Monday, June 1, 2009

Baba Ganoush

It sounds exotic, daring, and hard to make. For me it belonged in that category with unagi, saag paneer, gyros, and pupusas. That is: the food you love to eat at a restaurant, but would never honestly consider making at home. This is the food that you aren't even sure you know what's in it. Sure, they translate that it is an eggplant dip, but is something lost in translation?

I can say that after making Baba Ganoush on Sunday, the mystery is gone. It was delicious and only lasted four hours before we devoured all of it.

The recipe I used boils down to this: grill the halved eggplant for 30 minutes, let cool over a collander to eliminate some of the juice, process the meat of the eggplant with oil, peanut butter (or tahini if you have it), lemon juice and herbs, enjoy!

Lesson, don't be afraid to try to make something with an exotic sounding name. It may be quite easy to make and taste delicious.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Polenta vs Cornmeal

So yesterday Theresa and I were musing about polenta and cornmeal. What is the difference? At first we thought, they must be two entirely different things. Polenta is polenta and not cornmeal. However, if you've watched Alton brown's polenta/grits episode, you'd realize that polenta and grits are, for all intents and purposes the same.

So why not grits and cornmeal?

After a little research on the most trustworthy of sources, we found a reference to cornmeal and polenta. The author said in essence polenta is nothing more than coarse ground cornmeal.

So this morning, we made our favorite cornmeal recipe, substituting polenta for cornmeal. The recipe was Alton Brown's Hoecakes recipe from his "Going Dutch" episode.

BIG MISTAKE! These, psuedo pancakes were awful. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but they were not good. They tasted a little too salty, a little too earthy, and a little too something else.

I am going to get to the bottom of this mystery. If anyone has any tips on what the difference between cornmeal and polenta is exactly, please let me know.