Thursday, July 12, 2012

Eggplant and Goat Cheese Napoleon


Eggplant...you either love it or you hate it. I was always a firm hater of the purple buggers, but pregnancy changes a woman.  There is a myth about town that a place called Scalini's has an Eggplant Parmesan that will induce labor.  The place is a little creepy. They have pictures of mothers and their babies all over the walls. Well, it was the middle of August in Atlanta and I was due in a week.  I was hot and tired and willing to try anything.  So I put my fear of le petite aubergine aside and I really enjoyed it. 
It didn't, however, induce anything but a hunger for more.  
The next encounter I had with the vegetable was a beautifully breaded and fried eggplant layered with in season tomatoes, fresh goats cheese, and fresh basil leaves. It was perfection. Light enough for a diet lunch (I did just have a baby remember), but decedent enough with the fried eggplant to not feel like a compromise.  This is my attempt to recreate the loveliness
.
In my last post I made a beautiful Veggie Rainbow Wheel and I had a bunch of leftover squash and zucchini so I experimented with a few fry methods.  Flour alone wasn't crunchy enough with the wet veg, cornmeal and flour alone was close, but the winner was egg, then the flour and cornmeal mixture, then into the oil. You can experiment with any seasonings you like in the cornmeal mixture.  I used Lawry's Season Salt as the seasoning for the squash. Be careful with the salt in that. Lucky for me, I did all that legwork last time, because now I know the perfect way to fry up these eggplants baby!


Serves 4-6 depending on how many eggplant you screw up frying.
Ingredients List

1 eggplant
1 egg
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
salt and pepper
5 plum tomatoes
basil leaves
1/4 cup balsamic
2 tbsp capers
7 ounces goat cheese
1 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup oil for frying split in half


Chop your tomatoes and throw them in a bowl with 1 tsp of salt, 1/4 cup good balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp of capers, and as much chopped basil as you like. Let sit while you work on the eggplant.



Heat 1/2 of your oil in a skillet over medium heat
Wash and slice 1 purple eggplant


Sprinkle lightly with salt


On a plate combine 1/3 cup cornmeal, 1/4 cup flour, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil,
and 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. In another plate scramble 1 egg.


Dredge the eggplant slices first in the egg and then in the cornmeal mixture. 
Fry until golden. Replace your oil with the reserved oil halfway through so your eggplant doesn't taste bitter from the burned cornmeal. 
I turned my toaster oven on the warm setting to keep my finished eggplant crispy while I worked on the others.


To assemble, place a pool of heated marinara sauce on each plate
 Top with one slice of  eggplant
 Cover with three slices of goat cheese or enough to cover the eggplant with 1/4 inch of goat cheese
Sandwich with another eggplant 
Top with your marinated tomatoes 
Garnish with fresh basil leaves




Enjoy!!!




Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Veggie Rainbow Wheel



So, I haven't done a food blog in ages!!! Cooking while pregnant is always a disaster of epic proportions for me so I try to avoid it completely.  I'm back at it though, and happy as a clam.  Cooking, gardening, home improving.  Give me those things and I'm at peace.  Well, as much peace as one can have with two tots running around. 




OK enough about that, lets talk about this!!!!! I found this beauty on this lovely blog,


This tasty dish is a veggie lovers dream!!!I used Parmesan cheese, but the next day I tried the leftovers with Gorgonzola crumbles on top and it was even better. I think goat cheese could be great too.  Other veggies like eggplant...Ohhh I just had an idea. What if you really did make a rainbow; red tomatoes, orange butter nut squash or sweet potatoes, yellow squash, green zucchini, blue hmm... blue potatoes?(any ideas?), indigo eggplant, violet hmm, stumped again.  Anyway.  This way is delicious and beautiful and impressive and totally vegetarian if you leave out the cheese it's even vegan!

Preheat oven to 375 F
Start by caramelizing 1 onion with 1 tbsp of sugar and a dash of salt and pepper
on med-low heat for 15 minutes.
I cut mine into bigger pieces so they wouldn't just disintegrate.



 Wash and slice your 2 squash and 2 zucchini in to 1/4 inch rounds.  Toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp thyme, and 2 tsp oregano, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder or slivers of fresh garlic, or to taste. 


 Cut 3 or 4 plum tomatoes into rounds approximately the same size and salt them.


Slice about 4 mushrooms and throw them in the bottom of a tart or pie pan,
the prettier the pan the better.
Sprinkle mushrooms with a dash of S&P and top with your caramelized onion.
Begin layering your vegetables in a varying but even pattern around the outside of your dish. Continue until pan is full. Don't worry too much about perfection, food always looks perfect covered in cheese!!!!!


Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.


Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese
(At this point if you topped with goat, Gorgonzola, or mozzarella cheese,
people might call you a genius!!!)
Return to oven, uncovered, for 15 more minutes or until golden.
If that goose doesn't lay a golden egg, broil for 5 or 10 minutes.


Please try this dish for your next potluck. It is beautiful.
I would love to hear from anyone who does try it.

Ingredients list
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 squash
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 mushrooms
  • Parmesean cheese
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or slivered cloves of garlic (I didn't any! Sinfull, I know.)
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • Instructions 
  • Preheat oven to 375 F
  • Start by caramelizing 1 onion with 1 tbsp of sugar and a dash of salt and pepper on med-low heat for 15 minutes. I cut mine into bigger pieces so they wouldn't just disintegrate. 
  • Wash and slice your 2 squash and 2 zucchini in to 1/4 inch rounds.  Toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp thyme, and 2 tsp oregano, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, or to taste.
  • Cut 3 or 4 plum tomatoes into rounds approximately the same size and salt them. 
  • Slice about 4 mushrooms and throw them in the bottom of a tart or pie pan, the prettier the better.
  • Sprinkle mushrooms with a dash of S&P and top with your caramelized onion.
  • Begin layering your vegetables in a varying but even pattern around the outside of your dish. Continue until pan is full. Don't worry too much about perfection, it will look perfect covered in cheese!!!!!
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese (might be Delicious if at this point you topped with goat or Gorgonzola or mozzarella
  • Return to oven, uncovered, for 15 more minutes or until golden. If it doesn't do so, broil for 5 or 10 minutes.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012