Any tips on grilling/cooking a more moist eggplant without much oil?
- tastyjon Oct 22, 2006 02:05 AM
I've grown to love eggplant, both the large local varieties and the skinny purple Chinese kind.
However both are like sponges. My usual way to prepare them is making slices and then grilling them. I don't mind oiling them, but to get real penetration, it seems to take volumous amounts.
Any tricks on infusing them with moisture/flavor without a half gallon of oil?
Put them into a collander and sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Watch the water ooze out, wipe off the salt, and press the eggplant to get out remaining water. You might even roll them in a towel. They will look terrible, but I think you'll be pleased at the result.
The moistest ever eggplant I do is roasting it whole... completely fat free and the roasting produces a lovely smoky rich thick eggplant that is almost like a puree.
I thought of you when I made this last night - very tasty - I sliced small purple eggplants about a quarter inch thick, lengthwise, grilled on my Le Creuset grill pan w/ no oil, chopped up and added thinly sliced shallots, chopped parsley and mint (orig. recipe calls for cilantro, or combo of cilantro and mint), and made a dressing with lemon juice, soy sauce, white wine vinegar and a little peanut oil - orig dressing is lime juice, fish sauce, a hot pepper. Original recipe is from Seductions of Rice - a wonderful cook book focussed on rice dishes around the world and dishes to accompany them.
I sometimes steam, then marinate eggplant (after going through the steps to get rid of the bitterness). I use a very low-oil marinade, which comes out kind of acidic, but I like it that way.
I haven't tried it, but I would imagine you could skip the steaming and just marinate and grill.
Coincidentally, I've been struggling with the same problem, but now I think I have the answer. For eggplant parmesan I oiled foil, placed in a pan and sprayed 1/2 inch thick eggplant slices with TJ's olive oil spray, sprinkled with s & p and seasonings, chopped garlic and baked at 400. It probably took a half hour for them to soften. Then I took my sauce and cheeses and proceeded putting together the casserole. It was really, really good. We did not miss the breading what so ever. Much easier that frying the individual slices, I mean there is almost no work involved, about a million less calories, and tasted just as good.