Spicy Shades of S&S

Not just sugar & spice and everything nice.

I’ve been going after the deadly nightshades yet again. Can’t stay away from those tasty miscreants, especially while market season lasts. And they pair so nicely with the wildly oppositional extremes of sweet & sour. I toned down the typical sugar proportions here a bit by using some stevia, but made sure there was enough of a sweet injection from the syrup and pineapple to balance the lip-puckering vinegar. Arrowroot powder replaces cornstarch as thickener for that signature gooey sauce. It’ll be a sticky situation, but in the best possible way.

Yields 3-4 servings, depending on your appetite.

Ingredients

  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut in strips
  • 1 medium eggplant, stemmed, salt-treated,* rinsed, and cut in strips like the pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered and sliced (i.e., also strips)
  • 1 T rice bran oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice (a 20 oz can of pineapple chunks in juice will yield about this much)
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (about 2/3 of a 20 oz can)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 packet stevia (or liquid equivalent to 2 tsp sugar)
  • 3 T maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 T arrowroot powder
  • 1 T sesame seeds, toasted to golden brown in a dry skillet

*Slice and salt the eggplant, as described in the Bangin’ Bharta recipe, and let it “sweat” out the bitterness before you proceed. You can also peel the eggplant if you prefer, but the skin, while chewy, is an excellent source of fiber and just looks good on the plate.

Heat the rice bran oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven with a T or two of water and stir in the onions. You can let them cook on low-medium while you slice the other vegetables. Once the onion has started to soften and become translucent, add 2 of the crushed garlic cloves and stir. Add water as needed to lubricate the vegetables. Stir in the eggplant strips and cover the pot to let the eggplant cook and reduce – it will shrink down and start to turn a buttery brown color. Be sure to check back and stir frequently to make sure there’s enough moisture in the pan, eggplant loves to stick! Test the eggplant for tenderness with a fork – unlike the pepper, you’ll want it totally soft by the finish.

Combine the vinegar, tamari/soy, pineapple juice, stevia, maple syrup, pepper flakes, and the other crushed garlic clove in a small saucepan and heat to a boil. In a small bowl, combine the 2 T arrowroot with 1/4 cup cold water and whisk into a slurry, making sure to dissolve clumps. When the sauce starts to bubble pour in the slurry and stir – it will thicken within a minute or so. Set the sauce aside.

Add the red bell pepper to the eggplant and turn up the heat, sauteing the vegetables together for five minutes or until the pepper starts to soften (you don’t want it flaccid, ideally al dente). Add the sauce and the pineapple chunks and cook, stirring, for another five minutes or so.

Serve over (brown) rice with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. You can offer red pepper flakes as an option as well, if your guests want to spice it up even more.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. mirandagualtieri says:

    πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s