Posts Tagged ‘miso’

In the world of vegetables, eggplants are the fugly, forgotten sisters of more beautiful, glamorous, and promiscuous produce such as the cherry tomato (such luscious color!) or the cucumber (so tall!  so slender!).  It’s not that there’s anything quite so unlikable about eggplant.  It’s just that collective unfamiliarity breeds ignorant attempts at preparing eggplant, rendering her mushy, spongy, greasy, slimy, and just plain not-in-the-mood.  This wins her no admirers.

But you can believe what you’ve heard about neglected ladies making eager bedfellows!  For treat eggplant right, make your approach firm, yet gentle, and she will truly come into her own, yielding to your touch, trying her best to please you in new and exotic ways, teasing you, causing your eyes to roll in ecstasy.  Oh, why did you ever doubt her, why did you ever think it strange to coat one another with miso paste and honey, how could you have not seen this strange and beautiful thing unfolding before your very eyes this whole time?!?!

Okay.  But seriously.  Let’s talk about the eggplant’s virtues:

1) Low-maintenance

2) Excellent child-bearing hips

3) Sophisticated purple hue

4) Absorbs flavors well

There are recipes that would have you mix your miso with vinegar, sugar, water, oil, blah-di-freakin’-blah, before you can even lay hands on your eggplant.  So unnecessary here!  Eggplant enjoys a good quickie, and this baby is hot and ready for you in twenty minutes tops.

Hey, I didn’t say NO foreplay.

Try this big girl on for size, and you won’t find her anything but luscious, oh-so-sweet, yet punchy, and totally kissable–I mean, lickable.  I mean…I would never bring miso into the bedroom.  At least, I’d never admit to it.

**Wanna try a similar salty-sweet approach to salmon?  Check it out.**

Sexy Yet Unassuming Miso Honey Eggplant
Serves 2-3

Go Get:
1/4 cup mellow miso paste
1/4 cup raw honey
2 cloves minced garlic
1 heaping tablespoon minced onion
few grinds fresh pepper
2 medium eggplants

Go Do:
Preheat oven to 425F degrees.  Rinse and dry eggplants.  Cut off top and slice lengthwise, from top to bottom, into 3/4 inch thick slices.  Lay on parchment-lined cookie sheets (I needed two).  In small bowl, cream together miso, honey, garlic, onion, and pepper.  Spread evenly on eggplant slices.  Bake until eggplant is just tender, then switch to the broiler until the tops are browned and bubbly (optional, but pretty–the eggplant, she will like it).  Serve over steamed brown rice and, if you’re craving an extra indulgence, a fried egg with a still-runny yolk.

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A word on “prom food”…you know what I’m talking about.  The generic meal that they used to serve you at high school dances, a meal which has only grown up only imperceptibly, if at all.  Now, in your adulthood, prom food masquerades as a “crowd-pleasing” meal at corporate events and even weddings.

Allow your Bad Mama Genny to narrow this food phenomenon down to its key components for you:

  • Chicken cutlet, breaded to preserve moisture through multiple reheatings, in a thick, greasy sauce–this sauce may be vaguely lemon-y; do not be fooled, it is still prom food.
  • Tough green beans-they may be referred to as “al dente” on the menu, an Italian term literally meaning, “to the tooth.”  The Italians meant it to refer to food that has not been overcooked, which retains some of its bite.  Prom food cooks mean it to refer to food that has not been cooked at all, and which retains so much of its bite that you look like a cow when you have to masticate it for 3 minutes before swallowing.  The beans may be vaguely lemon-y, do not be fooled, they, too, are still prom food.
  • Mashed potatoes, whipped to the consistency of glue, with ample paprika on top to disguise a color which is remarkably like Benjamin Moore’s formula 2129-60, Mt. Rainier Gray.
  • Salad greens, probably bastardized by a few hefty handfuls of shredded day-glow orange cheese, accompanied by a thick, monstrously sweet dressing which is supposed to remind you of vinaigrette, though it really just reminds you of, well, since the Benjamin Moore people are being so helpful here, formula 2103-30, Peatmoss.
  • And, probably the least offensive item on the list, a white roll, also very “al dente,” served with decorative pats of butter.  I say it’s “probably” the least offensive item on the list because there’s still a very good chance that prom roll will be the very thing that chips your tooth, clogs your trachea, or gives you lockjaw.  Prom roll is rock hard and almost undoubtedly recycled.  I would tell you to check for bite marks, but actually, prom roll is impenetrable by the teeth of mere mortals.

We shan’t crucify the prom/corporate/wedding caterer people here, for they likely do the best they can under the circumstances.  Nevertheless, as I sat in the meeting that evening after having consumed this, this, this…FUCKALL STUFF, I thought about the kind of food that had been conspicuously absent from my life, the kind of food I wanted to make for myself upon my return.

So how about some Miso Honey Salmon?




Miso Honey Salmon
Makes 4 servings:

Go Get:
1 lb. salmon fillet
1/3 cup mellow white miso (Miso-Master is the best from what I can tell)
1/4 cup raw honey (regular old honey is fine, too)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
fresh ground pepper

Go Do:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. Lay the salmon on the baking sheet, skin side down. In a small bowl, combine the miso, honey, and garlic until well-combined. Spread the mixture on the top and sides of the salmon in a more or less even distribution. Add a dash of fresh-ground pepper to the top, and put it into the oven. Bake it until the fish flakes easily with a fork and the glaze has developed a nice, dark-caramel-y look, about 25 minutes.

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