Christmas Menu Part 2.
Don’t judge a recipe by its bad picture… (whoops sorry) this is A LOT tastier than my bad photography.
Spicy Glazed Eggplant
1 1/4 lb Asian eggplants (about 4), trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger (use a Microplane)
1/8 teaspoon Japanese seven-spice powder (sometimes labeled “shichimi togarashi”), or to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
Toss eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt and drain in a colander, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes.
Rinse eggplant under cold water and dry well, pressing out any excess moisture.
Stir together mirin, soy sauce, ginger, and seven-spice powder.
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté eggplant until browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in mirin mixture and cook, gently stirring and turning frequently, until sauce becomes a glaze and eggplant is browned and tender, about 1 minute.
Serve hot or at room temperature, sprinkled with chives.
(Eggplant can be sliced, salted, rinsed, and pressed 1 day ahead. Chill, covered.)
Sauteed Broccoli Rabe
1 head broccoli rabe ends trimmed, cut into large pieces
6 cloves garlic thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
Blanch broccoli rabe until crisp tender (if you are serving right away, do not shock in cold water, just drain). Heat olive oil and saute garlic until golden brown, add rabe back to the pan and continue to cook another 2 mins. Season with salt and pepper.
Wasabi Pickled Cucumbers (original recipe here)
1 lb Japanese or Kirby cucumbers (about 5)
1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
1/2 teaspoon water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
an adjustable-blade slicer
Very thinly slice cucumbers crosswise with slicer; toss with 1 teaspoon salt and drain in a colander 15 minutes. Rinse cucumbers under cold water, then squeeze handfuls to remove excess water; pat dry.
Stir together wasabi powder and water in a bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Add vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce, whisking until sugar has dissolved. Add cucumbers and toss well.
Cucumbers can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.