Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dominican Okra Stew Over Steamed Rice with Fire Roasted Eggplant & Salad

This was a very simple recipe that came together quickly in this hot hot heat, which I really appreciated, because although I usually absolutely love the kitchen and want to spend hours upon hours there, it has been unbearably hot and uncomfortable.  Today the kitchen must have reached over 100 degrees, and I wanted to spend as little time as possible in there.  So before I started cooking of any kind, I prepped all the veggies for the okra stew and eggplant and made the entire salad and dressing.  Every couple of minutes I ran sweating for the ac in the living room, gulped some ice water and ran back into the kitchen.  Then I got the rice cooking, started roasting the eggplant and cooking the okra stew all at the same time so that everything would be done as close to the same time as possible.  It got really hot in there, but all finished within half an hour, then hubbs and I had a beautiful dinner.  Yum! 

That's the one thing I don't like about the summer - relying more on take out because it is just too miserable to cook.  But I'm not the biggest fan of places I don't really know or workers I don't know cooking my food - I'm weird like that.  I also don't like that I don't know exactly what is going in my food.  I might have sweat a lot, but damn did we enjoy a delicious dinner!  I think for dinner tomorrow I'm going to be making a tomato and tofu salad with a balsamic marinade.  My work is going through so much organic produce and throwing away thousands of pounds of food a day, which is sickening, and I am taking home as much of it as I can use.  So I have a lot of tomatoes, berries and eggplant (hence tonight's dinner!).  I made pico de gallo yesterday and had some nachos loaded with veggies and kalamata olives. Yum.  I could almost eat the pico as a soup it's that good, seriously.  I'll have to put the recipe up soon.

Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Okra Stew over White
Rice, Fire Roasted Eggplant

Fire Roasted Eggplant

Serves 2-3

1 eggplant, well washed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sofrito
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons adobo with cilantro
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon boullion
1/2 cup filtered water

1.  Place washed eggplant on the stovetop directly over the flame.  Allow the eggplant to cook on all sides, turning frequently, until blackened all over.  (Keep a window open-it gets a little smoky.)
2.  Place the eggplant in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow the eggplant to sweat for 10 or so minutes.
3.  Once the egggplant sweats, bring it to the sink and begin removing all of the blackened skin.  If a few pieces remain, that's ok, it will only mean more flavor.  Remove any tough spots, as well as the very top.  Use your hands to mash up the eggplant as much as possible. 
4.  Place the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat and allow to become hot.  Once the oil is hot, add the sofrito and tomato paste and "fry" for several minutes, stirring frequently.  Once the mixture becomes fragrant, add the eggplant, adobo, black pepper, bouillion and water.  Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, until the eggplant is very well flavored and some of the water has evaporated. 

Fire Roasted Eggplant
(Not the prettiest thing I know, but crazy delicious!!)



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