Friday, November 11, 2011
Experimenting with FlavorWave Oven: Grilled Eggplants
A while back, B's mom insisted on getting a FlavorWave Oven - and that was before she heard about it from Mr. T - and I'd have to be honest that I was more than doubtful at first. To the point that I had bet on the ridiculous-looking device not being used more than twice. Boy was I wrong. This thing turned out to be the handiest addition to his kitchen yet. Wings on the grill are done within 20 minutes, and even kalbi (Korean-style beef ribs) turned out perfectly using a steam rack that let the fat drip off and gave the ribs grill marks. Using it as a baking oven, however, was a hit-and-miss. The middle burns too easily while the outer edges don't get cooked as much - and we found that puff pastry simply won't puff up in it. Roasting chicken drumsticks in a casserole dish charred the top but left the bottom uncooked. But basically anything you can throw on the BBQ grill, you can throw it in this oven and it will get the job done.
My latest experiment stemmed from a sudden craving for Japanese-style grilled eggplants. This is how I tried to recreate the wonderful sweet and savory taste and tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture of my favorite veggie dish at Sushi Hour:
Wash Chinese eggplants (they are longer and skinnier than the kind you see in Italian cuisine) and remove stem. Cut into half length-wise then into shorter chunks. Rub surface with minced garlic with a bit vegetable oil to prevent browning. Arrange in a single layer on a steamer rack.
Stick the steamer rack into the FlavorWave Oven, eggplants and all.
Set timer to 15 minutes and temperature to 350F. Then sit back and let it work its magic.
When the eggplant is almost done (and when you are no longer amused by the light and how it's cooking your food), chop up a stalk of green onion to start making the sauce.
Over medium heat, add about 2 tablespoonfuls of vegetable oil to a heated wok, and when it starts to bubble around the chopstick you stick in the oil, add some minced garlic, a teaspoon or so white sugar and the chopped green onion. Sautee the green onion for a minute. Then remove from heat and add 2 tablespoonfuls soya sauce.
Take out the roasted eggplant and arrange onto serving dish.
Pour sauce over eggplant - and you're ready for a great veggie dish that goes great with rice!