How A Cajun Cooks An Abundance of Eggplant – Prose and a Recipe

We’re back from our trip which, some of you may remember, included several interesting moments at Costco.  Allow me to offer this recipe and some prose:

Eggplant Gumbo – can feed 8 (there’s 2 of us so this will make 4 meals – will freeze good)

Ingredients: (I’ve tried to put this in use order  😛 )
~3½ pounds of stew meat or meat cut into 1½ inch pieces (trimmed of fat)
~ chopped garlic to your taste
~ more eggplant than you know what to do with peeled and sliced into ¼” or so slices. (we used 6 medium)
~ 1½ pounds button mushrooms and one red pepper and one green pepper – sliced
~ 2 or 3 cups broth you froze and made up yourself. ( If you don’t have this, maybe a way low sodium veggie broth. Watch the sodium, though. It’ll catch up with you when you’re older)  and half a tube or half a can of low sodium tomato paste
~ spices: 4 or 5 shakes of cayenne pepper (use or not – and use carefully); a few shakes of dried sage; a few shakes of dried thyme. If you have sage and thyme in your garden use that.

~~~

I like to cook and tell stories.  I like recipes to mean something to my friends who share meals with me.  Here’s a lil story:

It used to be that most people, in New Orleans, didn’t eat meat on Fridays.  Some Catholics will remember that it used to be a ‘sin’ to eat meat on Fridays.  It wasn’t that much of a sacrifice for most of us on the Gulf Coast.  We just ate nice fresh seafood in one form or another 😛 The only Friday I ever think, “Oh my gosh!  I REALLY SHOULDN’T eat meat today!” – is Good Friday.   In honor of Friday, we are making Eggplant Gumbo – just another recipe for Beef Stew..

~~~

Preparation:

brown the stew meat and garlic in a little olive oil – half at a time.  I don’t really brown it, I make it so the beef isn’t red anymore.  Then take the beef out.

Put the eggplant and mushrooms and peppers into the pot and add the thawed broth or other broth and tomato paste.  Stir.  Add seasonings. Stir . Let that simmer about 30 mins – stir couple of times.  Mash all that up well.  You’re making a stew base.  A roux with no flour.

Add the stew meat.  Let that sit in there – on the lowest temp until the meat is cooked.  You’ll have to determine what cooked means to your family/guests.  We like our beef medium rare but tender. Like about 90 mins.Keep cooking temp low so beef will stay tender!

We’ll serve this with sliced avocado salad and some sourdough bread.  Hope you’ll enjoy it one day, too!

Ellespeth

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