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August 2015 Challenge - Eggplant

7546 Views 64 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  chefbuba

The species of nightshade grown for its' edible fruit comes in as this month's food challenge.

Give me your best shot!!!
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When I try out a new Chinese restaurant my two test dishes are their hot and sour soup and eggplant in garlic sauce.

And oddly enough one of my garden plants I thought was going fall over and die surprised me:

Yep, a white eggplant. Before the end of the month maybe I'll submit a dish using some of these.

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Love eggplant. I so want Mousakka right now.

One of my favorite's is Chinese eggplant wiuth garlic sauce, too @teamfat. I had the bestest cold ep salad w/ peanut sauce at the market's salad bar. Could never find it again. Guess the chef stopped making it.

The white eggplant is so pretty/unusual. I'm hoping to find one at the market someday, and give it a try. I never see them. Do they differ in taste from Globe, etc?
To be honest, I've never had any variety of white eggplant, no idea of taste differences. Hope to find out soon.

Yikes! Over halfway through the month and not one dish from me yet. I plan to do one this Sunday, we'll see if the others I have in mind come to fruition.


My lunch today at South China House. Inspiration, not an entry. I can do this.

Well I had planned tp produce a nice entry for the challenge today. The kitchen plumbing had other plans for me.

But one part of the dish is underway, I've got the ricotta underway.

Finally got around to doing something for the challenge.

The Players

For an eggplant challenge, one needs eggplant. Let me check the garden...

This looks promising. Eggplant ravioli with ricotta sounds good. We need to make the cheese.

I really didn't need to make this much. And Karen seems to think she now has issues with gluten, so no pasta. Perhaps a cheese basket?

And some sort of sauce, let's go with a basic tomato.

The Procedure

Get the milk and cream on the stove, get it bubbling. Added the acid, lemon juice and some champagne vinegar, let it curdle, col a bit and strain. Yep, ended up with more than I can use for this dish. So the ricotta is in the fridge.

On to the cheese baskets. I need to work on that.

One draped over a glass to shape it. Not my prettiest work.

On to the filling. Eggplant, shallot and some dried porcini mushrooms. Get the shrooms soaking.

Meanwhile dice up the eggplant and some shallot, chop up the porcini.

Get it in the skillet with some olive oil, let it cook a bit. Soften some garlic and herbs in olive oil in another pot. Add some of the mushroom water and let it reduce a bit. Add the canned tomato sauce, some salt, pepper and such.

Add a bunch of the ricotta to the eggplant mix, get it all stirred up and mixed well. Fill a cheese basket, top with the sauce. Some avocado and sweet 110s from the garden along side, and it is a done deal.

The Product

Karen really liked it. She didn't think the eggplant would end up being that tasty.

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No surprise that was a winning dish, I picked it as my favorite.  Good job!

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