There were two motivations behind the plate I made today. The first was the wonderful spicy, garlic aubergine I had at the take-out Chinese in Hawley and the fact that when I went back a couple of days later it wasn’t as spicy and on the third visit they were completely out of aubergine. This was not the tragedy it could have been because I make spicy aubergine all the time ;)
My second motivation was that I wanted to try some of the artisanal pasta produced by Northern Farmhouse Pasta in Sullivan County, Roscoe, New York. We’re just across the Delaware river from Sullivan County, so I regard anything coming from there as “local”.
In the meantime, our son requested that I make Haitian chiquetaille from the Christmas holidays which I was happy to do. And here are my ugly jar pictures that I have a tendency to take. I repacked the jars with the intention of trying for better photos but by that time I had fallen out of love and couldn’t be bothered :(
Still, this was a good batch of chiquetaille and I’m sure our son will be pleased.
Anyway. I wanted some of the pale green, Thai aubergine like they had at the Chinese restaurant but I couldn’t find any. Shockingly the Wegmans in Scranton, the supposed end all, be all in supermarkets, had the ugliest aubergines that I have seen since West Africa with big unsightly, rotting splotches on the skin. People please! Of course I didn’t buy them but went back to the Super Duper in Honesdale; they’re not famous but they had decent aubergine.
Aubergine/eggplant is just good! This time I made the recipe with a bit more sauce to soak into the pasta because normally I serve this as a self contained Asian lunch dish.
I ate some plain for lunch anyway :) It was spicy and good!
Note: If you’d prefer spicy aubergine for babies, half the amount of sriracha.
Spicy Aubergine with Pasta
2 large, regular aubergine
7 tbsp peanut oil
1/4 cup Sriracha chili garlic sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sake
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp corn starch
1 lb ground veal
4 or 5 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
1lb cooked pasta
Cut the aubergines in half vertically, then cut the halves vertically again into 4 strips each. Chaos cut the strips into chunks, sprinkle with salt and set aside in a colander to drain. Pat dry with paper towels.
Mix together the chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sake, sesame oil and sugar. Set aside. Mix together the chicken broth and cornstarch. Set aside.
Heat 3 tbsp oil in a wok, add half the eggplant and cook until it begins to brown. Remove. Add another 3 tbsp oil to the wok and cook the other half of the eggplant. Remove. Add the last tbsp of oil to the wok with the veal, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for about 1-2 minutes or until the veal is no longer pink.
Return the eggplant to the wok along with the chilli mixture, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the wok cover and stir in the cornstarch mixture and continue to cook until the sauce thickens.
Ladle the sauce over the cooked pasta, sprinkle the sliced scallions on top and eat immediately.