Baingan Bharta

I’ve been on an Indian food making deal lately. I’m not sure if my attempt is to start eating more healthy, or if it is to get rid of an array, and large quantity of Indian spices. Who knows, but I’m leaning more on the side of trying to eat more healthy, and I think Indian food, for the most part, is a good example of using great spices that are good for you, as well as getting more vegetables incorporated into the meat. This is a perfect example of this type of dish, baingan bharta.

Baingan bharta is roasted eggplant dip, similar in some ways to baba ghanoush. This one however uses different spices, and really makes it an awesome eggplant curry that is perfectly paired with naan, or other Indian style bread, or better yet served with a small bit of rice.

Baingan Bartha Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole eggplant, medium to large in size
  • 2 whole vine ripened tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 whole red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 2 whole green Indian chili, stem removed, or 1 for less spiciness
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro

The beauty of this is the roasting of the eggplant. Much like baba ghanoush, you can get your charcoal grill going, and place the eggplant directly onto the coals so you get that awesome smoky flavor into the dip.

If you do not have a charcoal grill, you could roast on high heat in the oven until the flesh is nice and charred all the way around the eggplant.

Once the eggplant cools, and trust me you want it to cool, remove the skin, and reserve the rest of the eggplant.

Chop the eggplant into medium sized cubes and set to the side as you prepare the remaining ingredients.

To a food processor, add the tomatoes, green chili, and ginger and pulse until you have a salsa like consistency.

How to make baingan bartha

 

To a large skillet, on medium-high heat, add in the canola oil, letting it come to temperature. Add in the cumin seeds and let them begin to pop, only a few seconds, then add in the bell pepper, and tomato mixture. Give this a good stir and let it come to a simmer.

Next add in the remaining spices, and continue to stir. Once all of the spices are incorporated, add in the chopped eggplant. Let this cook on medium heat, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Everything should begin to thicken, just a bit. Remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.

Now you are ready to serve. Add some of the eggplant dip to a serving dish, top with some cilantro, and serve alongside warm naan or cooked rice.

This stuff is highly addicting. It has all of those great Indian flavors that you would expect, along with some spice from the chilies. Let’s just say my daughter loved this, and I did as well. If you are looking for another great eggplant dip, give this one a try. I hope you enjoy!

Baingan Bharta
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks, Dips, Sides
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole eggplant, medium to large in size
  • 2 whole vine ripened tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ whole red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ tbsp fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 2 whole green Indian chili, stem removed, or 1 for less spiciness
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. The beauty of this is the roasting of the eggplant. Much like baba ghanoush, you can get your charcoal grill going, and place the eggplant directly onto the coals so you get that awesome smoky flavor into the dip.
  2. If you do not have a charcoal grill, you could roast on high heat in the oven until the flesh is nice and charred all the way around the eggplant.
  3. Once the eggplant cools, and trust me you want it to cool, remove the skin, and reserve the rest of the eggplant.
  4. Chop the eggplant into medium sized cubes and set to the side as you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  5. To a food processor, add the tomatoes, green chili, and ginger and pulse until you have a salsa like consistency.
  6. o a large skillet, on medium-high heat, add in the canola oil, letting it come to temperature. Add in the cumin seeds and let them begin to pop, only a few seconds, then add in the bell pepper, and tomato mixture. Give this a good stir and let it come to a simmer.
  7. Next add in the remaining spices, and continue to stir. Once all of the spices are incorporated, add in the chopped eggplant. Let this cook on medium heat, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Everything should begin to thicken, just a bit. Remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.
  8. Now you are ready to serve. Add some of the eggplant dip to a serving dish, top with some cilantro, and serve alongside warm naan or cooked rice.

 

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Loaded Fajita French Fries

For whatever reason, I have been thinking of loaded fries lately. Not sure if I had nachos on my mind, or maybe it was those darn kimchi fries I made not too long ago, but it was time for me to take some action and get down to it and make a batch of fries. I had set out a rump roast the previous evening and not knowing what to do with it, I decided to turn it into some Mexican fajita meat, and beat down my craving for fries. This is when the whole idea of fajita french fries came into play.

