In the spirit of REAL food, EVOL will be featuring recipes from employees, fans, armatures, professionals and people who just like food! This week’s recipe comes from Veronica Sheppard’s blog, The Vegetarian Ginger. Veronica is an accomplished amateur chef and photographer; her work speaks for itself! Find more from Veronica at: thevegetarianginger.wordpress.com.
Slow Cooker Eggplant, Potato & Mushroom Curry
Since my exams have finished I’ve had lots of time on my hands for the winter break. So I decided to tackle a slow cooker recipe; something I’ve never done before and it was a little scary. When it comes to curry, I’m a little bit picky and there should be lots of thicker sauce, veggies and tons of flavors. This isn’t exactly a traditional curry because there’s no curry powder or paste in it, but with the cumin and fresh ginger it makes up for it.
Slow cookers are great if you’re short on time as well. If you prep ingredients the night before, you can toss everything together in the morning, cook it for hours and hours, and then come home to a ready dinner. I was afraid that if I cooked it too long it would dry out and all the ingredients would be a little gross, but to my surprise they turned out really well.
How to Sweat an Eggplant:
Once it is peeled and cut into cubes, lightly salt them. Let rest for an hour, then press out excess liquid with a paper towel. This brings out the bitterness in the eggplant.
In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil. Cook eggplant until lightly brown, and then move eggplant to slow cooker. Mix in the potato and mushrooms with the eggplant.
In the same skillet, add onion. Use extra oil if necessary. Cook for roughly 3 minutes until the onions begin to soften, add garlic, cumin and pepper. Cook for another minute, add the red pepper. Let sauté until all the ingredients look softened; add tomatoes with juice, lime juice and ginger. Bring to a boil, mix in with the rest of the vegetables in the slow cooker. Add salt to taste and place in bay leaf.
Cover the mixture and set the slow cooker to “low” and cook for 8 hours, or set to “high” and cook for 4 hours. The curry should be ready once the potato is easily pierced with a fork. I cooked mine on high.
Enjoy!! – Veronica
Phil, our founder and leader, has a passion for food that goes far beyond frozen burritos, pizzas and gluten-free bowls. Phil’s food brightens up the office on a regular basis, brings everyone around the kitchen table and gets all of to think about how food affects each of our lives. Phil’s culinary mastermind is what brought EVOL to life but this same mind must feed his family.
In the spirit of creating real, fresh, delicious, healthy, and outrageously good-looking food here is a recipe from Phil’s personal collection. Over the coming months you will see recipes from all of our community, friends, family and co-workers. I hope that all of our passion for amazing food is evident. Get cooking!
For Sea Bass:
Heat oven to 450*F and set rack to upper position in oven, close to broiler.
Remove fish from cooler, pat dry, and season both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Rinse and pick through lentils. Combine 1 cup lentils with 3.5 cups water, stock, or combination of the two. Season the lentils with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer the lentils for approximately 30 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Drain lentils and allow them to cool to room temperature. Combine drained cooled lentils with artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, shaved fennel, hearts of palm coins, chopped herbs, salt & pepper to taste, juice of 1/2 lemon, and approximately 4 tablespoons good quality olive oil. Mix and set aside.
Heat a NONSTICK sauté pan over high heat with approximately 2TBS oil until shimmering but not smoking. Place fish cutlets in pan and do not move for approximately 2 1/2 minutes. Flip fish and immediately transfer to oven. Cook for additional four minutes or until top of fish is golden and caramelized and fish is flaky and just cooked through. Remove fish from oven.
Place lentil salad in center of plate and top with cooked fish. Serve with lemon wedges and an additional drizzle of your best olive oil.
I am by no means an accomplished baker. To say that I am an amateur baker would be a stretch, but lately, I have been baking a lot of bread – and I have been getting really into it.
I think I probably never gravitated to baking because with it, comes the requirement of some type of structure, organization, recipes, exact quantities, exact temperatures, etc… That’s just not the way I roll in my kitchen. I maintain very few recipes and nothing tends to be cooked or come out the same twice. I think that’s why I always shied away from baking – I saw it more as chemistry than cooking. It would make sense that now, after having spent ten years building the EVOL Manufacturing Plant into a legitimate, professional, and systematized operation, that I would finally have developed the discipline and tolerance to follow procedure, write something down, take a temperature, and try something more process oriented. In short, I am ready to learn how to bake.
I have been baking off of the very awesome book, Baking with Julia, that I acquired about 15 years ago, but have used very seldom until one month ago. This is a book that was based off of a PBS Series that was run in the mid ’90’s in which Julia Child hosted the most acclaimed bakers in the country in dozens of 30 minute episodes.
After a number of successful loafs including basic white bread, wheat bread, and rye bread, I skipped right to one of the most challenging bread in the book – the Mixed Starter Bread. This is a bread whose taste, texture, crust and crumb is developed through a number of starters and takes nearly two full days to complete. It is a bread far stickier than anything I have ever made before. I have to say that my first attempt was relatively successful, although it lacked the real crunch of a traditional French Baguette. The flavor and crumb was awesome, but the crust needs some work. Part of the nuance of baking a bread like this lies in the final moments in which the proofed loaf is slashed, placed on a pizza peel, and thrust into a blazing hot 500 degree oven on top of a baking stone. To further complicate the matter, one needs to attempt to create steam in the oven chamber by hitting a super-heated pan with water right before the door is closed – all the while moving as quickly as possible to maintain as much heat as possible. I have to admit that this sequence of events was challenging the first time, and the loaves seemed to brown unusually fast, but the results were pretty good – not amazing.
Being in the food manufacturing business and being highly attuned to process, costs, and systemization, my only question remaining after having completed this process was, How could anyone ever make money doing this commercially? Seriously? If you make bread for a living, I salute you. I don’t know how you do it. Wow those two baguettes were a lot of work! I could have gotten better baguettes at Whole Foods for $1.99 a piece and wouldn’t have had to look like a lunatic to my wife as I spent two whole days heating my bathroom with space heaters to double as a proofing chamber for the dough’s! She thought I was nuts!