Posts Tagged ‘Home’

Some men tinker with cars, some men tinker with sports, I tinker with food. Last week we had dinner with friends at Assagio in Kailua.

The Cat ordered fresh eggplant Milanese (diced eggplant pan fried in olive oil, garlic, and fresh basil, served over linguine).

Fresh Eggplant Milanese

I ordered anchovies over rigatoni.

Rigatoni with Anchovies

There was a lot of crispy garlic bits incorporated into the anchovies and olive oil, quite a powerful combination.

I think many cultures have some kind of preserved sauce or ingredient (think Chinese salted shrimp paste, Filipino patis, etc.). According to the Wikipedia article, western cooking also used a type of fermented fish sauce called garum. You can read the article here. In fact, one of  Lea & Perrins’ Worcestershire sauces contains anchovies as one of its ingredients (so there).

Enough of the lesson. A couple of days ago, I put my own spin on the above dishes (you know I had to).

For The Cat, I made pan fried eggplant in spicy peanut sauce over skinny spaghetti with black sesame seeds.

Less garlic, less olive oil, more eggplant, add peanut butter, re-hydrated shiitake mushrooms, some chili powder (I was out of sriracha sauce), and sprinkle with ground black sesame seeds.

For myself, I made tuna over skinny spaghetti.

I substituted canned tuna for anchovies (it’s cheaper). Less garlic, added chili powder, and charred green onions (I can’t get my stove high enough to burn the green onions like in Chinese restaurants, but it was okay), and used the oil from the tuna. I think I need to hire a dragon to properly scorch green onions (know of any I can contact? Must have fire breathing capability). (See 21 November 2010 post) 🙂

The Cat gave my effort three paws.

Will be tinkering again.

Much thanks to M & J.


The Mouse

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Our friend gave us some Japanese eggplant from her garden.  Since The Cat was coming home late last night I decided to make a light dinner.

Ingredients (for two servings):

  • 6 small Japanese eggplants, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch slices – free
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (Italian style) with basil, garlic, and oregano – 99 cents
  • 1 can (6 oz.) sliced mushrooms – 99 cents
  • 1/2 box (8oz.) orzo – 85 cents
  • 2 eggs – 40 cents
  • pinch each of salt and sugar, and drizzle of macadamia nut oil infused with italian herbs (see picture) -minimal
  • Approximate total cost – less than $4.00

Macadamia Nut Oil infused with Italian Herbs

Preparation and Plating:

  1. Cook orzo according to package directions, drain, and drizzle macadamia nut oil, toss to coat.
  2. Topped with eggplants, stewed with tomatoes and mushrooms (salt and sugar to taste).
  3. Added soft fried egg.  The egg yolk was broken to create a sauce for the orzo.

The Verdict:

The Cat liked it and asked me to make it for her to bring for lunch this week. – priceless. 🙂

Stewed Eggplant with Orzo and Fried Egg.


The Cat likes Eggplant and Eggs.

The Mouse Succeeded.

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