Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's been a sour month


Since the end of February, I've managed to use an ENTIRE bottle - 24 ounces - of Japanese rice vinegar.

Where did it go? I made adobo-style eggplant, salad dressing, shiso vinegar, and shiso juice.

We saw our neighbors on the sidewalk near home, and they asked if we'd gone to the farmer's market that night (Thursday). Yes, we usually make it an outing, and walk to and from for exercise.

Butch usually parks illegally and sends his wife to get food from the Kiba stall and the woman with tattoos all over her body. He says he eats the adobo or vinha d'alhos. What these have in common is VINEGAR! He says he loves it; the wife doesn't. Guess that's why he has to eat those elsewhere. She's Korean, but does use patis - Filipino fermented fish sauce. which is salty and pungent.

In the blog, Just Hungry, this post covers nanbansu, a vinegar sauce which is thought to have its origins in the influence of the Portuguese - perhaps they mean vinha d'alhos? I just read about the vinha d'alhos probably being the basis for SW Indian vindaloo. Aside from vinegar - or wine - these dishes all share garlic and pepper. Fascinating!

When I grow tired of eating my own cooking, we often go to either the Wednesday market at the city entertainment center, or the Thursday one at the church across from the neighborhood park. DH eats a variety of things at the Thursday market - hamburger steak, surf and turf, pasta. I make a beeline for the Thai booth with veggie pad thai and a variety of curries, sometimes stuffed chicken wings. That day they had sticky rice topped with 1/2 a mango - yum!

While I do go to the market for produce, there are only 2 stalls there, and I don't always find what I want. I did pick up some nice eggplant, though, and this is what I'll probably make with it:

Adobo-style eggplant
  • 4 to 5 long (Japanese) eggplants, sliced into 1x1-in. chunks
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/4 cup shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons vinegar
  • Black pepper to taste
Brown eggplant in vegetable oil, put aside. Saute garlic, then add shoyu, sugar dissolved in vinegar and black pepper, stir and heat. Add back the eggplant and heat through. Adjust seasonings.

You can cook a small amount of pork - 1/4 pound, sliced into 1/4x1/2x2-in. strips - after you cook the eggplant. Return to the pan after you heat the sauce mixture.

If your eggplant is older and larger, or of the large oval type, you may want to salt, drain, wash and dry them before frying.

Do you like vinegar in your food? How do you use it in cooking?

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