Egg Noodles and Sea Scallops in Eggplant, Pepper, and Tomato Sauce

Noodles, Pasta, Seafood Recipes, Vegetable Recipes

Egg Noodle with Scallops in Eggplant/Tomato Sauce by Harini

My kind of pasta dish: spicy and loaded with seafood and vegetables.

Egg Noodles with Sea Scallops in Eggplant/Tomato Sauce by Harini

Last summer, I wrote about an eggplant/peppers/tomato dish that I learned from a good friend of mine. I really liked the dish and this time I decided to mix it up with some egg noodles and sea scallops. Definitely another favorite pasta dish: light, infused with great fresh produce flavors, and boy…would you just look at the colors! Such a treat for the palate AND the eyes.

Here’s how I do the eggplant/peppers/tomato sauce:

  • Get 2-3 smaller and skinnier eggplants (or 1 big eggplant)
  • Halve the eggplants and cut into 4 long pieces
  • Chop them up into shorter cuts
  • Dice 4 medium size tomatoes
  • Mince 4-5 garlic
  • Chop 1 red bell pepper
  • Chop 5-7 hot finger peppers (Serrano or jalapeno would work too. Warning: spicy! Please adjust to your spicy-tolerance level)
  • Heat up a medium pot with a tablespoon of olive oil
  • Let the garlic sizzled for 2 minutes, add all of the above, sprinkle a little salt and pepper into the pot
  • Close with a lid and cook until the eggplants turned soft and translucent (15-20 minutes over medium heat)

Prepare the egg noodles:

  • Bring water to a boil in a medium pot, add a little bit of olive oil and salt, and cook 2-3 cups of egg noodles for about 6-8 minutes (or as directed on the bag)
  • Drain and set aside

Prepare the sea scallops:

  • Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice from 1-2 lemons on the (thawed) 8-10 scallops
  • Sprinkle a little bit of salt and black pepper
  • Let them sit for about 10-15 minutes to marinate
  • Heat up a non-stick pan (medium heat) and sear the scallops for 2-3 minutes on each side (until both sides get that beautiful golden crust).
  • Set aside

Mix the egg noodles with the eggplant/pepper/tomato sauce, top it with some scallops, and eat up! :).

(Serve 2)

We’re inching closer to spring time in this part of the world. Still cold. But at least the sun is out today! Wishing you all for some good weather wherever you are.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Summer on a Plate

Basil Pesto, Eggplant, Pasta, Vegetable Recipes

On one beautiful summer weekend, Jeff and I along with four of our friends (with one couple’s two young children) rented a vacation house on a sand dune by Lake Michigan. Oh what a fun weekend we had!

We probably spent the whole weekend being outside. We swam in the lake, strolled around a cute beach town, grilled and cooked delicious food with international flavors, and chilled by the fire at night making smores while sipping wine and beer. Did I mention the delicious food we made and had? 🙂 It was no wonder at all. When you put six people who love to eat, cook, and appreciate good food, you could easily end up with some fantastic dishes.  I got too busy enjoying the food that I forgot to take pictures! So, I’ll just tell you what we had: Indonesian fried rice with shrimp, tuna steak with corn salad, turkey burger with red peppers and onions, a FANTASTIC guacamole, chili pepper marinade/dip, and an eggplant/tomato dish served with pita bread.

Now, for this blog entry, let me share with you the eggplant/tomato dish recipe—since I just made it too last night. So that weekend, we decided to take turns in making dinner. A couple of our friends brought fresh tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers from their garden. When it was their turn to cook, they prepared a one-pot meal of eggplants cooked with tomatoes, garlic, peppers, and a little bit of salt and pepper. Super easy and yummy. The dish reminded me of me of this Indonesian eggplant dish, only milder. Our friends served the dish with pita bread and gave the rest of the fresh vegetables they didn’t cook to me to take home.

Yesterday, I gazed at the abundance of fresh produce our friends gave us. I also noticed that my basil plants were in full force. A dinner idea came to mind: that eggplant/tomato dish and my basil pesto pasta  with pan-seared sea bass and sea scallops. What a great flavor and color combination they made! The green basil pesto coated the pasta with that fantastic basil fragrance, the savory taste from the cheese, and nuttiness of pine nuts. The eggplant/tomato dish gave out sweet, tangy, and fresh flavors that wonderfully complemented the pesto pasta taste. So delightful!

Here’s how I made the eggplant dish (just like how my friend made it at the beach house):

  • I used four smaller and skinnier eggplants
  • Halved the eggplants and cut into four long pieces
  • Chopped them up into shorter cuts
  • I diced up five medium size tomatoes
  • Minced four garlic
  • Chopped three sweet peppers
  • Chopped seven hot finger peppers (optional)
  • Heated up a medium pot with a tablespoon of olive oil
  • Let the garlic sizzled for a minute, add all of the above, and a little salt and pepper  into the pot
  • Closed with a lid and cooked until the eggplants turned soft and translucent

Click here to see: Basil Pesto Pasta with Seared Scallops recipe (I used spaghetti instead of penne for this one)

I’ll post more delicious recipes that came out of our beach house adventure soon 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!

(Original recipe by and a special thanks to Leena Hamdi, and to Spas)

Eggplant with Chili Peppers, A Great Condiment

Vegetable Recipes

Aha! Another eggplant inspiration. After I told my mom about the grilled eggplant I recently made, she gave me another dish idea to try: eggplant and chili peppers or sambal terong. Sambal is a blend of chopped fresh chili peppers and it is used as a condiment. (Think salsa, only more intense.) Like my mom, I usually add garlic, shallots, and a half slice of small tomato in it too. Sambal alone has so many varieties in Indonesia. This dish is just one variant of it. Terong is eggplant in Bahasa Indonesia. So sambal terong is basically eggplant mashed in a mixture of chili peppers.

At my parents’, a type of sambal is served daily, typically on this traditional stone mortar, to accompany the main dishes. Man, now that I think about it, that’s a lot of chili peppers! And that’s only one household. Hmm…I wonder how much the total consumption of chili peppers would be in a country of 240 something million people. But I digress 😀

Anyway, here’s how I did my version of eggplant with chili peppers. I served it as a side to my fried red snapper fillets.

(Warning: This eggplant dish could be very spicy for those who are not used to chili peppers. Please see the milder version.)

In a food processor, chop:

  • 7-9 Thai peppers (For a milder version, use 2-3 Thai peppers or 2-3 Hot Finger peppers. I notice that, with chili peppers, the smaller the peppers the more intense. So if Thai peppers are not for you, choose bigger but skinny chili peppers. In my humble opinion, Hot Finger peppers have similar aroma and taste as Thai peppers but way milder.)
  • 1 small tomato (For a milder version, use 1 small tomatoes)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 shallots
  • (Optional: 1/2 teaspoon of shrimp paste—find it at Asian grocery store)
  • Salt

Steps:

  • Cut up the 1 long eggplant (or the big one we normally see in many grocery stores) into ½ inch thick slices. Drizzle with a tablespoon of vegetable/canola oil.
  • Heat up a nonstick pan/grill griddle over medium heat and add a table spoon of vegetable/canola oil.
  • Reduce the heat and place the cut up eggplants on the nonstick cookware. Let them cook and brown for 5 minutes on each side. (The eggplant should be soft when they are done.)
  • In a medium bowl, combine eggplant with the chopped chili pepper mixture. Using a spoon, gently mash the eggplant, just a little bit, to blend it with the chili.

Serve with fried/crispy baked fish (red snapper, grouper, tilapia would work well here)/ roast chicken and rice.