I haven’t been overly inspired in the kitchen the last couple of weeks. Can’t help it. I guess I’m just craving the nice spring and summer veggies, which are on hold since it’s still friggin cold here. I guess it’s a good thing it’s cold though. Garbage men are on strike and the city is starting to smell quite a bit. Especially in the touristy areas people don’t seem to understand that if they throw their trash on the street, it’s going to stay there.
Anyways, not much inspiration. Because of that lack of inspiration I’d bought a ratatouille package at the store this weekend. I figured all those different veggies might come in handy, even when not making ratatouille. And so I started thinking about my eggplant.
Lately I’ve been trying out some different eggplant recipes which reminded me of an old friend who used to always flame roast his eggplant. On the stovetop no less. The first time I saw him do that, it seamed weird to me, but after a while I got used to the sight and kind of forgot about it. Until today.
With the ratatouille package on hand, I had eggplant, so I figured I could give the flame roasting a try. I also had hummus in the fridge, so I could do something with that too. With the use of my good friend google I quickly found my inspiration. A recipe for a cold hummus and eggplant tortilla wrap. IT sounded tasty enough, but not quite dinner-like. I had to work on that. Fortunately all this dinner-planning took place in my mind while at work so I had more than enough time to figure things out. Replace the tortilla with something heavier (yeah, I know, shut up, tortilla’s are heavy!), maybe add some meat to it, oh, I still have a red pepper too…
And then it hit me, I could finally make naan. I’d been wanting to try to make naan at home for a while now, and since that’s a flatbread it could totally substitute the tortilla, right? And naan goes well with hummus, or so I think. I knew I had 2 pieces of turkey in the fridge too, so I could grill that, add the eggplant, red pepper for color (and taste)… Awesome meal!
Recipe for the naan and the eggplant will follow. To make the entire combo, take a warm, freshly baked naan, spread some hummus over 1 half of the naan, add some eggplant, a couple of strips of roasted red pepper and a couple of strips of grilled turkey, fold over and enjoy!
Naan (recipe for 4 naans)
- 3/4 tsp of dry yeast
- 1/4 cup and 2 tsp lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp and 1/2 tsp of sugar
- 3 tsp milk
- 1/2 to 3/4 egg, beaten
- 1/2 tsp salt
- a pinch of baking soda
- 1 cup white flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- minced garlic (optional)
- melted butter
Combine the yeast and water in a mixing bowl, let it proof for about 10 minutes, then add the sugar, milk, egg, baking soda and salt. Mix (I use my stand mixer with the dough hook) and slowly add the flour (both kinds). Knead (by hand or let your machine do the work) for about 5 minutes or so. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let it rise for about an hour or until it’s doubled in volume.
Punch the risen dough and knead the garlic in (or just knead without garlic), pull apart to form 4 balls and let it rise for a while longer.
After the dough balls have risen some more, roll the balls out very thin. Heat a (frying/grill/crepe) pan and add a little oil to the pan. Once the pan is fairly hot, place 1 sheet of dough in the pan and cover the pan with a lid. After a minute or 2, remove lid, check if the bottom has browned a bit. If the bottom looks done and the dough has puffed up with a bunch of ‘bubbles’, brush the top with melted butter. Flip the naan, bake for another minute or 2, until browned (but not yet burned), brush the other side with some butter too and serve warm.
Flame grilled eggplant
- 1 eggplant
- 1 clove of garlic
- olive oil
- ground chili pepper
- a gas stove
Yes, you need a gas stove for this dish. If you don’t have one, sorry, you can’t make this dish.
Light your stove, grab the eggplant and lay it down straigh on top of the flames. No pan, no shield, nothing, just put the eggplant on the flames. Leave it there for a couple of minutes, then turn it. Leave it for a bit again, move it around. Don’t leave it on the same side for more than 3 or so minutes at a time. Keep moving it every couple of minutes until all sides are blackened, charred and the entire eggplant is completely soft, but not yet falling apart. Tun off the gas and place the eggplant on a plate or in a bowl to cool. Once it’s cool, peel the eggplant and squeeze it out (this removes the bitter watery stuff that only makes it mushy). Place the peeled, squeezed eggplant in a bowl, add a pinch of salt, some ground chili pepper and press a clove or 2 of garlic over the eggplant (depending on size of garlic). Mash and mix with a fork, drizzle some olive oil over the mixture, mix some more and serve.
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