Eggplant Involtini

I have discovered a new recipe that uses one of my favorite vegetables: eggplant! This recipe, called Eggplant Involtini, from Alexandra’s Kitchen is so delicious that I can’t stop myself from making it at least once a week. Make sure to prepare the eggplant (salt the slices so that the water drains) an hour ahead before rolling them with a cheese filling and baking.



Thai Red Curry

After going to the Rainbow Thai restaurant in Boeblingen, I felt inspire to make my own curry. Curry has always been one of those dishes that I never fully succeeded in making. It was usually too bland, not spicy enough, or just tasted funky. However, I think I finally got it! You add almost any kind of vegetable to this; potatoes, zucchini, or mushrooms.

1 1/2 tablespoon red curry paste
10 large shrimps
1 tablespoon oil
3 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 onion, sliced
1 carrot, cut into 1/2 inch
1 eggplant, cubed
1 cup green beans
1 tomato, cubed

1. Heat up a wok with cooking oil. Saute the red curry paste until aromatic. Add sliced onions.
2.  Add coconut milk and water, and bring the curry to boil.
3.  Add the shrimp, carrot, eggplant, and green beans. Simmer on low heat until cooked.
4.  Add fish sauce and sugar, and stir-continuously for 1o seconds. Dish out and serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice.

2 servings

Cauliflower Cheese

This recipe is adapted from Real Simple’s Cauliflower Gratin. I didn’t have a few of the ingredients, so I omitted them and it still turned out great.

1 medium sized cauliflower head, cored and cut into small pieces
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
4 tablespoons butter, plus more for the baking dish
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
6 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Heat oven to 375° F. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Fill a large pot with 1 inch of water and bring the water to a boil. Place the cauliflower and carrots into the pot and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well.
2.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle with the  flour and stir for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.
3. Whisk in the cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and cook until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and gently fold in the cauliflower, and transfer to the baking dish. Sprinkle on top the chopped parsley. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes.

3-4 servings

Mixed Green Salad with Grapes, Pears, and Curried Cashews

I don’t really prefer salads, but this is the salad I always make and bring whenever there are potlucks, birthdays, and what not. This salad is especially perfect for the summer time.


Curried Cashews
1 cup cashew halves
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste

1/2 head of red romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1 package of mixed greens (spinach, rucola, whatever works)
1/2 medium pear, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup halved seedless green grapes

1. In a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, heat up the butter and toast cashews until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove cashews to a dish to cool slightly.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together curry powder, brown sugar, salt, cayenne pepper, and toasted cashews. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, stir together apple cider vinegar, mustard, and honey. Slowly whisk in olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
4. In a large salad bowl, toss dressing with mixed greens, pear cubes, grapes, and curried cashews.

3-4 servings

Braised Potatoes

3 medium potatoes
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons Korean or Japanese dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 tablespoons malt syrup
1/2 cup water
a pinch of salt

1. Clean and peel the potatoes. Boil the potatoes in a pot of water for 10 minutes.
2. Drain the potatoes and let them cool for 5 minutes. Cut them into cubes.
3. Heat a wok with a bit of olive oil over low heat. Saute the potatoes with a pinch of salt until they can be poked through with a fork without them breaking in half.
4. Mix the soy sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, dried rosemary, and sugar. Pour the mixture over the potatoes and stir to coat.
5. Stir the malt syrup in water, add to wok, and stir well to combine.
6. Put a lid over the wok and cook slowly. Stir occasionally so the sauce evenly coats the potatoes. The longer you braise them, the more the sauce will disappear and the darker the potatoes will become. If the sauce disappears entirely before the potatoes are cooked, add a little more water to the wok and keep cooking. Have the potatoes cooked just enough so that they hold their shape and are soft to bite all the way through with no crunchiness.
7. Do not serve this dish hot. Allow to cool at least to room temperature.

1 serving

Roasted Potato Wedges with Rosemary

4 small potatoes, unskinned and scrubbed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
dash of dried thyme
ketchup (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (390 degrees F).
2. Parboil potatoes in a pot of water for 10 minutes (this will give the potatoes a crispy skin when roasted).
3. Take potatoes out and cut them into small wedges.
4. Place potatoes wedges in a mixing bowl with olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, rosemary, and thyme. Combine well.
5. Scatter potato wedges on a lightly oiled oven pan. Roast for 45 minutes until golden brown.
6. Serve alone or with ketchup.

1-2 servings

Honey Garlic Roasted Eggplant

I love eggplant. Here’s my first experiment.

1 Japanese eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F (170 degrees C). Brush flat oven pan with olive oil.
2. Clean and slice eggplant into 1/2 inch thick circles.
3. Lay out large sheet of paper towel. Sprinkle eggplant generously with salt on both sides and lay out on paper towels to release water. Let sit for 15 minutes, then dry both sides well with paper towels.
4. In a measuring cup, mix olive oil, honey, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Brush both sides of eggplant with mixture.
5. Place eggplant in oven pan. Roast for 15 minutes, then turn over eggplant. Roast for another 15 minutes. Remove to plate.

1-2 servings