Battered Fried Eggplant and more snippets…

This dish was half way prepped and my partner asked … are you blogging this recipe? I paused. He was right the last time about posting something, so I scrambled to take a few photos at the start of making this dish and he took a few too. My Mum regularly made deep fried battered eggplant/brinjal/aubergines as a veg side dish for dinner growing up and she still does!

My parents ran a successful produce market agency. They sourced vegetables and fruits directly from farmers and sold to grocers, food vendors, restaurants and the public. There were other agencies like this at the municipal market place, probably around a half dozen or less. We were fortunate that fresh vegetables and fruit were in abundance in our home. Farm to table fresh! Looking back, despite the many bags of peas and beans my sister and I had to shell or string in peak freezing season, we were truly lucky and blessed with these bounties. (Sometimes this would extend to sheep and game too, but that is a blog post for another time!) Dad sourced produce requested by restaurants from Greek to Indian, Italian and Chinese. He had an uncanny eye for exotic delicacies. So eggplants were a standard in our home long before they were commonly found on grocery shelves. Some of my friends found eating at our home either peculiar…or delicious. I was very young, but I remember Dad inviting friends to our home to show him how to make Paella and other international dishes, or going to his friends in Malabar for delicious curry, unlike anything I’ll savour again. I’m talking late 1960’s and through the 70’s here friends!

Anyhow, just a little history regarding why I love food. It’s very much in the family and my sister is an amazing cook when she finds the time and is the best Tipsy Tart Baker! Our son also has an eye for good food and finds excellent food sources and restaurants. He can teach me a thing or two, that’s for sure! Just tonight I received a photo he sent included here of a dish he had just eaten and I’d never heard of. Okonomiyaki with eel sauce, Bonita flakes and filled with pork and noodles! It looks amazing!

However, back to the eggplant recipe!

Here’s the scoop. You’ll need two largish bowls, one for the spiced beaten egg, the other for the almond flour and pork rind flour. A large skillet filled 1/5 with heated grapeseed oil (or your oil of choice). Don’t forget a platter in the oven on low heat to keep your fried rounds warm until you’re ready to serve.

These are rich and delicious.

  • 1 large eggplant sliced in rounds about top finger joint thick is best
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp each of garam masala, ginger, cumin added to egg
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and white pepper
  • 1/2 cup fine almond flour
  • 1/4 cup ground pork rind flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder (optional)
  • Oil for frying
  1. Top and tail the eggplant
  2. Slice eggplant into rounds
  3. Beat eggs adding spices and seasoning in a bowl
  4. In a separate bowl mix together flour and pork rind, add the paprika for lovely colouring and season with salt and pepper
  5. Coat eggplant well in spicy egg mix first, pricking with a knife
  6. Quickly put into the flour mix covering well with nut flour mix
  7. Gently tap off excess flour
  8. Place in hot oil, cook for 6 – 8 minutes or until nicely browned underneath
  9. Turn over, finish browning and lift out and keep warm until ready for serving
  10. I also top eggplant with a tablespoon of egg mix when in pan to use up extra egg, just a little though!
  11. At the end, when all the eggplant are done, I mix together the leftover egg and flour mix, pour it into the hot oil and make a savoury style omelette to slice into strips and serve with stir fried cabbage the next day.

Thanks to my Sweetie for some of these photos!

Here is the omelette!

The hellebore are flowering and are quite lovely in the flowerbeds right now.

I found this leaf in the garden, perfectly eaten to a beautiful lattice.

Mossy froggy log in our garden. I really do like frogs.

I … um, bought some cheese. It’s farmers cheese from Washington, to freeze and savour. Sarah, an amazing woman, sources from local organic farmers for a group of us.

A hug for my Mum who knits for charity despite having lost almost 80% of her sight. These are donated by various charities to the less fortunate, bedridden, orphaned or destitute in South Africa. I once shipped a large box of Mums knitted bed socks, beanies, baby clothes and other items to the UK, which were then trucked to Syria with many other supplies by an incredible relief agency privately run by an amazing woman. Mum knits strips which are then sewn together into blankets by volunteers. She sent me these photos and I hope you don’t mind my sharing. The labels say: Handmade with ❤.

I love my Mother.

And …

… Thank You for being here!

Roasted Butternut Soup, Squash with figs…and other snippets

Spring is almost here. Almost! We have had a glorious week of sunshine and by tonight the rain is back, but I never begrudge the blessing of rain. We’re lucky to live in a place where water is not a challenge and I never take this for granted. My heart hurts when I hear of the escalating devastation of droughts around the world.

