Monday, 15 September 2014

Fish & Eggplant Casserole

Well, that was a busy week. Far too much interfacing with the medical system to get much cooking done, but I did make this. It was also peak tomato harvest last week, so in between times we have been making vats of tomato sauce.

Dad has now had his second cataract operation done, which seemed to go well, and everyone else seems to be doing okay too. I'm hoping the next few weeks may be calm enough for us to start cleaning up the garden.

We've had a bumper harvest of eggplants this year for some reason, so here are some more of them. This is based on a popular Chinese dish but simplified quite a bit, particularly by not deep-frying the eggplants then stir-frying them with the other ingredients. Stir-fry first, then bake - much less greasy but just as tasty, and no last minute hanging around the stove.

4 servings
1 hour - 40 minutes prep time

Fish & Eggplant Casserole

Make the Sauce:
2 tablespoons Sucanat or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
4 tablespoons apple cider or rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup water

Mix the brown sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, soy sauce, and water in a small bowl, and set aside.

Finish the Casserole:
500 grams (1 pound) long, narrow Japanese eggplants
1 large mild red or green pepper
1 or 2 Jalapeno peppers or other fresh mildly hot peppers (optional)
4 stalks of celery
2 medium onions
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
400 grams (scant pound) boneless whitefish fillets
1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the eggplants into 1/2" slices and the remaining vegetables into slightly smaller pieces.

In a large skillet, sauté the eggplant slices in 2 tablespoons of the oil until soft and slightly browned on both sides. Place them in a shallow baking (lasagne) pan with the fish, cut into large bite-sized chunks, and the finely minced ginger. Sauté the remaining vegetables in the remaining oil until soft, and add them to the casserole.

Mix the sauce up well and pour it evenly over the casserole. Drizzle with the sesame oil and stir gently to mix everything up. (I don't so much stir, as lift and turn gently with the spatula used to sauté the vegetables.)

 Bake at 400°F for 20 to 30 minutes, until the fish is done to your liking. Serve with rice.

Last year at this time I made Pot-Roasted Chicken with Tomato-Sage Gravy, and Apple & Blackberry Pie.

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