Cooking · Food · Uncategorized

Three Cheese Eggplant Parmesan

As I child I hated, absolutely hated, eggplant. Eventually I could tolerate a bite or two of fried eggplant, but as soon as I had a say inThe result! the matter I stayed as far away as I could from anything eggplant!! Skip forward four decades when I decided to adopt a mostly clean eating and buy local lifestyle, eggplant is everywhere. They are such a beautiful vegetable. The first few times I decide to try eggplant, they rotted before I did anything with them. A month ago or so, I stumbled upon Tosca Reno’s Strike Sugar Challenge. One of her recipes that I adapted included eggplant.

My family enjoyed it and after some mental challenges related to childhood eggplant issues; I had to admit it was good. So the next recipe I wanted to try was eggplant parmesan. After asking my friends and researching on the internet, I found Simple Recipes’ version of eggplant parmesan. It sounded delicious and easy. Here is my adaptation. (Which 2 out of 3 of us think is delicious! My DD does not care for it. She thinks it’s weird! Go figure!)

4 medium size eggplants
8 cloves garlic (minced)
2 small white onions (chopped small)
1 15 oz can tomatoes (I only had diced on hand)
1 jar Prego sauce (I used mushroom)
16oz fresh mozzarella (sliced)
Small block Parmigiano Reggiano
Ricotta Cheese
~ ¼ – ½ t. Oregano, Thyme & Basil (I used dried because of a family member’s food allergy)
Panko bread crumbs
Almond Flour
4 eggs

Cut eggplant into ¼” slices. I salted them and let them sit maybe 30 minutes (I really don’t like to wait 2 hours and probably wouldn’t have done it at all, but it was too early to start the dish!)

Saute onionsWhile waiting on the eggplant slices, sauté onions in olive oil. Season to taste w/ oregano, thyme, basil, salt and pepper. Once the onions are almost translucent, add the garlic. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and adjust seasoning. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn off.

Preheat oven to 450°. When the eggplant is ready, wipe off with a paper towel. Spray a cookie tray w/ olive oil. Put the almond flour in a shallow bowl. Crack 4 eggs in another shallow bowl and whisk w/ a fork. In a third bowl, add panko and mix in freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. (I used ~1.5-2 cups panko and 1-2 T of grated Parmigiano.) Take one slice of eggplant at a time and dredge in the flour, dip in the egg and then toss in the panko mix. Lay on the cookie sheet. Place in oven and bake 20-25 minutes until brown.

Hot from the oven

When finished remove from oven. Turn oven down to 350°. Spray glass casserole with EVOO. Place a small amount of tomato mixture on bottom of casserole. Place one layer eggplant slices on top of tomato mix. Place slices of mozzarella on top of eggplant and spoon in ricotta. Dust with grated Parmigiano. Cover this layer with half of remaining tomato mixture. Then repeat. (I had 2 layers). Pour the Prego over the dish and top with remaining panko mixture from earlier step and grated Parmigiano.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until bubbly and nicely brown.Ready for the oven

Notes: I did not peel the eggplant. Next time I will peel it for ease of breading and cutting when eating.

Cooking · Food · Uncategorized

One Roast – Three Meals! More Adventures in Clay Pot Cooking.

Clay Pot Roast   I’m making a bigger effort to use my clay pot and to make meals that I can transform into other meals during the week. I don’t mind leftovers, but I do get bored with them fast. This experiment is helping me to have one main meat and make multiple different meals. No boredom there!

This week I purchased the biggest piece of beef I could find at the Fresh Market. For the life of me, I do not remember the name of it now.   Since I did chicken last week, I wanted beef this week. Not sure about next week yet!

I soaked the top of the clay pot in water. In the bottom, I placed cut up sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots and celery. I seasoned them with various things including red wine vinegar. On top of these vegetables, I placed the meat that I also seasoned. Put on the top, placed in a cold oven and turned the oven to 400 degrees. After an hour, I took off the top and cooked a little more. One thing I love about the clay pot is that one doesn’t have to add a lot of liquid and yet, the result has lots of liquid that can be used for gravy or other recipes.

I will admit that I am learning all over how to use my clay pot as I haven’t used it in forever and I now use a gas stove. From now on I will either lower the cooking temperature or shorten the time.

The next day I made wraps with a homemade with Greek yogurt, a teaspoon or so of sour cream, garlic and other spices. I pIMG_20140331_194311_411 editut this concoction in the blender to make it smooth and then I drizzled it over the wrap before rolling the tortilla.

The third day was possibly the best!!! I had a hash in mind. I have never made a hash before so didn’t know quite what I was doing. Oh, but the flavor was wonderful! I cubed the rest of the meat, potatoes, carrots and sliced mushrooms. I sautéed the potatoes to not quite done, added everything else, including the liquid I had kept from the original cooking. To this I added Dashida, a little water and more spices. I let this cook until heated through (30 minutes?). The only thing missing was cornbread!

Finished product!



What is your favorite dish for multiple meals?