Sunday, September 14, 2008

It will be a week of many firsts...

So this week at recipe exchange Karen did a demonstration on Eggplant Parmesan. I've always loved this vegetable - from afar. It is big. It is PURPLE. And my mom never cooked it when we were growing up. So this veggie is very foreign to me.

When we went to NY earlier this year I thought I'd get a little crazy and order food I've never eaten before. I ordered Eggplant Parmesan in one of the restaurants we ate at. It was ok. But this recipe that Karen made last week was WAY better than the one in NY. It was probably all her fresh veggies in the homemade sauce that made it taste so good.

Here is a picture of my first ever eggplant purchase. Isn't it the most beautiful vegetable you've ever seen?! It really is the most beautiful/exotic one out there. This should be Aimee's favorite food - it's the same color as her family room!

I am afraid no more. I am STOKED to try this recipe. It will be delicious!

Eggplant Parmigiana
Better Homes and Gardens

1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 eggs beaten
1/4 c. cooking oil
1/3 c. parmesan cheese
homemade tomato sauce or one jar of Italian red sauce
6 oz. sliced mozzarella cheese

Combine flour and 1/2 tsp. salt. Dip eggplant into egg then flour. Brown eggplant in hot oil about 3 minutes per side, adding additional oil as needed. Drain well on paper towels. Place half of eggplant in a single layer in a 10x6x2 pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 parmesan. Top with 1/2 sauce and mozzarella. Repeat layers. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until hot.

Serves 6

Homemade Tomato Sauce
1 Tbl. oil
1/3 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. chopped celery
1 clove minced garlic
16. oz. can diced tomatoes
1/3 c. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper

1. Heat oil to medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic and cook until tender.

2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer gently uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to desired consistency.

So that is new recipe #1 for this week.

New recipe #2 will be Heather's Thai Peanut Sauce. It has some crazy ingredients, but it looks soooo tasty.

Heather’s Thai peanut sauce

½ cup peanut oil
½ cup peanuts
1 slice fresh ginger ½ inch thick
2 garlic cloves
1 can sweet condensed milk
2 Tbs soy sauce
4 tsp fish sauce
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves

1.Heat the peanut oil to nearly smoking in a sauce pan. Turn off the heat and add the peanuts. The peanuts should cook to a golden brown 2-4 minutes. If you burn them, throw them out and start all over again or your sauce will be bitter. You may have to turn on the heat again, but stir the peanuts if you do.

2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peanuts to the blender or food processor. Along with 1 Tbs of the peanut oil and bend them to a rough paste. Add all the remaining ingredients except the cilantro and blend until smooth. If it is too thick add more oil. Stir in cilantro and serve

*** This sauce is amazing. You can serve it as a dipping sauce. It is great on chicken, shrimp, pork, and even tofu steaks. It is also a great base sauce for a Thai pizza too. You can freeze what you don’t use for next time.

New recipe #3 will be Italian Pepperoni-Cheese Puffs. I am least worried about this dish - which is not actually a dish - it is basically biscuits with pepperoni inside. But it is new none-the-less! I think the kids will dig it. Especially because they can dip them in pizza sauce. They love to dip. And Mr. Jackson's favorite food these days is PIZZA. I'm trying to see how many different ways I can disguise pizza and get him to try different things - even though they all taste like pizza.

Italian Pepperoni-Cheese Puffs
Better Homes and Gardens

1 ¼ C. water
1/3 c. shortening
1 ½ c. flour
4 eggs
¾ c. finely chopped pepperoni (3 oz.)
¾ c. finely shredded parmesan cheese (3 oz.)
2 Tbs. Snipped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/8 t. garlic powder
1/8 t. pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets; set aside. In a large saucepan combine water and shortening. Bring to boiling. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes.

2. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition. Stir in pepperoni, cheese, parsley, garlic powder and black pepper.

3. Drop rounded teaspoons of dough 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Position the 2 baking sheets on separate oven racks. Bake for 15 – 17 minutes or until firm and golden brown, switching oven racks halfway through baking. Transfer to a wire rack. Repeat, as needed, for remaining dough. Serve warm. If desired serve with pizza sauce.

Makes about 40 puffs.

Who wants to try these new recipes with me? Let's be crazy together and try something new this week!

1 comment:

award said...

I LOVE the eggplant! The color is fabulous, but the taste isn't too bad either. I've had it prepared FOR me, but, like you, I have never done it myself. I want to try this soon. Maybe we could try it together? And, NO, I don't put the nuts in my chicken salad!