Hi Guys! I've been quite busy this week, going on to my next work placement which is turning out to be very different from my last one which is quite refreshing. But somehow, in between all the chaos, I manage to cook. Once again, I clearly have my priorities in check =P.
Continuing with this Middle Eastern them I have going on with my cooking lately, I decided to make Baba Ganouj. Finally! After drooling over it at pretty much every restaurant menu it is featured on, I decided to make it myself and see how difficult it would be. I didn't know if this was the correct spelling either, there are so many versions out there, so forgive me if it's wrong.
Actually, it turned out to be reaaaaally simple. So simple in fact, I don't think I'll buy it ever again. Easy, and not much fuss or mess either. I'm sure it would be cheaper to make on a regular basis as well given how much I got out of just 2 eggplants.
And this was just from 1 eggplant. I actually made 2 versions - one where I grilled the eggplant over an open flame (i.e. my gas stove top - took forever!) and the other (the one int he picture above) one the eggplant was grilled/cooked in the oven for about an hour. I think the oven one turned out much better and the eggplant 'meat' cooked through better. In the end I combined the 2 together because the taste difference was minimal anyway.
Mmmm, I should note that most recipes get you to take off the charred black skin of the eggplants before you blend all the ingredients together. I actually kept alot of the skin of mine on (about 60%) because I think it really gives it that smokey, charred flavour which I love. Its probs not the best idea, all those carcinogens =P. But, in the end you only eat a bit at a time right? *cough*.
It is very rare occasion when I don't stick to the recipe I've found. I have had this dish SO MANY TIMES when I eat out, that I decided to go all chef-like and just chuck whatever in ad lib, trust my tastebuds. And I think it worked! Yeaaaaa but don't expect it to happen again anytime soon =P. One thing's for sure, I wouldn't be kissing anyone anytime soon after having this. Garlic central no joke. I should also point out that my recipe makes the baba ganouj come out sort of darker than what you would consider normal, only because I didn't really peel much of the charred skin off.
Soooo here's MY RECIPE for Baba Ganouj! Forgive me, I didn't really measure much out so it's all guesstimates. But I'm sure you're tastebuds are just as capable as mine =).
Yield approx. 1 & 1/2 cups
2 medium sized eggplants
2-3 cloves garlic (again, I was really heavy handed here, in fact I'm pretty sure I used more than that - I suggest adding a bit at a time and see how far you want to take it)
1 tbsp tahini (ground sesame paste)
1/2 tbsp lemon juice (I'm not a fan, but again, ad lib =D - bump it up to 1 tbsp)
2 tsp salt
1. Wash and cut the eggplants in half, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and place in oven at 180C (350F) to cook for approx. an hour (until the outside is blackened and shrivelled)
2. Place the eggplants in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes to stop them cooking further.
3. Drain the eggplants for approx. 15-20 minutes to get rid of excess moisture. Peel off the blackened skin, leaving a bit on if desired (like i said, 60% =P).
4. Place the eggplants in a food processor and pulse over 20 seconds. Add tahini, lemon juice and salt and pulse for further 1/2 minute. You can pulse/blend further/less to get the consistency you desire. I like mine not too paste-like, not too chunky =P.
5. Place the baba ganouj on a plate, make a dip in the middle and pour some olive oil in. Sprinkle with paprika and serve with warm pita bread.
I could eat this all by myself no joke. This is a typical afternoon snack in Eesh-world =).
Enjoy =D xx