Ok, so in Uzbekistan, there is no frozen dinner. No prepared food. No Taco Bell. Everything is done by scratch, literally. I have helped prepare spaghetti by scratch here, which was fun. I also think I'm turning into a pretty good chef as well, since I have this very low tolerance it seems for nasty, fried potatoes every night. Luckily, when I was a trainee, my host mom was like a master at cooking and can do no wrong when it comes too food. Plus, there's this new food that is easy to make, but I never even considered making it.
Like: did you know that if you mix some eggs and flour together , put already boiled/steamed cauliflower into it and fry it like some wierd french toast, it's actually really tasty? You just have to eat it while it's hot is all, because it gets sort of limp when it's cold. But it's good with my salad and I suppose in America, it would be ketchup. Of course in America, I eat everything with ketchup.
And there's this eggplant salad that I made that turned out awesome, so I want to share it with you. (Look at me being all domestic!):
It's called "Ikra", which is an Uzbek name and not to be confused with the Russian "ikra" which is caviar:
5 or 6 med red peppers
5 eggplants, peeled
3 big tomatoes
3 onions peeled
3 carrots peeled
lots of oil (I use sunflower, but any kind will do)
garlic, black pepper, salt, sugar and a bay leaf to taste
So you cover the bottom of the pot with oil, chop the onions so the oil gets really hot while you chop. Put the onions in and let them get all browned while you grate the carrots in a cheese grater. Then put those in. Cover the pot and make it medium heat.
Thinly slice the peppers and make sure to stir the carrots and onions while you do this. Add the peppers and some boiling water from a nearby kettle or water heater (have water boiling constantly, this will help). Don't drown the food, but put in enough water so nothing burns.
Chop the eggplant into small squares and add them an eggplant at a time, stirring and adding water if needed. Cut the tomatoes into chunks and add to the pot. Check the juice: the tomatoes should add enough, but if you need too, add some more. Salt/sugar to taste maybe about a 1/2 tablespoon each? Probably more. At this time put the bay leaf in and pepper to taste too.
Chop or press as much or little garlic as you like. Again, it's to taste, though I put in 2 or 3 of those little pieces.
Cook about 5 minutes after the garlic and that's all.
This tastes nice hot over noodles, and I always eat it cold on bread for breakfast or whatever. It's healthy and it lasts a long time. The Ikra I made 2 weeks ago is still good and in my fridge.
Alright, take care kids!