eggplant are soft (20-25 minutes).  Taste and adjust the salt, as needed.  Enjoy!