OK, so I haven’t posted in about 3 weeks. I’ve been busy. I checked my camera and found that I had taken these shots of an inspired stir fry that I made. I remember it being pretty good, too. So you probably want a recipe. The truth is, I make things up as I go along, and I only remember the recipe for a short while after my creation has been enjoyed. But looking at the pictures, I remember some of it. I also remember my technique, which I’ll try to impart.
The part above involved sweet red ontion (a whole one), a red bell pepper and several small, round eggplants (purchased at the farmer’s market– if you’re fortunate enough to have one near you). I remember buying them because they were so cute and having them sit around in a bowl on the kitchen counter for a few weeks, ripening, until I figured out what to do with them. Actually, they taste better if they’re a little aged and starting to turn brown.
I cook very hot in a nonstick skillet, adding canola oil. Before putting in the eggplant, I give them a little bath in extra virgn olive oil, because they taste better that way and because they tend to soak up whatever liquid is around.
I’m pretty sure I put the red pepper in first (quartered and scored at the curved edges to make it lie as flat as possible on the bottom of the pan). The idea is to “roast” it in the super-hot pan. It takes a while, and you need to be turning it over every so often so it doesn’t burn, but gets nice and pliable. I even push it down with a spatula at the beginning to get it to lie flat, making the roasting as even as possible.
Shortly after the pepper, the eggplant slices are introduced, adding sea salt and whatever spices are desired. I probably added a little soy sauce and maybe even a swig of some sweet alcoholic malt beverage (like Seagram’s Escapes “Jamaican Me Happy” — that’s actually what it’s called) that I happen to have around (although not very often). You can alternately add a dash of sherry or even dry white wine, or whatever strikes your fancy. It gets the sauteeing to go faster, and imparts a depth and mellowness to the food.
Keeping the pan hot (a high gas flame), and continuing to turn the slices over for even browning, add the onions.
The trick to a good stir fry is not to be afraid of the high flame under the pan. As long as you keep the food moving, it won’t burn. Cooking on high heat helps keep the inside of the veggies from getting mushy, while imparting a nice brown coating to the outside.