Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sundays with Marlena Spieler...Balkan Aubergines with Cheese and Moroccan Vegetable Salad

Male eggplant on is smaller and has fewer seeds. Good to know.
Saute untill a bit golden.
The texture is much like that of a souffle. It is delish cold too! Great to make ahead for Shabbat or a picnic. Great potluck dish..sure to please everyone!
Dave sprinkled some feta on top....very good idea. Next time I will peel the eggplant.. to make it easy to cut with just a fork.
Another great make ahead option.

My version of Balkan Aubergines with Cheese by Marlena Spieler from Jewish Cooking

Ingredients: Serves 6..or maybe even 8

2 large eggplants (aubergines) cut into 1/4 inch slices
(salt them and put them in a colander to drain for 30 minutes...then wash off the salt and pat dry) You will saute them until they are a golden brown.
5 TBS olive oil
3 TBS butter
3 TBS all purpose flour
2 large onions, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds (saute in pan while eggplant is draining)
a small container of cherry tomatoes...sauteed till they pop open
2 1/2 cups of hot milk (do not boil)
1/8 tsp each of nutmeg and cayenne pepper (I used a tsp of sambal olek chili paste)
4 lg eggs lightly beaten
3 1/2 cups grated cheese like Gruyere, parm, and cheddar. I mixed them all together!

[I boiled some Israeli couscous and layered that in too...nice texture)

1. So, melt the butter in a sauce pan. then add the flour and cook for a minute, stirring the entire time. Remove from heat and gradually add in the hot milk..and keep stirring. Return to med heat and let it come to a slow boil..stirring..until it thickens. Season with nutmeg and pepper or chili paste. Let sauce cool.

2. When the sauce is cool, beat in your eggs and then mix in the grated cheese. Save a bit of cheese to top the dish with.

3. So, now you layer in an ovenproof dish or pan. First the sauce, then some eggplant, then the onions and tomatoes, then the couscous (optional) and start over until you end with eggplant and the remainder of the sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until a light golden brown and it is firm. Let it rest for 15 minutes before cutting or chill and serve cold or at room temp.

Dave sprinkled some feta over it..and that was the bomb! It is so very souffle-like. We loved it..and so did my in-laws! Now, for the salad.

Moroccan Vegetable Salad..a great salad to go with the entree!

I have learned many things while cooking through Jewish Cooking by Marlena Spieler. A major delight and surprise is how wonderful the salads are...and they aren't just mixed greens. Often, greens aren't even on the menu! Not that greens are a bad thing. I've also learned....Jewish Cooking is not what you might think it is!

I made this salad the other night and Dave and I were crazy for it! I don't like green bell peppers, so we decided to exclude those.

Ingredients: Serves 4

2 waxy-type boiled potatoes..chilled and then sliced
2 bell peppers sliced thinly
10 black olives...slice a few
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
juice of one lemon
2 finely chopped lg garlic cloves
1 sliced jalapeno....remove the seeds
1 medium cucumber...sliced
1-2 finely chopped green onions
3 TBS each of chopped parsley and cilantro
1 TBS chopped mint
Feta cheese is optional and not in the original recipe..Dave wanted to add some and voila!

I put the ingredients on a plate and then drizzled the olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs over the top..took the photo, then mixed it all up in a bowl and chowed down!

Please go check out Eileen and Shankari's blogs for their offerings on Jewish Cooking.


TaraDharma said...

looks yummy! i think i'd use anaheim peppers tho, jalapenos are a tad too hot for me.

this salad could be a whole meal!

Carolyn Jung said...

What a great meal that surely satisfies the food pyramid's recommended daily veggie count.

dining room tables said...

Nomnomnom! This is delicious! I like it! Great meal! I can't wait to try it.

lhahn said...

Nice eggplants, baby!

TaraDharma said...

I thought I was seeing this for the first time, but nope, it's just my hopelessly forget mind. But it still does look good and hopefully one day I will make it.

Made tamale pie for dinner -- too much corn meal made it too dry. Next time, no bottom crust.