Having a good sized vegetable and fruit garden has allowed me to save on grocery costs. However sometimes when a particular crop is coming in...I can end up with more than what we can consume freshly. The solution is to either can, freeze or dehydrate the excess bounty.
That is where I found myself recently with a large amount of Japanese eggplant, normally I dehydrate them in slices to be used in cooking at a later time however... I wanted to try something different.
|Dehydrated eggplant slices - plain|
|Dehydrated eggplant bacon|
|Improvised slicer guide for proportioned slices|
I followed the posted recipe with just a few minor adjustments to suit my tastes and using what ingredients I had on hand. Since I had more than the suggested 2 eggplants, I doubled the marinade. After slicing all the eggplant I let it marinate for one hour. I then placed the marinated eggplant slices on my Excalibur Dehydrator trays and set the dehydrator temperature at 125 degrees.
2 medium eggplant cut into bacon like slices
4 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp maple syrup
4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp liquid smoke
1/4 cup bottled lime juice
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
fresh ground black pepper approx 1/2 tsp
2 Tbsp olive oil (Optional)
While the eggplant was dehydrating I decided to reduce the remaining liquid marinade to a syrup like consistency. I simmered the marinade over a low flame until it was fairly thick and nicely concentrated. I then used this to brush over the slices before they were completely dry. I did this approximately 4 hours into the drying process, I brushed each eggplant slice with the concentrated marinade glaze on both sides and returned each tray to my Excalibur to finish dehydrating until crispy. Since I had started this project late afternoon, I let my dehydrator run over night and by morning the eggplant bacon was nicely dry and crispy. Drying times will vary depending on how thick you slice the eggplant and the wattage of your dehydrator.
After cooling I stored the eggplant bacon in quart sized mason jars and vacuum sealed them for storage...
|Vacuum sealed jars for long term storage|
But not before I had some with my lunch...turkey swiss on white with garden lettuce, tomato and eggplant bacon...delish!!
|Turkey swiss on white with garden lettuce, tomatoes and eggplant bacon...delish!|