Monday, December 29, 2014

Eggplant and Potato served with Grilled Jerk Eggplant and Jade Pearl Rice (No Added Fat)

I have tried cooking with eggplant in my Instant Pot, where it takes only 2-3 minutes to cook. I've been thinking that more flavor would be in the eggplant if it were sautéed first, and the Instant Pot has a sauté feature. Here is what I tried for cooking my last dinner for the year:

  • Medium eggplant cut into 3/8" slices; reserve three slices and then cut remaining eggplant into 3/8" cubes
  • 4 small Yukon gold potatoes cut into approximately 3/4" cubes
  • 1 ounce water
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/2 head kale, stems removed (I composted them) and leaves roughly hand cut into approximately 3/4" squares
  • Another ounce of water
  • Cup of onion cut into 1/4" x 1" or so slivers (it took about 1/3 of a medium onion for me)
  • 4 ounces crumbled seitan
  • Approx. 1/4 cup marinara sauce

  1. I put the eggplant cubes, potatoes, ounce of water, and bouillon cube into my Instant Pot and turned it on in sauté mode on low. I cooked, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes till the water was absorbed and ingredients began sticking to the pot.
  2. I turned the Instant Pot off, added the kale and additional ounce of water, and cooked on high pressure for 3 minutes.
  3. When I was ready to serve, I slowly released pressure, mixed in the onion and seitan, and served to my Dad, who doesn't eat garlic. I added the marinara and served to my wife, daughter, and myself.
I also made some Jade pearl rice (I sauteed a bit of onion and ginger in a pan without any oil, then added rice and water in a 1 : 2 ratio, along with a pinch of salt and a vegan bouillon cube, brought to a boil, and simmered on low heat for 20 minutes). I sautéed the three eggplant slices on a cast iron pan with no added oil, dredged with jerk seasoning, and served, as well, topped with baby arugula and a tomato slice.


Dinner was good. This was the best that eggplant has come out from the pressure cooker. I've enjoyed it in the past, but the pressure cooking really didn't add any flavor to the eggplant. This time, it did have some flavor, but not as much as the sautéed slices (they were good, too!). The dish as a whole was good! The sautéed eggplant with the tomato and arugula was a good combination.

Ideas for the future

The main dish would have benefited from some garlic, either separately grilled and diced and then mixed in at the end or, for a milder flavor, added to the pressure cooker at the beginning (pressure cooking garlic gives it a mild roasted flavor). The marinara was good but I think a more spicy sauce would be even better, perhaps an Indian spice sauce (which would, however, preclude my daughter's enjoying the dish), or at least perhaps a doubling of the marinara sauce. Capers could have been nice in the main course, as well. Using more seitan (6 or 8 ounces instead of 4) would have been reasonable.

I should make several more dishes with eggplant cooked this way. Perhaps I could then try additional ways of cooking eggplant (slow cooking?) in my Instant Pot.

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