**See Ya In the Gumbo potluck can be found HERE
Isn't it interesting that seasonings used heavily in some cuisines are pretty much ignored in others?
Growing up in New Orleans, we used large amounts of filé powder and bay leaves. Until Rosie, my Saint Bernard, ate the bay tree.
170 miles down the road in Cajun country, these things aren't used so much. A friend gave me a huge branch from his bay tree. He had dried the branch and there were handfuls of leaves to be used. As he handed the branch to me he said, "I know you New Orleans people like your bay leaves."
Our dogs do too.
Is a 3 hour drive really going to introduce you to foreign food? I guess it just might. But if we're like this about cooking styles only a day trip away, imagine what we're like with food from thousands of miles away.
My first experience with cumin, once exotic in these parts, was not so great. It was at a family-run Mexican restaurant when we first moved to Texas. I walked in and was sucker-punched in the head by the aroma of...
well, I thought someone had seriously funky B. O.
Every now and then a whiff here, a whiff there. Finally I put it all together and realized the pungency filled my space as waitstaff passed by. Were these people really so hot and sweaty? Did I really want them serving my food?
Being the genius that I am, I thought on it a little more. Used my finely honed observational skills. It was the food--mainly the smoking fajitas.
Cumin, which I've come to like very much and use often, has a definite funk factor.
Grilled Eggplant Slices with Yogurt Sauce from Madhur Jaffrey have a huge funk factor from the cumin. But sometimes it's good to get funky.
Review: The first bite in, we were looking at each other to see who would say something first. Unsure of whether we liked it or not. This was an aroma and taste we were unaccustomed to. The Husband finally said, "This definitely has that funky Indian spice to it." Hmmm. Cumin strikes again. After the first few bites, we warmed up to the eggplant. It was spicy, but the yogurt helped balance that. All of the ingredients in the marinade rolled into one big flavor that, while kinda funky, grew on us. Funk sometimes has a tendency to do that.
The recipe title states "grilled," which to most people in the US means using a BBQ grill. However the method is broiling.
This week's I Heart Cooking Clubs theme is "Everything's Better With Yogurt"
Also linking with My Meatless Mondays @ My Swet & Savory
Grilled Eggplant Slices with Yogurt Sauce
from "At Home with Madhur Jaffrey"
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Tabasco sauce
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 Tbsp ground cumin seeds
1 Tbsp garlic, finely chopped
4 Tbsp tomato juice or chopped-up tomatoes
4 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large (1 1/4 pound) eggplants
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
4-5 mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup plain, Greek yogurt
Put all the ingredients for the marinade into the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl.
Cut the eggplant crossways into 1/2" thick, round slices and add to the bowl with the marinade. Toss to coat slices with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning the eggplant slices over a few times whenever t is convenient.
Heat the broiler. Lift the slices out of the bowl, leaving a light coating of the marinade on them, and lay them in a single layer in a broiling tray. Broil 4-5 inches from the heat for 7-8 minutes per side, moving the slices around so they brown evenly.
Add the salt, cayenne, and mint to the yogurt and mix.
When serving, put a dollop of yogurt on each eggplant slice.