Fancy aubergine (eggplant) fries
I’m opening a new topic here for the next few weeks and that’s cookbook reviews!
Reviewing cookbooks is something new for me as well as cooking more than one dish from any cookbook I own, but over the past months I’ve been looking at the my shelves packed with books I’ve bought (and paid a fortune for), but rarely cook from, and started feeling a little guilty. So the last few weeks I’ve done nothing else than cook from the books I have and jeez what an experience that was.
For starters it just goes on to say how many useless and poorly written cookbooks are out there. Surely they have nice looking, styled to perfection dishes, but so so many recipes have not been tested enough and sometimes miss clear instructions on the seasoning, which in my humble opinion is crucial to any dish.
To sum up, I’ve had a few fails, one or two quite epic, but also a plenty of delicious dishes. Most of all, I’ve got plenty of inspiration to create my own recipes, to try new flavor combinations and all that comes along with, which for me has always been the main criteria in judging how good a cookbook is.
I’ve had every bit of intension to write down the first review today, but as Ieva and I were photo shooting all the things yesterday (what’s a cookbook review without showcasing at least one dish from it anyway?), after a few glasses of wine we’ve got inspired to do some creative plating and this is what we’ve come up with.
In fact, this is nothing more than simple aubergine fries (which on their own are rather divine) with a couple of easy relishes, all done in a matter of minutes and quite the definition of comfort food, but with the help of a few brushes and patience in arranging comfort food can look rather fancy? Can’t it?
- 2 large aubergines (eggplants)
- 100 grams flour
- 100-200 ml sunflower oil
- Large bunch of fresh coriander (cilantro)(3-4 handfuls)
- 1 -2 chili peppers, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons pistachios
- 1-2 cloves roasted garlic
- dash of lime
- 5 tablespoons
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 3-6 tablespoons yogurt
- To make the relish base: first roast the garlic skin on in the oven under a grill or simply on a griddle pan until the inside is soft. As garlic likeness depends on personal taste, add 1 roasted garlic clove a first and the second if needed.
- Next, pound the coriander with pistachios, garlic, chili and a little dash of olive oil into a fine paste and divide in half.
- Mix one half with yogurt, season with salt and lime juice according to taste.
- For the other half drizzle more olive oil continuously beating till it looks like pesto. You can add more pistachios, coriander or chili as needed. Season with salt and add a dash of lime juice just before serving, otherwise the acid might turn coriander black.
- To make the fries, slice the aubergine as shown in the photo and coat with flour. Heat the oil in a deep pan and fry the coated aubergine slices in batches until golden brown, turning them all the time to get an even crisp. Then quickly transfer them onto a paper towel to absorb excess oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Take care to watch the salt levels on the fries and in both relishes.
- To get this fancy looking dish, brush the center of the plate first with pesto, then slightly overlapping with yogurt sauce. Carefully arrange the aubergine slices on top and decorate with some cress.
- Alternatively, just serve a bowl of aubergine fries with two dipping sauces on the side. Enjoy!