Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.
Friday, May 25, 2012
I got a nice surprise in yesterday’s mail – a copy of Where Women Cook: The Heart & Soul of Cooking published by the lovely, lovely Jo Packham. It’s a quarterly magazine sold at retail stores (most bookstores and I think I saw it at Costco and Target too), featuring women passionate about food, their kitchens and their stories.
This month’s cover also features another friend of mine – Robin from Southern Fried Fitness. You’ll love her style – 80% healthy, 20% indulgent and 100% Southern. This woman is just pure good energy!
The magazine features photos from our property and my two boys. That week, I had made a stupid deal with my kids, which resulted in letting them SHAVE THEIR HEADS. Unfortunately, I had totally forgotten about the scheduled shoot. The boys wanted the photographer to shoot them holding our hens.
So great. We look like food blogging, skinhead chicken farmers! LOL At least the kids were wearing shirts and shoes.
Also in the magazine is one of the very last photos taken of Papa, Scott’s dad who passed away a few weeks ago. Mimi and Papa were visiting from Buffalo when the photoshoot took place, so naturally they were part of our story and shoot. He was smiling sweetly at Mimi, with a drink in his hand — just like I want to remember him.
There’s a shot of my garden too – just when we started it in February. We had planted corn from seed – most of the seedlings were 4″ tall except for ONE. The seedling in the middle of the plot shot up past its brothers and sisters to 2 feet. They’re all the same variety, from the same seed envelope. Some mutant corn!
It’s fun to see pics of my garden when we first planted and realize that the little eggplant seeds that we spread out turned into 4 monster plants with more eggplant than any family should have (the secret is our awesome 3-day compost!) I can’t give enough away – I’ve been stuffing them in the pockets of my friends when I give them hugs. Makes for funny looks from other people, especially given the shape of the Asian eggplant!
So our recipe this week that I’ve developed this recipe for my client, Miso & Easy, is Stuffed Miso Eggplant. My girlfriend Kelly’s mom (her name is Sandy) used to cook her eggplant this way (well, without the miso) and when Kelly came over last Monday, we made this in honor of Sandy.
The eggplant is hollowed out – and the eggplant
innards (ugh, I hate that word to describe food) flesh (that word is yuck too) insides are added to the ground meat stuffing, which makes the stuffing soooo incredibly moist and juicy.
Recipe developed for client Miso & Easy, a company who makes miso in an easy to use bottle. You can use either Miso & Easy or regular miso paste that you can find in most grocery stores (usually sold in Asian aisle or refrigerated produce section).
Here are the ingredients that you’ll need. If you can’t find the small, skinny Asian eggplant, go ahead and use the big ol’ fat globe eggplant. Your stuffed eggplant halves will just be big ‘n fat!
You can either use Miso & Easy or regular miso paste. If you’re using regular miso paste, add 1/2 teaspoon of mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine). Substitute for mirin: 1 teaspoon white wine + 1/2 teaspoon honey
Cut each eggplant in half and using a teaspoon to hollow out. If you’re using a fat globe eggplant, use a tablespoon instead.
Just scrape slowly – but don’t discard the innards! You’ll be adding that to the ground meat mix.
In a frying pan or saute pan, cook the ground meat, onion, garlic and eggplant innards.
Add the miso (and the mirin if you’re not using Miso & Easy)
Lay the eggplant on a baking sheet.
Spoon in the filling.
Bake and top with fresh basil.
Stuffed Miso Eggplant Recipe
Lots of options in this recipe!
-You can use any type of ground meat you desire - ground chicken makes an excellent healthy substitute.
-Asian eggplants are long and skinny...regular globe eggplant can be substituted (just use one).
-If you don't have Miso & Easy, just use regular miso paste + 1/2 teaspoon mirin.
If you don't have mirin, substitute 1 tsp white wine + 1/2 tsp honey
Ingredients:2 Asian eggplants (or 1 large globe eggplant)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1/2 pound lean ground beef (or ground chicken/ground turkey)
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
sprig of fresh basil
Miso paste: either
[2 tablespoons Miso & Easy] OR [1 tablespoon regular miso paste + 1/2 teaspoon mirin]
1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Slice each eggplant in half, lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the insides of the eggplant. Set aside the eggplant "boats" and put the insides of the eggplant into a large bowl.
2. To the same a large bowl, combine the onion, garlic and ground beef. Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. When hot, swirl in the cooking oil. Add in the contents of the bowl and saute for 5 minutes or until the beef is no longer pink. Add in the miso paste and cook an additional minute.
3. Set the eggplant halves on a baking sheet. Spoon the ground beef mixture into each eggplant half. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is cooked through. Top with minced basil and serve.