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In-Flight Menagerie

'shame, shame, to have lived scenes from a woman"s magazine'

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Toothy Eggplant

Start with the following:

  • 3 thin eggplants (not the bulbous kind)
  • Chinese broccoli stems
  • 3 banana peppers
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 jumbo mild jalapenos
  • 1/3 lb. ground beef
  • fermented black beans
  • oyster sauce
  • bourbon
  • garlic
  • oils (sesame and vegetable)
  • rice vinegar
  • corn starch
  • sweet brown sugar
  • white pepper
  • bragg's (substitute soy sauce if not available)
  • corn starch
  • 2 cups Japanese rice

  • Put the Japanese rice in the rice cooker's pot with a lot of water. Slosh it around to rinse the rice. Drain the water. Repeat twice or until the water runs clear-ish. Then start the rice cooker with 1.75:1 water:rice.

    Strip the hot seeds from the jalapenos. Cut the eggplant into 1"-thick sections.

    Get the cast iron skillet our and get it hot. Once hot, in throw the ~50 black beans and chopped garlic. Add 2 tbsp vegetable oil. Saute.

    At the 1-minute mark, add the beef. Saute.

    At the 2-minute mark, add the jalapeno seeds. Saute in the oil and beef fat.

    At the 3-minute mark, add the eggplant.

    Once the eggplant's a little translucent, likely at the 7-minute mark, add the Chinese broccoli stems. The addition of the broccoli stems marks the transition from saute to cook-with-a-little-steam.

    At the 9-minute mark, add a shake of water, bragg's, and whiskey. The eggplant will sponge-up the whiskey flavor.

    At the 10-minute mark, add all the peppers. Add salt and white pepper to taste.

    At the 11-minute mark, put the sauce together. Dilute oyster sauce with water, add a LITTLE rice vinegar, and drop the mixture in the pan.

    Add the broccoli leaves when the time feels right.

    To finish, mix 1 tbsp corn starch with water and the brown sugar in a separate dish. Once that's homogenized, add it to the pan and stir it in.

    Serve with Japanese rice.