On a lighter note we were gifted the lovely company of two very dear friends recently. The beautiful spring daffodils and tussie-mussie they each gave us are here to share with you. Outside, the birds are busy; leaf buds are sprouting and blossoms are on the plum trees.

Two quick recipes to post and then I bid you adieu until next time!

The first recipe is one for when you have inventive ingredients to hand, or just to post for fun. Try your own version!

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NY White Sauce

I had never heard of this sauce before, and just recently saw a recipe for it. There were a few ingredients I did not like in the recipe so I switched out a few, added some and omitted the sugar and vinegar. Super quick and easy to make.

It was great served over the roasted veg I made for lunch yesterday. Pretty sure you could put it onto just about anything savoury.

Here it is served with roast shoulder of seasoned beef, eggplant with green chili and Adobo spice, yams with Ancho spice and delicata squash with freshly grated turmeric. My fingers are still saffron yellow, but absolutely worth it. I found the fresh turmeric at the Mexican Mercado market I love to go to, but tbh, I don’t go often enough!

Here are the treasures I found at the Mexican market last Sunday. The ginger is fantastic and I have plans for that chorizo sausage! The green salsa is delicious but very hot and the little fingers of turmeric are absolutely perfect.

I just mixed the NY white sauce up in the yogurt tub I had.

See recipe below!

Quick tip for zesting citrus.

I find leaving zesting for after I’ve juiced a lime or any citrus, the juicer makes a perfect holding device for the skin. I’m always grating myself when just holding the citrus in my hand. This is my go to default way to zest without scrapes.

Be sure to have a pint sized jar for storage. If you would like this runnier for pouring or drizzling, add more cream or buttermilk at the end.

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Lime, Chili and Cilantro Coleslaw with roasted peanuts

My sister takes full credit for this tasty recipe shared with me recently.

It’s crisp, sparks with flavour and is a keeper.

Thanks SpotiD! 👌❤ it!

It will speak for itself, and here is what you need.

Slaw:

1 red onion, finely sliced
1 juice of lime
1 finely shredded red cabbage
3 carrots, grated
1/2 cup roasted peanuts

Mayo:
1 large lime, zested and juiced
1/4 cup good mayo
1/2 green chili finely chopped
Ground salt and pepper and 12 sprigs chopped fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves and a thumb of ginger crushed through a garlic press

Method:

Marinade finely shredded onion in lime juice and salt for 20 minutes

Mix mayo ingredients together. (Zest/juice of lime, crushed garlic and ginger, chili, spices and cilantro)
Mix shredded veg together
Add 1/2 cup peanuts
Add to marinated onion
Fold in mayo
Top with roasted peanuts

I served it with a splash of reduced balsamic vinegar infused with fresh mint. Serve with boiled eggs and kielbasa sausage slices.

Super good!

Bobotie Egg Bites

We’re going to friends tonight for a party and I’m taking these along as an appetiser. Bobotie is a favourite traditional South African dish, basically a curried ground beef casserole, topped with turmeric egg custard and bay leaves served with “yellow” rice which is infused with turmeric and cooked with cinnamon sticks and raisins, served with a sweet chutney and tomato sambal.

It’s a great gluten free dish. As keto, I would serve it with cauliflower rice tossed with butter, mustard seeds and turmeric. It’s a terrific dish.

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A Case for Xmas Cake (more cake … fresh fruit! )

I’m not a fan of glacé fruit of *any* kind and I dislike traditional compressed glacé Christmas fruit cake intensely. It’s the worst! Sticky sickly sweet, weird texture, the glacé fruit has no resemblance of fruit flavour whatsoever, and yucky to eat … and barely a trace of cake. I fall firmly into the non- fruitcake group.

But. I’ve been baking this LCHF cake for Xmas for a few years now. It’s based on a friend of my parents, Kathy, who lives in South Africa. I wrote her recipe up in 1987(!) and have used it as a base since then. It’s evolved into a more keto friendly cake, still a tad high in carbs if you’re on serious keto, but fine for an annual holiday treat. I never ever made the icing though! Not a fan.

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Saffron and Ginger Celery Cauliflower Soup

I love soup. I’m also a little puzzled by people who don’t! Admittedly, I’m not a fan of chilled soup, but I’m sure in the heat of a hot mid summer day I could be persuaded. Just serve it in a tall wineglass with ice and celery sticks!

It’s almost winter here so the theme for the next few months may get a bit soupy. We receive a bi-weekly box from a business called Imperfect Produce. I have it listed in my password keeper as Perfect Produce. I feel that if you can eat it and it has a blemish here or a peculiar carbuncle there or looks different, it’s still a miracle born of the earth and is beautiful, it just has personality! If it was my company I’d rename it I’mPerfect Produce!

Anyhoo.

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