Sunday, July 31, 2011

Confit of Eggplant with Yukon Gold Puree & Fried Tofu

Can vegetarian food be sexy?  I've asked that question before.  Even strung together a bunch of coherent sentences on Blogcritics...

Dirty Sexy Vegetarian

There are many chefs on the blogosphere doing vegetarian right.  One such cook, Alisha from The Ardent Epicure, is lifting vegetarian cooking to a new division.  Her food is creative, bursting with flavor, and a feast for the eyes.

That's why we are lucky to have her as a member of our 5 Star Foodie Cooking group.  And, she has graciously accepted to guest post right here, during my extremely, incredibly limited, guest post series.

So inspired by Alisha, LC is veggie for one day....

Confit of Eggplant with Yukon Gold Puree, Fried Tofu & Cuban Espresso Ketchup

Ethereal, dare I say celestial, Yukon Gold Puree.  Thank you Chef Robuchon.  By the way, don't mind the fuckin' HAIR in the middle of the photo.  What a DISASTER.

The humble eggplant lifted to highs rarely seen by being slowly cooked in duck fat.  What?!  That's not vegetarian?!

Firm Tofu, Rice Flour, Chili Powder, Onion Powder, Curry Powder, & Ground Cumin.  Tofu is bland?  Not this one.

Cuban Espresso Ketchup.  Recipe will surely not follow.  No chance!

Eggplant Confit

  • 2 Japanese eggplants - sliced into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup good quality Spanish olive oil
  • 2 shallots - peeled & sliced thin on the mandoline
  • 1 tbs ground coriander
  • 1/2 tbs agave syrup
  • coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Leyenda del Milagro Silver Tequila
  • 1 tbs champagne vinegar
  • 2 bay leaf
  • fresh thyme - 2 sprigs
  • 2 tbs safflower oil
  1. Preheat oven to 250 F.
  2. In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add the shallots, coriander, agave syrup, and a pinch of sea salt.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the tequila, vinegar, bay leaf and thyme.  Cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the eggplant slices.
  5. Transfer to oven.  Cook for 15 minutes.  Turn eggplant slices.  Cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the eggplant slices to a wire rack.  Strain the cooking liquid.  Reserve.
  7. In a cast iron skillet, heat the safflower oil over medium-high heat.
  8. Sear the eggplant slices on one side for 1 minute.
  9. Remove to the wire rack to rest.  Baste with the cooking liquid.
Yukon Gold Puree
  • 1 lb Yukon gold potatoes - scrubbed & cleaned
  • coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 stick unsalted butter - cubed & kept ice cold in fridge
  • ground white pepper
  1. In a saucepan, add 2 quarts cold water, 1 tbs sea salt, and the potatoes.
  2. Bring to the boil.  Reduce to simmer.  Cover.  Cook for 30 minutes.  Until a knife can easily pierce the potato.
  3. In a small saucepan, add the almond milk, and almond extract.  Bring to the boil.  Take off the heat.
  4. Drain and peel the potatoes.
  5. Put the potatoes through a potato ricer and into a clean saucepan.
  6. Put the potatoes back on medium heat.  Stir the potatoes with a spatula to dry them of excess moisture.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Whisk in the ice cold butter, bit by bit.  Get the whole body into it.
  8. Slowly pour in the milk mixture, while whisking.
  9. Serve immediately.
That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!


  1. May I say... eggplant in duck fat??? are you mad? Yes, a mad genius. I am trying that immediately.

    Great dish, great presentation. I have just used almond meal to thicken a gravy (a la 16th c) and loved it. Can't wait to try it with potatoes.

    Are you really holding out on the Ketchup recipe... you are mean!

  2. Oh, vegetarian food can DEFINITELY be SEXAY! Haha. You've sure proced it here with this dish. That looks fantastic and sounds delicious. Alisha surely has some of the most amazing vegetarian dishes I've ever seen. I totally agree with you Laz, she takes vegetarian to a whole new level. She sure did good in inspiring you here ;). I think I'm liking the vegetarian side of Laz. Another two thumbs up, my friend.

  3. Damn yukon golds.. yum!!! Where is that hair
    ? I cant see it and it's driving me mad!!

  4. Fascinating dish, Laz. The puree sounds fantastic with the addition of the almond milk. I can only imagain how amazing it tasted with the eggplant. YUM!

    Happing Cooking,

  5. Wow! Everything here is amazing...I think I am in love with the yukon gold puree, then along with that gorgeously prepared eggplant... Heaven! Stunning dish all around!
    But if your not going to share that delightful sounding Cuban espresso ketchup, you will just have to make me some when I get out that way :)
    Thank you so much for both the mention as well as the wonderful words :)
    P.S. you did through me for a sec with the duck fat ;)
    Hope you had a great weekend

  6. Fabulous and such great styling! Laughed so much about the duck fat comment :)

  7. This is very creative and looks delicious. Love the presentation :)

  8. wow. how to dignify potato pure' and fried eggplant. and even ketchup! c'mon where's the recipe?

  9. Vegetarian food can certainly be sexy and complex and amazing! This looks great, Alisha, and thanks for talking vegetarian, Lazaro.

  10. You seriously create such beautiful art with your food. I love it! And I feel like eating this right off the page right now.

  11. Hi there, just came upon your blog and I must say, I am intrigued! Not too many blogs around these days with inspiring food on the plates, but you've got a lot of cool stuff going on here. And nothing wrong with meat or veggies, I can't imagine a kitchen without either.

  12. thanks for bringing vegetarian food to the forefront. Vegetarians can and are indeed sexy!!! Coming from one...

  13. i love the eggplant, will pass on the tofu, know ur secret recipe for the espresso ketchup (you aint slick), but appreciate you not sharing it! :) :) and Robuchon's potatoes!! He served me his damn good potatoes in Monaco and NY... sorry, I had to boast lil bit. Just a lil! :) xo

  14. That is definitely a sexy vegetarian meal! Eggplant is a favorite of mine (one of my go-to veggies when I want a meatless meal) and cooking it in duck fat really takes it over the top.

    If you won't share your cuban espresso ketchup recipe, market it so we can all get some of that action! ;)

  15. Vegetarian, sexy? Yes sir. I like to say, 'I'm not a vegetarian, I just don't eat meat.' unless it's Organic, or free range or smothered in a good Cuban Espresso Ketchup sauce....... what the hell? Give it up brother.

  16. p.s. i don't give a shite if the kids eat it or not, I'm making this one. love eggplant, i'm in.

  17. I also like Alisha's site too. She's very creative cook and I always enjoy her recipes. This is a beautiful looking delicious recipe! I want to try Cuban espresso ketchup. It sounds very addicting taste!

  18. Seeing as I'm a vegetarian, yes, I'd say vegetarian food can and often is sexy. Deep red tomatoes, meaty lusty mushrooms, decadent cream sauces...the list goes on and on.
    You've picked out some really great recipes. They sound so delicious (even the one with the duck fat).

  19. Wow, I have to say that eggplant and tofu are a great combination after seeing your recipe. I am definitely gonna try it out. Thanks.

  20. I am also looking for the F'n hair and cannot see it. Eggplant+duck leave me sin palabras....

  21. I drooled over this on the 5 Star Group page, and have finally made it here to check it out and continue dreaming about the Cuban Espresso Ketchup with this gorgeous dish!

  22. Wow, just amazing and eggplant in duckfat - pure genius. So its vegetarian on generation removed. I love The Ardent Epicure and this only shows why.


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