Friday, August 29, 2008

Eggplant "Clafouti"

Yes, eggplant "clafouti". Savory, though, not sweet. And yes, I know I'm misusing the term, but I just love using quotation marks.

I looked up a clafouti recipe from Joy of Cooking, then simply omitted the sugar. I added some savory touches like garlic and balsamic vinegar.

So, I placed cut baby eggplants (that I've salted, let sit and rinsed) in a pan and tore some basil over them. Then the egg mixture got poured over. That's eggs, milk, salt, garlic, balsamic vinegar and flour. Into the oven.

When the "clafouti" came out of the oven, I drizzled the top with some olive oil and sprinkled toasted breadcrumbs and grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano. Looks pretty good!

But, after that's all said and done, this eggplant "clafouti" was A. Weird. Failure.

I've only made clafouti once before, so "tinkering" with it could be taken as Mistake #1.

Mistake #2: Eggplants take way too long to cook. I should've roasted them first in the oven and added the egg mixture when they were already roasted. In my case, the egg mixture was already over-cooking but the eggplants still raw!

Mistake #3: The egg mixture was weird and smoothly rubbery. I think that, since I wasn't whisking the eggs with sugar, I should've just beaten them in a "normal fashion." Originally, the recipe called for beating the sugar and egg together, which, in my limited baking experience, usually calls for whisking the mixture vigourously until pale and ribbony. I did the same but without the sugar. So, in my ignorance regarding the physics of baking, I'm guessing that this is what caused the smooth, rubbery texture.

So, girls and boys, even though the flavors worked nicely together (eggplant, garlic, basil, balsamic, Parmiggiano), and even though in my head, I had imagined the purple bulbs showing through the egg mixture to approximate cherries or plums and being similarly pretty, I guess I should've just let go of this "clafouti" idea, however irresistible the use of quotation marks may be, and I should've just made a quiche instead!

Perhaps it's my lack of eggplant-love that made me subconsciously sabotage this dish. You think?

P.S. The pictures turned out nice enough. =)

[updated 09-22-2008:
Laurie of Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska made a successful eggplant clafouti. Check it out!]

eatingclub vancouver Weekend Wokking posts:
Ravioli "Caprese": Tomato, Basil, Bocconcini
Eggplant "Clafouti"
Pumpkin Congee w/ Pumpkin "Beignets" & Sesame-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Chicken, Broccoli and Cheese w/ Pipián Verde
Adobo Mushroom Tart
Duck and Orange Crêpes with Orange-White Wine Sauce
Almond Eggplant "Bisteeya" (Bastilla)
"Mashed Potato Beef Burger" (Red-skinned Potato Salad in Taiwanese Sacha Cheeseburger)
Korean Soybean Sprouts Pancake (Kongnamul Jeon)
Lemon Chamomile Tiramisu
Cilantro Horchata
Strawberry Cilantro Salsa, on Grilled Flank Steak
Duck Enchiladas with Chipotle Peanut Salsa
Clear Oxtail Soup with Corn, Cabbage and Potatoes
Beijing Pickled Cabbage
Salsa Romesco ("Queen of the Catalan Sauces!")
Aguadito de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup)
Bangus Belly à la Bistek (Milkfish Belly with Onions, Calamansi and Soy Sauce)
White Pork with Garlic Sauce, Two Ways (蒜泥白肉)
Mr. Zheng's Soupy Tomatoes and Eggs with Tofu (蕃茄雞蛋跟豆腐)
Steamed Fish and Tofu with Chinese Black Beans
Spinach and Cheese with Puff Pastry, Three Ways

We're submitting this recipe to Weekend Wokking, a world-wide food blogging event created by Wandering Chopsticks celebrating the multiple ways we can cook one ingredient.

The host this month is Marija of Palachinka

If you would like to participate or to see the secret ingredient, check
who's hosting next month.

Check out
all Weekend Wokking Roundups.


  1. You guys crack me up. It looks beautiful even though it ended up being a quiche instead of a clafouti :)

  2. That's what good about your food blog. You also post the failures. We can definitely learn from your mistakes.

  3. They still look pretty delectable to me ... I think it is a success in many other ways :)

  4. Alright, now I know that we are cosmically linked. I did the same thing this week--making a savory clafouti. (Zucchini, tomato and mint.) How funny. (I haven't posted it yet.

  5. Oh my gosh, you had me so excited as I love eggplant and clafouti till the ultimate letdown. But learning lessons is what in part makes a good cook. Thanks for sharing.

  6. shoot I was hoping you had found a way for me to get MAtt to eat all the eggplant we got from our CSA.

  7. Your WW entries have been so inventive! I was getting so excited until you said this was a failure. :( Maybe if it was layered with cheese so it'd be like a moussaka?

  8. I love post-game analyses.

    I think we could have used the sugar in the egg custard mixture: eliminating the sugar was not necessary. A little sugar would have enhanced the eggplant, methinks.

    Roasting the eggplants until they were soft was the big oversight. We thought the eggplants were small so they didn't need to be cooked beforehand. (For this dish, we used the small, round eggplants, not the long Chinese/Japanese ones or the large, bulbous ones.)

    I still think this eggplant clafouti is a pretty good idea, and wouldn't it be cool if we had an "make-my-failure-into-a-success" blog event where we rework our failures into cool dishes?

  9. Wonderful pictures! Who would have thought they were failures?

  10. What a shame. You have a great attitude though. :)

  11. Oh sad! I had a big failure this week! Same story, it all sounded so good and seemed like a sure-fire winner! Good luck with the contest!

  12. i think it was a great idea (i can only wish i was so clever and imaginative), and as long as it was edible, i wouldn't consider it a failure. i suspect there's a lot of subconscious sabotage going on in my kitchen, too. :)

  13. Oh, it looked so good, I was surprised to read it didn't turn out. Appreciate your honesty :)


  14. Esi / Wandering Chopsticks:
    I think if we made a quiche it would've come out better. =)

    maybelle's mom:
    Looking forward to your savory clafouti!

    I don't know about keeping the sugar!! Too sweet!

    But yes, the eggplants should've been roasted off beforehand.

  15. This is a truly original dish! Even if it didn't turn out exactly right, the idea is brilliant.

  16. Yeah, the first thing I thought was, "Shouldn't the eggplant be cooked?"

    The second was, "I've got some roasted eggplant - I should try this."

  17. Wonderful! You are so creative! Thanks for sending this to WW!


  18. kc, paola, marija:
    Hmmm... perhaps a redux of this dish IS in order! =)

  19. evey blog worth its salt has GOT to have a failure or ten...

  20. Great post and thank you for the inspiration. I made Eggplant Clafoutis and it was wonderful. Here's the recipe:

  21. being an eggplant fanatic, i have a feeling the baby eggplants were to blame - and they really needed some cooking with olive oil before being added to the clafouti mixture

  22. Laurie:
    Wow!!! A successful eggplant clafouti! =)

    med kiwi:
    Yes, gotta cook those eggplants, no matter how small they are! =)

  23. Now, you see, this would have been perfect for the WTSIM sweet/savoury swap event a couple of months back!!

  24. Jeanne:
    I thought we needed a new dish/post to join!


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