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12 July 2010
This Turkish dish won't taste great unless you pair it with Everyfood Yogurt Sauce. Then it will BLOW YOUR MIND. Or not. It's really up to your taste buds.
If you are new to eggplant you should know that it soaks up oil like nobody's business. I think that's why so many Turkish eggplant dishes that I've eaten are swimming in fruity, delicious olive oil. But what if you want the eggplant without the oil bath?
A year ago, George and I discovered the wonders of spray oil. And yes, we're still getting the hang of text messaging, thank you very much. I know we are behind the times, but seriously if you do not use spray oil you are missing out. This picture shows the spray oil George and I use. We like grapeseed oil because it's lightly flavored, has a high burning point (doesn't burn at high temperatures), and people say it's better for you than peanut or coconut oil. Who knows what's better for you, really? But so far grapeseed has been a useful, versatile oil. In my experience, spraying means that you need comparatively little oil to keep your food from burning. There's something about the even coating on the surface of the pan that works wonders. I especially notice the magic when I cook something that would otherwise stick to the pan, like dumplings, or soak up so much oil you'd feel sick eating it, like eggplant.
In conclusion, for this patlican recipe I barely used any oil. George expressed extreme dubiousness about using so little oil on eggplant, but he ended up really enjoying the patlican anyway. So live and learn and eat tasty patlican.
A final note: I didn't use any salt because I used tender small eggplants. Many people only have access to bitter big mama eggplants, so if that's what you're using, you need to sprinkle on a little salt after brushing the eggplant with lemon juice, and then you can rinse it off after the 30 minute wait. That should rinse away some of the bitterness. At least, that's what people say will happen.
juice of a lemon
Roughly 3/4 pound of eggplant, in small eggplants (or 1 big mama—see note above)
1. Slice the eggplants lengthwise into 1/2 inch thickness.
2. Place eggplants on a board. Brush each side with lemon juice. Turn off the slices and repeat.
3. Wait 30 minutes.
4. Heat up a fry pan. Spray with oil.
5. When hot, add a layer of eggplant slices. After 2 or 3 minutes, it should have browned. Flip over and brown the other side. Set aside and repeat until all eggplant slices are cooked. You should not have to keep adding oil, no matter how dry the pan looks.
6. Serve hot with Everyfood Yogurt Sauce. Or your cold and creamy sauce of choice.