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My Baba Ganouj conundrum

  • danna Sep 27, 2011 09:31 AM
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So I was planning to make BG, tossed the eggplants on the grill,kinda forgot about them. They were very, very roasted. By the time I took them off, i was ready to eat, so I put them in the fridge to use later. Several days passed. They were wrinkled and ugly and much juice was in the bottom of the bowl.

Scraped out the flesh and mixed w/ garlic, lemon, tahini, that's it. It was delicious. Eggplant-hating husband also pronounced it delish.

I got some more eggplant a few weeks later, but didn't grill them as much, BG was loose and not very good. So....last night, thinking I learned a lesson, I once again grilled the ever-loving crap out of these eggplants. The skin was black, the eggplant collapsed. The result was somewhat better, but still not divine. Apparently, it's the 2-3 day stent in the refrigerator that makes the difference. Does anyone else find this to be true?

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  1. I think the variable is actually the amount of moisture left in the flesh after cooking - of course there will be less if you cook them more, but I think the key here is your note on the first batch ' lots of juice in the bottom of the dish'....
    I am assuming you didn't scrape that into your mix, since you don't mention it, just flesh. And that out of the 3 was your best batch.

    Instead of having to plan on a 2-3 day wait in the fridge (I am a planner, but that is too much for something so simpe as BG!). Score your eggplant flesh, salt, drain for 1/2 an hour, rinse and pat dry before grilling. This draws out much of the excess moisture that would make your finished roasted flesh and BG loose after mixing it up.
    Good luck, and report back on if this helps - works every time for me!

    6 Replies
    1. re: gingershelley

      thanks. So....do you halve your eggplants before grilling? I did them whole with some fork pricks.

      1. re: danna

        I do them whole and blacken them fully. I also like to add some of the charred skin in my dip. It adds to the smokiness and the pectin will actually thicken the dip

        1. re: scubadoo97

          thanks all! I also left in about 10% of the skin. I like the texture and color, plus I read somewhere that eggplant skin was extra helpful in scouring the butter and foie out of my arteries ;-)

      2. re: gingershelley

        The moisture is definitely the culprit here. I usually drain the eggplants in a colander after roasting and then squeeze them after peeling to remove even more of the liquid. The baba ghannouj I get that way is thick with a mild, smokey flavor.

        1. re: JungMann

          How about salting and draining in a colander *before* you roast them?

          1. re: pdxgastro

            I haven't tried that way. I get better flavor from roasting whole eggplant on the stovetop versus roasting slices in the oven/broiler. Salting and draining in a colander might be an option if you're using an actual grill.

      3. Grill whole eggplants. Peel. Place in colander set in sink. Chop with kitchen scissors. Leave to drain for 1 hour. This process gets rid of the excess moisture.

        1. I have always cut mine in half, placed halves face down on an oiled grill pan and put them under the broiler in the oven until the skin blackens and the eggplant collapses. I agree with grilling the ever-loving crap out of them myself but have never refrigerated them- just make Baba Ganouj with the warm eggplant and devour on site.