I was going have the title read something to the effect of "Supreme Court be damned," but I didn't feel like damning the highest court in the land. I may not agree with all their decisions, but there's no need to be rash. And in this case, I think that tomato is a fruit, no matter what they want to tax. So, for the fruit-requisite Tight-Ass Tuesday, I needed a dish laden with the controversial love apple (sounds dirty, doesn't it?). But to be extra cheeky, I decided on something so laden with ambiguous produce, it would confuse even the best of botanists. Sure the potato dish doesn't have much in that regard. But I found a dish that requires eggplant and tomatoes and pepper. Did I dare? The real question is, how could I not?
Also, I have a confession to make. I'm a real hobo. Well, of sorts anyway. I'm not homeless by any stretch of the imagination. But I am camera-less. In the flurry of moving, it seems to have up and disappeared. This could be my subconscious forcing me to buy a new one. (ahem! what should I buy???) In true hobo form, I've been mooching off of boy and using his camera. Which is in his G1 phone. That's right, camera phone pictures. As bad as my pictures were before, I can firmly say that that is why the quality of photos has really dropped off as of late. Granted, for a phone, they're really good pictures.
Today, I request the pictures of Sunday evening's meal for posting and submission purposes. And I am, apologetically, told that when he reformatted his phone earlier this week, the pictures were lost. Beggars can't be choosers, I suppose. So sorry. This hobo lost her pictures. (I really fucking need a camera. And I actually got a good shot of a dish that was basically just a bunch of mush. Cilantro sprig and all. For shame.)
But, tale of woe aside, there was still food. Cheap food. That tasted really good. I might be a hobo, but a girl's got to eat.
Spicy Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes and Cilantro
2 small to medium eggplants halved lengthwise
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 Santa Fe Grande Chili, seeds and ribs removed, coarsely chopped
1/8 - 1/4 c canola oil
3 tbs finely chopped, peeled ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 c chopped, fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 350. Oil or coat with cooking spray a rimmed baking sheet. Place eggplant halves flesh side down on the baking sheet. Roast eggplant until the flesh is soft, about 1 hour. After letting it cool slightly, scoop out the pulp with a spoon into a bowl and mash it up. Or, you can do what I did, use your hands and smoosh it right into the mixture when it's ready for the eggplant.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until soft to golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add ginger and stir for about 1 minute. Add garlic and stir for another minute (those two steps probably could have been combined). Add the tomatoes, cumin, paprika, coriander and cayenne. Saute for 5 minutes to let the flavors combine. Next, add the eggplant (this is eggplant smooshing time for all you hands on cooks out there), and stir until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.
Spiced Potatoes and Green Beans
1 tsp chili powder
2 tbs canola oil
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 c finely chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp minced, peeled fresh ginger
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 lb Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 c water
3/4 tsp salt
1 handful of fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into approx 1" pieces
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mustard to pan, saute 30 seconds or until it becomes fragrant. Add the onion, saute for 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in chili powder, garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger and turmeric. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the potatoes and cook for another two minutes. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered for about 8-10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add beans, cover and cook 5 minutes or until beans are wonderfully tender, but still have that nice crunch. Or, you know. Until you finish cooking your na-an which took way longer than you thought. Add the cilantro and serve.
Na-an from a box - follow the directions there while I hang my head in shame. To further cut costs and shame, serve with rice, a pantry staple.
So the cost break down (I'll count my farm share stuff as I have, unlike *cough* some people)-
Farm share eggplant - $1.00
Onions - $1.80
Chili - $0.40
Canola oil - pantry staple
Garlic - pantry staple
Ginger - $0.20
Farm share tomatoes - $1.00
Cumin - pantry
Paprika - pantry
Coriander - pantry
Farm share cilantro - $1.00
Farm share potatoes - $1.00
Farm share green beans - $0.50
Chili powder - pantry
Mustard powder - pantry
Turmeric - pantry
Water - faucet
Salt - really?
Boxed na-an - $1.80 (makes twice what you need for this meal)
Total - $8.70 for 5 servings or $1.74 each.