What I had for dinner:
When I went to hear my friends play at the Rodeo Bar on Thursday, I had dinner at the Turkish restaurant across the street. They has a special of lamb kebab on what I can best describe as strained eggplant. It was extremely good, but a bit lacking in robustness; I set out to make something a bit less elegant and more hearty.
The eggplant should be baked in a hot oven (400 F) until well done. Remember to slit the skin to let the steam escape, or you may end up with an eggplant bomb in your oven. Happened to me once, and it was not pretty.
When it has cooled enough to handle, the eggplant flesh should be scooped out with a spoon, then coarsely chopped with a large kitchen knife.
Meanwhile, cook a finely chopped onion in olive oil, and seed and peel two large tomatoes (10 seconds in boiling water - no more - to peel the tomatoes easily; I find it easier to seed them first, then peel them). Chop the stem halves of both tomatoes, and add to the onion. (Reserve the other two halves.) Add some slivered garlic, 1/4 tsp of mace, and a few dashes of Tabasco sauce. Cook for a while, add the eggplant, and keep warm.
In a large skillet, toast a few tbsp of slivered almonds. Almonds burn easily, so it is essential to keep stirring and shaking them until they begin to turn golden. Add them to the eggplant.
In the same skillet, cook over high heat well trimmed lamb chops, and the two half tomatoes that had not been chopped. Serve with the half tomato on top of the chopped eggplant.
Makes 2 servings.