Eggplant and Egg Hacks

So, I came to Miami at lunchtime Monday and opened the freezer to see what we had to heat up. A package of Trader Joe’s Spicy Thai Eggplant was staring at me; it had been in the freezer for a while and I had been avoiding it. Resigned due to lack of choices, I heated it up in the microwave (6 minutes, plus 2 minutes to rest) and was surprised to discover it was delicious! Sweet, spicy, with nice hunks of eggplant, flecks of red chili pepper and Thai basil leaves strewn throughout. Now, I wouldn’t call this dish a meal. It’s definitely more of a side dish, but with some steamed jasmine rice and a chicken or beef satay, it would make quite a nice dinner. You could add fried, baked or grilled tofu for protein if you’re avoiding meat. It’s only $3.49 and is 100 calories per serving.

Another discovery I made this week is about cooking eggs. I’ve been on an egg kick lately and I usually go with over-easy eggs in the morning, but over-easy isn’t as easy as it’s name. Often, when I flip the egg over to cook the top (and avoid salmonella), the egg sticks and breaks, which is obviously a small tragedy in the breakfast world. The solution this problem is normally to add a pat of butter to fry the top in, so the egg top doesn’t stick, but even that doesn’t always work and adds more calories. So, the other day, I decided to try a trick I saw Bobby Flay use on cheeseburgers, to melt the cheese and keep the patty moist. The trick was to add a tablespoon of water to the pan, then put a lid on it to steam the top. It worked like a charm!

So, when your egg is fried to your liking on the bottom (over medium-high heat), but the top is still clear and glistening with egg white, add a tablespoon of water, put a lid on (mine was clear so I could monitor the progress) and after 20 to 30 seconds, remove the lid. The top of you egg will be cooked perfectly, the yolk will still be runny and the egg will release easily from the pan. Genius!

Fried egg, steamed on top.
Fried egg, perfect yolk.

Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

Leave a Reply