Sunday, September 21, 2008

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan is one of my all-time favourite comfort foods (just like baked macaroni). It seems like it should be a complicated thing to make, but it's not really.

Tonight I was inspired by one lonely left-over eggplant and a couple of haggard-looking tomatoes. Here's what I did with them.

Sauce (I learned this from Cristina)
I peeled the tomatoes. (I usually just pour boiling water over them in a bowl, and in one minute the skins begin to split are really easy to peel off.) I chopped them up, threw them into a sauce pan with some butter, fresh basil, chili flakes, half an onion (unchopped), and salt.

I let these ingredients simmer together on medium-low while I prepare the rest of the meal.

I sliced the eggplant up and sprinkled salt on each slice, let them sweat, and dabbed the moisture off with a paper towel. After that, I dusted each piece with flour, coated with egg, and then covered it with bread crumbs. (I use panko crumbs, the Japanese kind, because they fry up so nicely.)

I heated about a inch of canola oil in a frying pan and tested with with crumb or two before putting in the eggplant slices in.

Once the eggplant is fried and the sauce has simmered for a while (45 minutes?), I poured a layer of the sauce into a casserole and then placed the breaded eggplant in the dish in one layer. I put a bit more sauce on top, and finished it off with a layer of mozzarella and dried oregano and basil.

I put it in the oven at 400 for 30 minutes.

Tonight I was lucky because I had some leftover fresh pasta noodles. A very yummy and filling accompaniment for my eggplant.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Compost Bucket

Within minutes, the vegetables formerly attached to these peelings were mashed and blended into a gazpacho (this recipe was only a loose guide) that looked like brownish mush. Beauty in the throw-aways...

Farmer's Market Fruit Salad

As if there weren't enough reasons to love the local Farmer's Market...check out this bountiful late-summer fruit salad! Part of this charming continental breakfast for two. What do we have here? A lucious peach, a tasty plum, a crisp apple, some tangy blueberries and a velvety pear. The recipe? Chop up aforementioned fruit and put it in a bowl. As you can clearly see, the colourful salad really brings to life an otherwise unassuming breakfast of boiled eggs and toast (though still classic and delicious)!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The World's Best Sandwich

We took a bit of a blogging hiatus this summer, but rest assured we ate MANY amazing meals.

It's time to get back in gear, though, and so I thought I'd ease myself in with a quick and easy post about my all-time favourite sandwich. I think the first time I had this sandwich, I was in an Ottawa restaurant. That was ages ago, though, and the version I make today probably doesn't resemble the original at all. But that doesn't matter to me because I think my version is perfect!

Roasting zucchini and eggplant
I slice the eggplant and zucchini thinly and sprinkle some salt over it. I let it sweat for a bit, and then dab off the moisture. Then I brush on a garlic and olive mixture and bake it in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Sundried tomato pesto
This part is usually different every time I make it, but tonight I had sundried tomatoes marinated in oil, walnuts, fresh thyme, and Parmesan on hand. They all went into the Cuisinart, and I mixed them into a paste.

The rest
Of course, it's important to choose a really delicious bread. Tonight's sandwich was made from a lovely pumpkin seed loaf. For greens, I used arugula: delish, peppery, herby. I toasted the bread, layered the fixings on, including asiago cheese. I always use asiago in the World's Best Sandwich. I think it's important.