I know you, like me, have enjoyed the venture known as Facebook to connect with long lost friends. I have found old high school and college friends I had not talked to or seen in 30+ years.
It was fun at first and still is as long as you ignore the political bickering that has become FB (that is short for Facebook, you know). Now, I must plead guilty to an occasional rant lately but I am doing my best to “to lower my profile”, so to speak. No need to lose life-long friends over all of that hoopla.
With that being said, I was recently surprised to find another long lost friend via another channel. I mean the Cooking Channel. I found UGA grad Alton Brown, again!
Well, we are not really personal friends, as in come over to the house for a cold beer when you are in town kind of a friend, but I am a virtual friend of his through the magic of TV.
As one of the first stars of the Food Network, I have been in awe of his style since he smoked a Boston Butt in an old WWII ammunition box using a hot plate. Yes, a hot plate. What’s the trick? It can never get hotter than 250 degrees, which is optimal for smoking pork. Low and slow. Now, I am not about to give up my Big Green Egg for a hot plate, but it was vintage Alton, unusual and workable.
On a recent late night channel surfing venture, I was fortunate enough to stumble on ole Alton Brown on the Cooking Channel. If you have never seen him, do yourself a favor and look him up. Both entertaining and informative, you learn about food as much as you find out how to prepare it. On this particular night he “learned me” about how to prepare fried eggplant.
I have always despised eggplant because it was just mush! Well, Alton Brown taught me how to take the mush out of the plant and it is so simple.
Cut your eggplant in slices and lay it out on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. The salt will draw the moisture out of the plant. After 30 minutes, I know this sounds crazy, you wash off the salt with water and then ring out the slices like a wash cloth. I know it sounds nuts, but it works.
The slices are now ready for prep in any way you want. One fast recipe Alton Brown showed on this night was a one minute recipe for egg plant parmesan. He timed it and it really took 50 seconds, but that was only because he already had his assistants prepare the ingredients to put in the skillet. He is a TV star so you really didn’t think he would do that himself, did you?
I have mentioned cooking shows in my columns many times over the years, but I enjoy Alton’s show. He offers good eats, more than any others I watch or have mentioned.
Education is the key to life, either in the classroom or the kitchen. Alton Brown is as good a teacher as there is. Sign up for his class the next chance you get and do not take a WD failing!