Also subtitled: Aubergine mit Miso (fur Paul: Substitute miso with Sambal!) und Torte auf Orange (fur Die Switzerland Schnee-Bande)
This is part of the 2010 christmas dinner I cooked for friends in Santiago de Compostela, Spain (LAST YEAR. oops). I was craving Japanese aubergine/eggplants, one of my favourite Japanese restaurant dishes, and while in Sydney I can go down almost any suburb main street to sate this craving, Santi is not so big on multi-culti food availability — to do some catching up, I’ve been living between Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain and Sydney, Australia for the past year and a half, back and forward.
Por que no have Japanese for christmas dinner, while in Spain? ; )
These aubergines are everything aubergines are good at being – luscious, soft, moreish, the skins go crispy, the sweet miso is foiled by earthy flesh and spiky spring onions, it’s quite simply, que rico. I searched around for some recipes, though it didn’t help a great deal – Asian ingredients in Santi are rare, little gems hidden only if you know where to look, or stumble by accident (a tienda chino in la Zona Nueva had, hidden amongst granny undies and fly swatters, some rice noodles, sambal and fish sauce. choice). I’d sourced some sesame oil and other bits and bobs from trips to Cortes Ingles, or travels to La Coruna or Portugal, but I was winging it, big time.
Bastardised Miso Aubergines
Para bonita Monika y Carlos (con besos!) y para personas que quieren cocinar Japones en Santiago: Por pasta de Miso marchar/buscar el piqueno alimentos naturales en Rua Nova! : )
Slice some aubergines – 1/4 or 1/6 lengthways or smaller, depending on the size of the aubergine. Aesthetically pleasing. toss in a little vegetable oil, lay out on a shallow baking dish skin side down, in lovely rows of wedges. chuck them in a very hot oven. say 220 celcius. they’ll be doing their thing in there for about 40 mins, depending on how hot your oven goes and how big your aubergines are. we don’t know this stuff, we’ll just see how done they are when they’re done, ok?
while those babies do their thing, let’s make a miso sauce. I was winging it in a country with limited asian ingredients available – you can too! or you can google a recipe for Nasu Dengaku, go flipando tio at your neighbourhood asian grocer and get your authentic on.. up to you! This is what I did, and I was pretty happy with the bastardised-make do flavour: In a small saucepan mix some (if possible, white) miso paste, water, a dash of fish sauce, some sugar/honey, some sesame oil and some soy sauce. heat, taste, adjust, add and amend ingredients until you have a rich, pleasant, sweet, savoury sauce with a thick but running consistency. Insert usual apology for never giving exact quantities in my ‘recipes’. lo siento.
When your aubergines are deliciously crispy / grilled outside / a little smokey / soft inside, generously pour a thin drizzle of the miso sauce over the slices, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. grill for another couple of minutes, sprinkle with some finely sliced spring onion <scallion/green onion/shallot whatever you call those things where you come from>. Serve hot. maybe on rice. be happy.
Flourless! Gluten-free! Orange Cake / Tarta de Naranja – sin gluten!
this is a beautiful cake, and flourless, for all your gluten-unfriendly friends. Instructions sound funny, but it works, and it’s wonderful. I’ve never made this without people weeping with joy and demanding the recipe.. which I’ve been promising to post on this blog for a loooooong time, and here it finally is. lo siento.
In a saucepan, cover 2 oranges (whole!) in water and boil for 15 minutes, change the water and boil for another 15 minutes. I have forgotten to change the water, and I did not die, but there you go, that’s what you’re supposed to do. Once the oranges have cooled enough to handle, or heck, if you’re
impatient in a rush and have asbestos fingers and are being careful, chop those hot beasts up into tiny pieces — i like to cut in half middle-ways, flick out the pips if there’s lots and they’re big, then get chopping — either with a food processor, a stick blender, or a big knife. It’s really ok if you’re not blitzing this to a pulp. yes the whole orange, except the pips, if you wanna flick them out. which you don’t have to.
In a mixing bowl beat 3 eggs and 3/4 cup of castor sugar, then add 2 cups of almond meal, 1 tsp of baking powder and the orange mess. Pour into a springform baking pan, or any other baking vestibule for that matter. Bake in a low oven 170 celcius, for about 1 hour. or until something sharp poked into the cake comes out clean.
Meanwhile, fun with a few more oranges: 4 or 5 oranges + 1 lime (optional!) will be way sufficient for this — zest 2 oranges and the lime (or a lemon) and juice all the fruit. In a small saucepan, heat these things – zest and juice, with 1 cup of castor sugar. You made a syrup! Life is good.
Once the cake is baked, pour the syrup over the hot cake, if you’re the stabbing type, make some perforations in your cake first. Cool as long as you can wait, serve with soft-whipped fresh cream and slices/segments of various orange and orange-y citris — mandarins, tangelos, whatever you like.