Monday, January 18, 2016

"Yin and Yang" the fusion of the two cosmic eggplants

Work in progress

The other day we went to a nearby beach called "Playa de Vargas" which was very calm and quite.  A lovely day for a plein air sketch... At the end of last year they built a wooden platform and stairs for the visitors and swimmers. I set on the rocks, towards the new platform, I worked about half an hour on the sketch below.

Playa de Vargas, pencil drawing on sketchbook, January 2016

Do you like eggplants? They are very popular in Mediterranean cuisine. It's easy to find them in every season here in the Canaries. I usually cook two whole eggplants divided in 4 half pieces. After we eat first two pieces I transfer the others in the shape of "Yin and Yang" into an ovenproof crystal plate, so they fit nicely and peacfully :) The next day we heat them in the oven. The recipe is intermediate level. It takes about an hour to prepare. It is a little bit different than the typical Turkish "karniyarik" recipe which has no béchamel sauce and cheese. I am sharing my recipe below. Have a great week!

"Yin and Yang Eggplants" by Birsen Ozbilge
Oil Pastel on pastel paper, 11,5" x 8,2" (29 x 21 cm) 
Available, click on SHOP




2 eggplants
250 gr ground beef
1 onion
2 tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomate paste
1/2 cup of sunflower oil
2 table spoon  of olive oil
200 gr shreaded gouda cheese

For béchamel sauce: 

(Also, you can buy 500 ml ready to use one from the supermarket)
3 table spoons of flour
1 cup whole milk
2 table spoons of butter or olive oil

Cut the eggplants in half, peel their skin in 1 inch long stripe shape. Put them in a salty water about 10 min. In the mean time cook the chopped onion with olive oil about 10 min until soft and golden. Add the meat and mix it well, cook for few minutes until it gets brown. Add the tomatoes and tomatoe paste, salt, pepper, cover the sauce pan and cook for 20 min. in medium heat. Start the béchamel sauce, heat a small sauce pan with flour and the oil, mixing them until it's a smooth paste, stirring a minute a half more. Than immidiately remove from the heat and add a little milk mixing quickly until it gets homogeneous liquid. Lower the heat place the pan on the stove again add more milk and keep mixing until it gets thick. While keeping your eye on the béchamel and mixing it oftenly, put the oil in a frying pan and heat. Dry the eggplants with paper towel. When the oil is very hot fry the eggplants both sides until they are golden color. Place them on a plate with paper towel. 

Heat the oven 200 degrees for 5 min. and place the eggplants on a ovenproof dish. Layer them with meat sauce and pour béchamel on top. At last the cheese and a pinch of paprika. Cook for 30 min. Take it out and wait for 5 min. to serve. A puree or rice would be nice side dish. Bon appetite!

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