Loaded Fajita French Fries

Think of this as everything you love about fajitas, but stacked on top of crispy cheese fries. Addicting, delicious, and something perfect for snacking on with some friends. Typically flank or skirt steak are used for fajitas, but the rump roast turned out just fine, especially in a great marinade.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb rump roast, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 whole yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of your favorite french fries, cooked
  • sour cream, optional
  • salsa, optional
  • 3 tbsp canola oil

Start by marinading your meat. Mix the brown sugar, half of the lime juice, garlic, and soy sauce in a baking dish, and mix until the sugar dissolves.

Add in your rump roast, and gently toss to combine the marinade. Cover and let this marinate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

To another bowl, add the peppers and onion, and toss in the other half of the lime juice, black pepper, garlic powder, salt, and cumin powder. Give a good stir, and cover and place in the refrigerator.

How to make loaded fajita french fries

When you are about ready to make these fries, heat a large cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, add in the oil and give it a nice swirl.

Lay in your meat, being careful not to crowd it, and cook on both sides until it is nice and caramelized. You may have to wash out and scrape your skillet and repeat as the sugar from the marinade may stick to the skillet. Repeat with any remaining beef.

During this time, cook your french fries until they are nice and crispy.

Once the meat is cooked, cut into thinner strips.

To another skillet, add in about a half tablespoon of oil, and on medium-high heat, add in the bell peppers and onions. Cook until they are just slightly softened.

Remove the fries when they are crisp and top with the shredded cheese. Return back to the oven until the cheese is nice and melted.

Remove the cheesy fries, and top with the sliced beef and bell peppers and onions. Drizzle on your salsa and give a little dollop of sour cream.

Now get in there and dig in.

Talk about comfort food! The crispy cheesy fries paired with the peppers and beef. Whoa. Don’t even get me started on the beef. My kids saw the beef right away and wanted me to make them some Mexican street tacos (which I did) and I thought they were going to eat it all, preventing me from making my fries! Hands down a fun dish to serve up. Fajitas in french fry style. What’s not to love. Hope you enjoy!

 

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Char Siu Pizza

Last week I had a real hankering do get some pho for lunch. There is this great place (finally) near where we live called Pho King. They have some of the best pho in town, in my opinion, and as I was pulling into the plaza, I noticed a new shop called Lucky’s Chinese Bakery. I had to stop in, and boy was I glad I did. This place was full on busy with Chinese workers slinging all sorts of stuffed buns. There was whole roasted duck sitting in front of me, along with char siu and crispy roasted pork. I thought I was in heaven for a second, but then I snapped out of it and began ordering. I ordered both porks, and a few buns, then went home to sample everything. EVERYTHING was really, really good.

I had plenty of char siu, a style of sweet barbecue pork that is chopped up, leftover, and as I was making pizzas on my Kettle Pizza, I decided to come up with a char siu pizza. It was great.

Char Siu Pizza Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of your favorite pizza dough, rolled or tossed into 12″ round
  • 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Chinese char siu, sliced and cooked
  • 1/2 whole jalapeno pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp light cornmeal

Pretty basic stuff, but the great thing, at least in my opinion, is that you get that sweetness from the char siu that is balanced by that subtle heat from the jalapenos. A perfect marriage in my opinion.

How to make a char siu pizza

Heat your oven to the highest temperature, with a pizza stone. In my case, I use the Kettle Pizza, which I think I have mastered pizzas now, and again get it up to the highest temperature. I find that around 620 degrees, in that area is a great temperature to get a pizza cooked in a matter of minutes.

While your stone is heating up, make the pizza.

Lightly dust a pizza peel with the cornmeal. Shape your dough and lay it onto the peel.

Lightly toss on the sauce, cheese, onions, jalapenos, and sliced char siu.

Slide the pizza off of the peel onto the hot stone, and cook for a couple of minutes. Once the dough begins to cook, in my case pretty quickly, take some tongs and turn it 45 degrees to prevent any hot spots.

Once cooked to your liking, remove it from the stone, and slice and serve.

I love experimenting with new pizza ingredients, and this one was no exception. It was perfectly balanced in flavor and I will make it again if I have any leftover char siu. Hope you enjoy!

