Have you ever tried taking a cooking class? Although we do a lot of cooking in our home, it is often fun to refresh our skills and become inspired by learning from an expert!
Yesterday evening, Sam and I were lucky enough to try our hand at Somali Home Cooking through the Nibble Cooking Series with The Somerville Arts Council. We had a lot of fun and greatly enjoyed the menu of pita bread and hummus, salad el swit (Sudanese black salad with smoked yogurt sauce), Maraq caad iyo bariis (White chicken soup & rice), and various chutneys. Definitely check out the series if you have a chance!
Here is a recipe inspired by one of the dishes from last night (be careful when trying at home!):
Charred Eggplant with Smoked Greek Yogurt
Char the Eggplant:
Slice and roast 1 whole eggplant over a stovetop or grill, or in an oven at 500 degrees for 20 minutes until it's blackened. Set aside to cool.
Smoke the Yogurt:
Place 1 cup of greek yogurt (4 or 5% milkfat) into the bottom of a pot with a lid. You can add salt and seasonings such as ground cumin or chopped green onion if you desire.
Chop an onion in half and scoop out the inside layers so only the outside layer remains without skin. Rub olive oil into the onion, about a tablespoon or so (not too much).
Take a small charcoal "puck" that you can purchase at an Asian grocery store or online and heat it over a flame or grill with tongs until smoking hot.
Place the onion skin into the center of the yogurt at the bottom of the pot, drop the charcoal into the onion skin, and quickly close the lid. Smoke will develop, and the aroma is amazing! You can eat the yogurt after 5 minutes or leave it like that in the fridge overnight. You may also be able to create the same effect with liquid smoke more safely at home by adding a few drops to the yogurt.
Assemble the Salad:
You can leave the yogurt as it is or mix it with sesame tahini. Assemble the charred eggplant on top of the smoked yogurt mixture and serve. Great with pita or as a side.
The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts also offers some amazing cooking classes. Sam and I are excited to try their couples cooking events this winter. If you take our food tour, we offer a discount on their classes, so sign up today! Happy Eating.