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My Pantry: Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
And in fact, after it arrived, this unassuming little cookbook joined a stack of other new cookbooks for a month before I picked it up this weekend and actually cracked the spine and began to read it.
I was looking for a recipe that would allow me to use 3 beleagured eggplant that I'd rescued from the last-stop sale rack at my grocery store.
I've never been a big fan of eggplant, but I love a bargain.
When I opened the pages of MY PANTRY, I didn't really expect to find an eggplant recipe that would inspire me. But I was happily wrong as I turned the page and discovered Roasted Eggplant Caponata.
Below, I've included my interpretation of Alice Water's recipe, because quite honestly I didn't have all the ingredients....and I live by the cooking philosophy that we should work with what we have.
As the eggplant roasted in the oven, I sat down and began reading Alice Waters' newest cookbook and was instantly enchanted.
This little book is a peek inside a pioneering chef's personal kitchen and what makes it a place that inspires her and welcomes her home from long journeys.
I can't wait to try her recipes for making Tahini, Za'atar, yogurt, a variety of fresh cheeses, tomato, and duck leg confit.
There are not a ton of recipes in this slim volume. Just the essential basics that I am convinced will make me a better cook.
So here's my riff on the Eggplant Caponata .... it was stunningly delicious!
Ingredients and directions:
3 medium eggplants
2/3 cup olive oil
Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes toss them with the olive oil and salt. The roast them for 30 minutes at 400F, stirring them every 15 minutes.
While the eggplant roast:
saute 1 cup of diced celery and onion (I used a frozen Mirepoix mix) gently until soft
Add into the saute:
the roasted eggplant
1 14oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 14oz can chopped black olives
good splash of red wine vinegar
Add nutmeg, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.
Stir all together and cook at a medium low heat for 10 minutes.
Caponata can be served cold as an appetizer or heated with pasta.
Alice Waters MY PANTRY is going to become a staple in my kitchen!
The really big bonus of this book (it's not really a "cookbook") are Ms. Waters musings about how to pull the various ingredients in your panty together for a delicious, nutritious and rather quick meal. She is really teaching the reader the skill of combining a variety of things together for something tasty and that is the true art of cooking. Anyone can follow a recipe and achieve measured results, but to be able to stand in front of an open refrigerator and cupboard and know how to effortlessly pull a meal together, that takes practice, know-how and skill - all of which you can garner by applying Ms. Waters' knowledge beautifully detailed in this book. After reading this, you'll completely understand why Chez Panisse continues to be one of the most highly regarded restaurants for 40+ years.
The recipes and text are both very straightforward- not at ALL fussy!- but complete, and all of them have exciting variations both in making them and in ways to serve them. Almost all of them can be done with minimal kitchen equipment, and they're designed for lasting- I think the shortest-lived ones would last maybe a week, refrigerated, but much last far longer.
It's definitely worth reading all the text rather than just diving into the recipes. Waters's thoughtful context makes the recipes themselves even more exciting.
Very recommended indeed for cooks who like some straightforward DIY that allows us to bring unique flavors to even simple dishes, made with excellent ingredients.
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