Monday, June 11, 2012

I Say Miso, You Say Miso, Now Go Miso Glaze Me Some Japanese Eggplant

Miso Glazed Japanese Eggplant over Garlic Roasted Asparagus and Jasmine Rice, with Thai Basil, Scallion, and Toasted Sesame Seed
It's been an interesting few weeks here in my small island town of Alameda. So I have a few little stories to share with you today. Three main events come to mind so let's start with that and see where we go....

Let's first, and quickly, get the ugly out of the way. As some of you already heard, I had an almost-run-in with a large van about a week back. No, I wasn't in my car. And, no, I was not on my cell phone. Thank you very much. I was walking. With my tiny little angel-dog. In the cross walk. Thank you very much. Oh, and, yes, I had the right of way, as the little green man in the box was blinking at me, telling me to "go, it's your turn!".

And even now, I can't help but think what would have happened had I just been one or two steps ahead of where I was. If I hadn't paused that extra five seconds to let my dog sniff around in the bushes. Just exactly what would have happened? To me, and to my wee little girl that I cherish so much. I wonder....and I can't help but wonder if my dear passed momma has had anything to do with my just scooting out of any harm to come my way lately. If so, I hope so. I'd like to think that she is here, all around me, watching over me. I wonder.....

Luckily, this week has been starting off on a much brighter note. Again, this story involves my precious little pup, Rocky. She is actually the main star in this story. I am so proud to say that she has won herself on the Jones Soda label contest. Yay for Rocky! I submitted this picture to Jones Soda a few months back, when my best girlfriend suggested that I should submit it. It is definitely a cool shot...

It was taken at Crown Beach in Alameda. I noticed the bench, and of course, because I am kinda obsessed with taking pictures of things, especially my dog. I had to get some snaps. And, Rocky, being the perfect little poser dog, we got this awesome shot.

And just yesterday, I checked my mail box, and got the letter from Jones Soda...

And here is here label...look for it on your shelves today! We are pretty excited over here, and on the search for our very own bottles....

My final happy story for the day, is to share with you this amazing recipe I found of Miso Glazed Japanese Eggplant. This is, afterall, supposed to be a food blog! I was craving a particular dish that I would order at Tamarine in Palo Alto. Theirs was a baked eggplant, with some sort of savory-sweet sauce, that was just addicting. So I decided to try a version of my own. I found this online recipe that I thought sounded pretty darn tasty. And it sure as heck-fire was!

I started with these gorgeous ingredients...Japanese Eggplant and Thai Basil

My only changes were that I used wine, a Rose cause that was all I had opened, in place of sake. And I used a bit more mirin because my sauce seemed to be too thick. I also added some chopped garlic to my sauce to give it more depth of flavor. I may have also added a touch of water to thin it out the sauce even more. And to round out my dish, I added some roasted asparagus with garlic, and Jasmine Rice. And garnished the plate with some chopped scallion, Thai basil, and toasted sesame seed.

As I sat down to saveur this dish, I had no idea that I was going to enjoy it as much as I did. It had beautiful bold flavors, and exciting textures. The miso glaze actually crisped up under the broiler, while the eggplant inside was soft and creamy. The cripsy, smokey, tangy, sweet glaze reminded me of the BBQ chicken I would eat as a kid. (You know, when you get a good piece with all that crispy chicken skin! ) And, as being a vegetarian today, boy, have I missed that flavor and texture combination.  I was so excited to have that experience again!

So, even to all of you eggplant haters out there, I highly recommend you give this dish a try. Trust me, you won't be disappointed :)

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