Friday, March 12, 2010

Baba Ganoush, the easy way

Okay so to preface this I'll just say that I add things and change things as i go. I tend to cook with out recipes so, I can rarely follow a recipe with out changing things so as to the best of my memory this is what I do to make amazing baba ganoush.
Yes I know that traditionally the eggplant should be grilled and blackened but this is so much easier and just as tasty. I make a lot of this at once so I have enough to last a few days. Usually I just reheat it in the microwave and it is even better the next day.

2-3 eggplants peeled and cut width wise into 1/2 inch slices
1-2 cloves of garlic per eggplant (I love garlic so I use lots, but you can always use less)
3 ish tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp Tahini (NOT peanutbutter)
1 1/2 lemons worth of juice
1/2 tsp smoked or regular paprika or sumac if you can find it
salt & pepper to taste

If you do not have any of these additional spices it's okay I just add them for extra flavor but they are not necessary
1/2 tsp cumin
about 10 Coriander pods toasted and ground
Greek seasoning just a few dashes

Heat olive oil in large pan, chop half of the garlic and add to oil, lay eggplant slices in the oil and brown on both sides. The eggplant will absorb all of the Oil, that's okay, If your garlic starts to burn you can remove it and put it into the food processor. You will probably have to brown the eggplant in several batches. Once you have browned your eggplant toss it in the processor with the remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth. I stop to taste and adjust the puree often. If the puree tastes bitter add another tablespoon of tahini and more lemon. I like to have this with pita or my easy whole wheat flatbread. Enjoy!

Adventures in kitchen renovating on an extremely tight budget

Every Monday I will post the current hair-brained scheme I am testing on my kitchen. For starters lets break down what started my renovating fever.
This is my kitchen tile...horrifying I know!

We bought our home about a year ago, and boy are we happy with it. Amazing hillside views, beautiful oak floors, and an already landscaped yard and many many more lovely attributes. But then there is the kitchen. Our home was built in 1952 and whoever designed the kitchen apparently hated cooking and planned on doing as little of it as possible. Basically the layout is a glorified galley style, with an awkward laundry space added to the right. The flooring was Asbestos 9x9 tile, the cabinets were the all so popular yellow stained pine with those gigantic metal hinges, And to top it all off a smattering of sunshine yellow tile. All of this was poorly constructed and put together, seriously, there is not a level or plum angle in the entire space. I always thought they had carpenters squares in the 50's but I guess not. Most of this I do not have a before picture of because, well I never wanted photographic evidence of my awful kitchen and I got so excited to paint them that I never even thought of taking a pic.

In a perfect world we could gut the kitchen, knock out a wall and build a modern dream kitchen, but in a perfect world I can also eat salad without being sick for 2 days (thanks crohns/colitis!). This is not a perfect world and therefore my hopes of a dream kitchen have been dashed on my decaying counter top tile. Being as we are a young couple still digging ourselves out of our student debt we decided to forgo further debt and just make the kitchen "decent" until such a time comes that we can gut it.

So here was my plan
1. Paint the cabinets
2. Replace the counter top (It has to be done!)
3. Replace the flooring
4. hopefully update the appliances
5. Reconfigure the appliance layout to maximize counter space
6. add more lighting

We decided to do all of this with as many recycled/re-purposed items as we could to save money and landfill space. I set a personal budget goal of only spending $500 total by the end of the project. Needless to say Craigslist is my new best friend. So far we are about $300 in and only have the counter top left to do. I am a neat-freak with 2 small children and no other place to cook so hopefully we will be doing that soon so I may have a finished kitchen...
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