Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Yuletown Chocolate Aubergine Mad Apple Throwdown

I'm busy... or at least I should be...

Yet somehow I still have time to discover the truth about eggplant, and participate in viral marketing experiments.

Today I've been editing an educational video for a project currently...lotsa windows open, capture card running hot, audio sweeteners, and clip sequences in the dozens all lined up for trimming & razoring as I build the menus etc...

But in the interest of procrastination, and adding more muck to the ol' internet, I thought I'd take a quick break...

So along with an eggplant parmigiana sandwich snack, I'll get some yik yak out to ya kids in a minute... After I gulp this tasty hot sandwich, I'll let y'all gander at some random rants & content du jour...

First up,

I hope you are familiar with the delightful concept of "eggplant parmigiana", aka known as Eggplant Parmesan...

They call it in Italy "Melanzane", which means "Mad Apple"

One of the most popular varieties being "Listada de Gandia"...



They call it something else altogether in England and France, the pretentious Aubergine, but since those are annoying faded empires, why sorta escaped me...

and when I looked into it I found it had something to do with the Sanskrit word for farting...

seriously...

Here's a pretentious sorta little song from a PDX songsmith that also uses the word Aubergine as a title, but as far as I can tell the word is not uttered in the song itself

...but maybe he farts before the bridge...

Kind Of Like Spitting - Aubergine ( acoustic)

[demo of a track from the 2005 Hush Records release "In The Red"]

So let's just move on...

The first eggplants, for whatever reason they were so named, were known as being small, white & round, and have been cultivated for centuries. They likely first appeared in India, then China where they are documented in the 5th Century B.C and eventually they are found hitting European shores after the Moors conquered Spain.

It soon spread all over, and some people... they believe it is the food of the gods... or perhaps resembles GOD, or is messenger of god or something.



Any eggplant parmesan though, whether it looks like god or not... is still usually pretty good.

Parma is a city in northern Italy of course, and they make a famous decent salty dried cheese there of course as well... and they are also known for a salty cured ham.

The style there was to mix Veal cutlets with bread crumbs cooked in butter (not oil!)

...and this originating recipe was supposedly born in the town of Parma In Italy.

Therefore it could be assumed that the "Parma" way in the kitchen is now apparently synonymous with breading & lightly frying.

Others swear the dish is really Sicilian, and that the name is a distortion of a term for describing the people of Palermo aka Palermitani.

Anyhow... since no one really knows, let's assume this:

Veal wasn't always around, hence Chicken & even Eggplant ended up getting the fried & baked treatment. Making for a rich, greasy, slightly crispy savory sensation of a preparation that still has many fans some 700 years after the first fights over it's origin.


Italians somehow get credited with dishes like Chicken or Veal Parmigiane aka Parmesan...where the German's might call that a "schnitzel"... or when in Kentucky... well you know "Kentucky Fried"...

Yer basic Italian eggplant style is to take a dull toxic loaded eggplant and doctor it surprisingly well, so the poisonous nightshade flava is masked by olive oil, cheese, breading, salt or whatnot. The roots of the dish vary, and according to some they never originally used the cheese, or tomatoes, but these corruptions and bastardizations get added...and they are staying as far as I can tell.


Me, I really don't really care about much of that bickering...

Let's call 'em all improvements ok!?

What's done is done...and it tastes great and is NOT less filling.

So just enjoy:


Eggplant Parmesan or whatever ya wanna call it, is still a very popular hot sandwich throughout South Boston, or anywhere ya find Americanized Italian deli cooking...

The dish would usually be left over, and sandwiches are made with the leftovers...

This recipe below for the Eggplants was actually credited to Frank Sinatra in a celebrity cook book once, so I thought I'd share it in case yer getting hungry, or curious...

Eggplant Parmigiane ala Sinatra

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut crosswise in 1/2-inch thick slices
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup (1-1/2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
1 (6 ounce) package mozzarella cheese
Tomato sauce (recipe below)

Instructions
Prepare tomato sauce (recipe below) and set aside. Combine flour and salt. Dip eggplant in egg, then in seasoned flour. Saute eggplant slices in hot oil in large skillet for 3 minutes on each side, adding more oil if necessary. Drain slices well on paper towel.

Place 1/2 of eggplant in single layer in 10 x 6 x 2-inch baking dish, cutting slices to fit. Sprinkle with 1/2 of Parmesan cheese, 1/2 sauce and 1/2 mozzarella cheese. Cut remaining mozzarella into triangles. Repeat layers.

Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until hot.

Tomato Sauce:
Ingredients
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (14-1/2 ounce) can tomatoes, cut up
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 bay leaf

Instructions
Saute the onion, celery, and garlic in oil in a large skillet until tender. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, parsley, oregano and bay leaf. Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes or until desired consistency. Remove bay leaf and set aside. Proceed with eggplant as above.
Yield: 6 servings


Credits
Recipe from: The Sinatra Celebrity Cookbook edited by Barbara & Frank Sinatra (Scientific American), whose proceeds originally benefited the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center at Eisenhower Medical Center, Rancho Mirage, California

click da pic to look for a new or used copy on Amazon





Now I would just eat some of that there, then wait.

That's right, just like Lasagna , save some & put the rest back in the fridge for a day or two...

When ya return you've got some good eating there buddy boys & gals...

Slap those leftover breaded eggplant slices in da middle of an Italian or whatever Hoagie Rolls ya got, slather with a lil' more sauce & cheese, heat open faced for 5 and then close & toast for another 5 or so minutes until the bread is kinda crispy & voila!!!

wrap it with foil... take to the game, or mow it down while driving...

Sit in a corner by yourself... whatever, just don't share a single bite...it's yours dammit!!!!

Just frickin enjoy it ya hear!!!

Anyhow...



I was out of town over the weekend... went down for my monthly Los Angeles sojurn...

Been down there so many times, I have bars I go to more than ones here, and after a few Allagash Wheat beers I got my hotel mixed up and tried to check into the Bonaventure instead of the Biltmore...

Like it makes a difference anyway...

I also left my hat at some Wolfgang Puck restaurant, and somehow didn't even have time to find parking so I could try the new Acai' berry yogurt in Japantown.

I eventually wandered out towards the ice skating rink in Pershing Square and watched a gawd awful No Doubt cover band destroy some Orange County classics while the bizarre scene of wary & wobbling Mexicans on ice drifted by...

I did manage to score some Debbie Harry vinyl remixes from her new release "Necessary Evil" from a couple disinterested looking corporate radio station promo lackeys...

Maybe if somebody wants me too, I'll preview a mix from that 12" thang at some point fer y'all...

But since I haven't had time to listen to Debbie's new 12", here's some rare Xmas treat, from a flexidisc that came with Britain's Flexipop magazine recorded back in 1981.

It features yer fave hip hop pioneer Fab Five Freddie getting down in that Rapture mode along with Debbie & Chris and the other Blondie boys at the time.
>
Blondie with Fab Five Freddie - Yuletown Throwdown

I just bought some small batch Beta chocolate online...

but I have to go pick it up in person at a pier near the waterfront in SF...

I don't have any idea what it will taste like either...

It's just another one of these fabulous dot com scams I love...

This one apparently foisted on me by the founder of Wired Magazine...



here you check it out...

Don't bother ordering it if ya don't live nearby though...

The rest of y'all can just get on the wait list I suppose...

These guys are using Chocolate from Ghana, and despite the high price, I'm not sure about whether they participate in any "fair trade" business practices. Louis Rosetto of Wired purports to be a free market libertarian and I doubt he'd be bothered by accusations of exploitive buyers.

Lately it seems Cocoa growing has become the new diamonds...

Growers claim markets are price fixing them out of the loop, while a DeBeers like consopiracy of middle men keep them from reaping profits on their valuable crops.

Canada recently announced they will investigate the "price fixing" claims of growers who feel that they are being unfairly kept out of the money loop...





In the interest of finding a suitable compromise of music to transition from where this post started and will end, I present to you music that's sorta got that sweet holiday spirit, is a bit twisted and is still worth it's weight in bandwidth...

Tom Waits - Chocolate Jesus

From his Anti Records release:
Mule Variations


Speaking of Chocolate,
I know y'all were loving that Chocolate Rain...

heck that guy guy has pulled in over 12 million You Tubers with that video...and network TV exposure on Jimmy Kimmel.

So our viral marketing pals over at Dr. Pepper jumped aboard his tip with their new flava "Cherry Chocolate Rain", and the rest is marketing mayhem history...

Here's the big budget video of the sequel to Chocolate Rain and of course the mp3 for all you downloadin deviants out there....



Tay Zonday - Cherry Chocolate Rain

Anyhow... It's beer thirty...
enough video editing for today...

Don't forget to write...

0 peanut gallery sez::