After the meatravaganza that was New Zealand, I've felt the need to be eating mostly vegetarian food recently. I eat a lot of vegetables regardless, but the first grocery shop I did upon my return to New York was super-laden down with them. I went stir crazy in the produce section (the produce section of the website, that is). FreshDirect, the online shop that I order my groceries from, has this awesome feature where they show you what produce is really fresh and delicious and a good buy right now, which totally informs my shopping, and therefore my menu for the week.
So this particular week I bought all my standard buys - sweet potato, broccoli, capsicum**, spinach, etc - as well as a red onion, kale, and aubergine. I wasn't sure exactly where I was going to use the aubergine, but I guess in the back of my mind I was thinking moussaka or ratatouille. They're always good.
Well, they're always good...unless you want a steak.
I REALLY wanted steak. Not very long after my return. I.e., not very long after I had eaten a steak. It's winter, and it's freezing, and I was craving French bistro food. Steak-frites with garlic butter. Mmmmm. But I had a vege bin full of vegetables, skinny jeans that were seeming really quite skinny after my holiday, and - most importantly - a desire not to eat that sort of special treat meal on a Wednesday night.
And my imagination. I had my imagination too.
This meal took longer to make than I usually like on a Wednesday night, but that's mainly because I salted the aubergine and let it drain. There's some dissent as to whether this tends to be necessary these days - there's much less chance of getting a horrid bitter aubergine - but I wanted it as dry as possible, so I could grill it quickly and get good sear marks. I cooked some onions, and burnt some others***, crushed some garlic**** and mixed it into a bit of butter, dished it all up and stuck it in front of H1. He was a fan. Although he didn't, for even a second, think it was steak.
*I've said 'you' but this may only be a 'me' failing. I'm cool with that.
**Bell peppers to you, my American friends.
***My cooking wouldn't be the same if I didn't consistently burn part of it, H1 tells me affectionately. Don't you feel the need to do the same for authenticity or anything, though.
****As with most things - cooking, vampires, fending off unwanted dates, etc - the more garlic, the better.