After breakfast, I prepped a dish for tonight's dinner, Madhur Jaffrey's Sri Lankan Eggplant "Pickle" (this is the closest thing to a link to it I can find). The cooked eggplants need to sit all day in the pickling marinade (salt, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon stick, curry leaves, lemongrass, onion, green chilies, mustard seeds, cayenne, sugar, garlic, ginger, vinegar) before eating. I tasted one, though. It was pretty good. Oh, also? The last eggplant dish from Madhur Jaffrey. My God, that woman is fond of eggplant. On to fava beans-- later tonight, actually. Here are some process pictures of the eggplant:
I am not throwing away my shot.
Lunch: Manchego cheese, balsamic Bellavitano cheese, quince paste, marscapone, 2 slices ciabatta bread, eaten in various configurations.
Dinner: The Sri Lankan eggplant pickles, also Jaffrey's Fresh Fava Beans Sauteed with Garlic and Thyme, small ribeye steaks, plain baked potato. For some reason this dinner wasn't filling at all and we were hungry two hours later. So, okay, the eggplant "pickle" was intense. Not what I'd normally think of as a pickle-- there was minimal brine involved, although it did contain both salt and vinegar-- and with flavor totally dominated by mustard seed. Still, I might have found this dish enjoyable paired with the right other components. Unfortunately, Jaffrey (uncharacteristically) neglected to describe how one might use this recipe in its cultural context, but instead says it "may be served with almost any meal." Like hell it may. It certainly didn't go well with the meal I served.
The fava beans, sauteed simply with some thyme, lemon, and garlic, were... fine. However, given the tedium of fava bean prep (shell beans, cook in boiling water, peel each individual bean, cook again according to recipe instructions), I expect better than fine. I expect buttery, rich, perfect. I invested at least 45 minutes of active prep on something I could probably have made with frozen limas and not noticed too much difference. Maybe the quality of my beans was at fault-- they seemed a bit old and spotty.