Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Baba Ghanoush

From Nia's dad, Clive

Baba Ghanoush is a Lebanese dip made from eggplant - it can be used as a dip for bread or veggies or as a tasty base for a sandwich. I love this stuff but was always mystified as to how it was prepared, until last summer when I was schooled in the ways of roasting eggplant by my friend Nia's dad. It's so easy and fresh tasting, I couldn't believe it took me so long to try it!

Serves about 6

1 large eggplant
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (200 C) Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Place eggplant on the baking sheet, and pierce the skin with a fork. Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally until soft. Remove and let cool. Once completely cool, peel skin off.

Place eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, and garlic in a blender and puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste and slowly mix in olive oil. Sprinkle on paprika as a garnish. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


from my neighbor, Angela

Addie had a playdate with a girl from her class, and her mom had us over for lunch for schnitzel. Schnitzel is basically a pork cutlet that has been breaded and fried. It is THE food of choice for Tirol and served at pretty much every restaurant in town. The trouble is, sometimes it's a bit greasy and heavy so you have to be careful. But when done right is a really nice authentically Austrian dinner.

Makes 4 pieces of schnitzel

4 pork cutlets
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp milk
1/2 cup finely ground bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup oil (for frying)
1 lemon (garnish) cut into wedges
cranberry jam (garnish)

Like most things fried, this is best served right off of the griddle - once they get cold they lose a bit of luster. So do all of your other prep work beforehand and cook the steaks last - right before you eat.

Take the pork steaks and pound them flat, so they are quite thin (about 1/2 inch). Arrange your table so you have three shallow bowls laid out: one with flour, one with the eggs mixed with nutmeg and milk, and one with the breadcrumbs mixed with salt and pepper. One at a time take the steaks, dip them in the flour to cover them completely. Then dip them in the egg/nutmeg mixture and finally into the bread crumbs. Try to coat each piece of meat evenly each time, and in the end you should get a pork steak coated nicely with breadcrumbs. Set aside the breaded pork on a plate.

Heat several tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan on the stove. Some people go really crazy with the oil - you can use as much as you want, but I prefer a less greasy schnitzel so I use as little as I can get away with. Once the oil is hot, drop the meat one at a time on the pan, and saute it for about 3 minutes each side. Once finished, set aside and keep warm until serving.

Here it's common to eat this with freshly squeezed lemon and cranberry jam, but the kids I was with had ketchup, so whatever you prefer!

Welcome to Austria!