Sunday, June 25, 2006

Cooking Overdrive!

Well, I got a little ambitious in the kitchen yesterday. Apparently having a new blog is motivating me to new and greater cooking heights (which was the intention so I guess the plan is working).

On Friday night M. and I had dinner at a Japanese fusion restaurant called Taku. We both ordered the 30 prix-fixe so as to sample a complete menu (after determining that the chef would be willing to create a vegetarian main dish option for me). My starter was a fried eggplant in miso sauce which reminded me of a dish I used to make at home that was somewhat similar. And so I kept thinking about that dish, dredged up the recipe and decided to make it for dinner on Saturday. Its an old Cooking Light recipe that I found in the Best of Cooking Light 4 (a collection I bought at the supermarket at some point).

Miso-Garlic Broiled Eggplant

Miso, garlic and crushed red pepper add intense flavor to this dish, which you can also serve as a side.

1/4 cup mirin
3 tablespoons yellow miso (soybean paste)
2 teaspoons grated peeled ginger
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves minced
4 Japanese eggplants, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 1 lb)
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1. Preheat broiler.
2. Combine first 6 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Arrange eggplant slices on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spread mirin misture evenly over eggplant slices; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Broil 8 minutes or until topping is golden. Place eggplant slices on a platter; sprinkle with onions.

Yield - 4 servings.

Calories - 115, Fat 3.3 g, Protein - 3.3 g, Carb - 16.1, Fiber - 4 g,Chol - 0, Iron - 1.1 mg, Sodium 475 mg, Calc - 46 mg

The rest of the meal at Taku was pretty tasty, but not hands-down-we-must-go-again-tomorrow-amazing. I'd like to go back again for a "tapas-style" meal because they had some amazing looking vegan spring rolls and some fried tofu sticks served with a chipotle mayo sauce that sounded intriguing. But would I do the price fixe again? Probably not. M. was similarly indifferent, although we were both taken by his dessert which was vanilla ice cream with "green tea fluff" which was like a green tea whipped cream. Mmmmm....

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