Cleaning stainless steel? (and thoughts about eggplants)
It all started last night when I decided to make some eggplant and yogurt salad. I really don't know the English term for this method of cooking. In Turkey this is a very common way to cook eggplants (also onions, tomatoes, etc, but most common is eggplant). The proper method to do it is over hot coals on a grill, cook the eggplant until it is soft, and peel the outer skin which has burned by that point. The best way to recreate this at home is to cook it directly on a gas stove, where the eggplant touches the flames, but this can get very messy.
So some people kind of roast the eggplants whole, which turns out ok, but doesn't give the same flavor. Another method I saw was to put the eggplants directly on a hot pan and cook that way.
I decided to try the last method once, and I used my stainless steel pan for it.... It's not a very fancy pan, and not too expensive to replace, but I'm rather fond of it. I hoped it would be able to handle the high heat well even though I was a bit suspicious about the whole thing.
I ended up cooking the eggplants whole on the hot pan in about 10 minutes. For the first 5 minutes or so it was all good, but then the pan got some black marks on the surface where the eggplants were touching it, resembling small scratches, about half an inch long, here and there. And the area around little round buttons inside the pan that hold the handle attached to the pan, got blackened somehow. Lastly, I noticed the bottom of the pan, which used to be shiny silver, is now a browning silver.
To add salt to the injury, the eggplants turned out worse than just plain roasting.
So basically my little experiment failed. I was prepared to face the consequences of using the pan in such an odd way, since I couldn't find any information anywhere about how to make this more properly... Now what I'm wondering is:
1- Is there a way to clean the marks on the pan? (and shine the bottom)
2- Any ideas about how to cook the eggplants in a better way, trying to replicate the taste and texture of the open-fire cooking? Roasting under the broiler is pretty close actually, but maybe there is a better way....
I hope this long story makes sense! I'm looking forward to the replies :)