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Ultimate Breakfast Burrito

The breakfast burrito. What is not to love about not only the burrito, but a breakfast burrito. To me, they are almost the ultimate breakfast food. Who knows where this was created, whether it be a Mexican idea, or the classic Tex-Mex idea, but wherever the burrito was created, it was a thing of genius. You can stuff a large flour tortilla with whatever you would like, but I think the combination I locked into place really works, plus it was a perfect use of some leftover frijoles charros (Mexican cowboy pinto beans) and Puerto Rican rice I had purchased a couple of days prior.

Ultimate Breakfast Burrito Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 whole jalapeno pepper, diced (remove seeds if you do not want the heat)
  • 1/4 cup shallot, chopped
  • 3 sausage links, cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked Mexican chorizo
  • 1/2 potato, diced, and cooked until tender
  • 1/2 cup of Mexican pinto beans, cooked
  • 1/2 cup of Puerto Rican Rice
  • 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • hot sauce, to your liking
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 large flour tortilla, warmed
  • 1 sheet aluminum foil

Start by heating a large skillet on medium heat. Add the canola oil, and then throw in the shallots, jalapeno pepper, and green bell pepper. Give that a good toss, and cook until the onion begins to soften. Season with a small pinch of salt. Remove from the heat, and place into a bowl.

Wipe out the skillet, and then return to the heat, and add in the butter. Let the butter melt, then add in the beaten eggs. Quickly stir with a fork. Let cook on medium to low heat, stirring along the way until the egg is cooked to your liking.

Ingredients for making the ultimate breakfast burrito

 

Ok, now let’s get this thing rolled up.

Take your warmed tortilla and lay it out on your surface.

Add the cheese to the center, leaving an inch or so on both of the edges. Top the cheese with the egg. Add the vegetables, then top with the potatoes, chorizo, sausage, rice, and beans. Drizzle over the hot sauce, the get ready to fold.

Fold over the sides, then from the bottom, begin to roll up. Place this on a sheet of aluminum foil, then wrap the foil around the burrito.  Do you have to do this? Not really, but to me it is perfect for keeping it warm, especially if you are on your way to work, or want to eat it in the near future.

The Ultimate Breakfast Burrito

When you are ready to serve, unfold the foil, and dig in.

Talk about awesome flavor and textures. You get everything that is amazing in one bite. The spiciness from the chorizo is balanced by the sweetness for the sausage links, all snugged up by the melted cheese and tenderness of the scrambled eggs. I fell in love with this one, especially because you get that added kick by the jalapeno peppers and hot sauce. This was my brunch item, and yes, I ate every bit of it. IT WAS THAT GOOD. I hope you enjoy!

Question for you is what is your favorite breakfast burrito?

Ultimate Breakfast Burrito
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 whole jalapeno pepper, diced (remove seeds if you do not want the heat)
  • ¼ cup shallot, chopped
  • 3 sausage links, cooked and chopped
  • ½ cup cooked Mexican chorizo
  • ½ potato, diced, and cooked until tender
  • ½ cup of Mexican pinto beans, cooked
  • ½ cup of Puerto Rican Rice
  • ¾ cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • hot sauce, to your liking
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp salt, to taste
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 large flour tortilla, warmed
  • 1 sheet aluminum foil
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a large skillet on medium heat. Add the canola oil, and then throw in the shallots, jalapeno pepper, and green bell pepper. Give that a good toss, and cook until the onion begins to soften. Season with a small pinch of salt. Remove from the heat, and place into a bowl.
  2. Wipe out the skillet, and then return to the heat, and add in the butter. Let the butter melt, then add in the beaten eggs. Quickly stir with a fork. Let cook on medium to low heat, stirring along the way until the egg is cooked to your liking.
  3. Ok, now let’s get this thing rolled up.
  4. Take your warmed tortilla and lay it out on your surface.
  5. Add the cheese to the center, leaving an inch or so on both of the edges. Top the cheese with the egg. Add the vegetables, then top with the potatoes, chorizo, sausage, rice, and beans. Drizzle over the hot sauce, the get ready to fold.
  6. Fold over the sides, then from the bottom, begin to roll up. Place this on a sheet of aluminum foil, then wrap the foil around the burrito. Do you have to do this? Not really, but to me it is perfect for keeping it warm, especially if you are on your way to work, or want to eat it in the near future.
  7. When you are ready to serve, unfold the foil, and dig in.

 

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