Eggplant Parmesan…my way!!

20 Comments

IMG_3144

As I have mentioned in a recent post my Dad has a garden and so another vegetable that has been a plenty is Eggplants.
Most of the summer, I would grill them or just roast them in the oven, and a couple of times I made Eggplant Parmesan.  I would post my pictures on facebook and of course my friends say tell me the recipe.

So this last time I tried to remember as making it to take pictures of the process and what I do 🙂

First I used my homemade tomato sauce that I made out of the tomatoes from my Dad’s garden and I love using Fresh Mozzarella 🙂

So enjoy!!

First I peeled, sliced then sprinkled slices with salt in a colander
for 30-40 minutes, then pat each slice dry with paper towel. 
(LOL of course the first picture of that I forgot to take)
Then place them on a baking sheet 

IMG_3177

I took panko bread crumbs and fresh grated Parmesan Cheese

IMG_3174

Mixed in some Sandwich Sprinkle from Penzeys
(coarse salt, garlic, black pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram)
you can add Italian seasonings as well

IMG_3176

Put about 2 Tbsp. on mixture on top of each slice

IMG_3178

with your hand press down crumb mixture

IMG_3179

Then I sprayed each piece with PAM – Olive oil spray
of course you could drizzle with olive oil if you wish too.

IMG_3180

IMG_3182

Then bake in a 385 degree oven until tops are brown

IMG_3185

Sauce you can use any you like, so pick your favorite
I used my homemade sauce and I added
some of the Sandwich Sprinkle to the sauce

IMG_3183

I have some Fresh Sliced Mozzarella

IMG_3184

In a sprayed baking dish, place a eggplant down
and top with sauce

IMG_3186

Then top with a slice of mozzarella

IMG_3187

Place another piece of eggplant and repeat
with sauce and cheese

IMG_3188

I topped the final piece of cheese with the rest of the sauce

IMG_3189

I had crumb mixture leftover

IMG_3190

and I sprinkled some over top the entire dish
And bake at 385 degrees until brown 

IMG_3191

and cheese is melted and brown

IMG_3194

IMG_3195

IMG_3196

This was so good, most of the time I don’t measure anything so when
I cook unless I write it down it really just turns out to what I have 
in my pantry and such.  So when I am experimenting and it turns out good, I have to remember what I did so I can share in a blog, and then most the time I don’t take picture either 😛 LOL
The last time I made this (pictures below), I did the same except I didn’t have
any crumb mixture left, so I sprinkle the final layer with a little parmesan chesse

They both turned out delicious 😛 so as you make yours just make to what you like and
it will be just as Delicious!!

IMG_3148

IMG_3151

IMG_3150

Eggplant Parmesan

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

4 medium size eggplant, peeled, sliced a 1/2- 3/4 inch thick (6 slices from each)
3 cups of tomato sauce
3 Tbsp. Penzeys Sandwich Sprinkle or Italian seasonings, divided
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
Fresh Mozzarella sliced, 2 slices for each stack
(used 1 1/2 logs for 8 stacks, so 2 logs would work for 12 stacks)
PAM Olive Oil spray

Sprinkle each slice of eggplant both sides lightly with salt, place slice in colander in the sink,
let set for 30-40 mins.  Then pat each piece with a paper towel, doing this helps draw out the bitterness that some eggplants tend to have.

In a bowl add panko, Parmesan and 2 Tbsp. seasonings; mix together.  Place slices on a baking sheet and put about 1- 1 1/2 Tbsp. of mixture on top, press mixture down with hand then spray with olive oil spray.
Crumb mixture does fly around a little that is why I press down the mixture, you can drizzle tops with olive oil if you wish.  Bake at 385 degrees until tops are brown about 25 minutes or so. 

Meanwhile get your tomato sauce ready, mix in 1 Tbsp. seasoning, have mozzarella slices ready.
Spray a baking dish that will hold the amount you are making.

Once eggplant tops have browned, place half the slice in the baking dish, top with 1 – 1 1/2 Tbsp. sauce,
then a slice of cheese, repeat again, eggplant, sauce and cheese.
At this point you can top each stack with leftover sauce and sprinkle with any left over crumb mixture, or just sprinkle some a little Parmesan cheese over top.  Bake at 385 degrees until light brown and cheese is bubbly.  

You can really make this your own, you like more sauce use more sauce, or cheese even, if you want to stack 3 high then stack 3 high.  These a great meal served with a simple salad on the side.

Enjoy!!!

 

Advertisements

Summer Cooking Class Series!!

16 Comments

Yes I know I have been a little “MIA” lately!!!

But this summer has been busy and I can’t believe its JULY!!!! 
I have my hand in so many different little things that I am just so busy and it’s been hard to find the time to blog.  Plus I have not been cooking anything really good for myself, so hence no blogs.

But I did finish a couple weeks ago a cooking class series that I did in 3 of our stores 🙂

They all turned out great, a lot of grilling and a few out of the box recipes, beer sampling with one too!!

Here are a few pictures of the dishes and the crowds, it was a great time and I had a LOT of help from some of GREAT co-workers.

I hope you enjoy!!!

Grilled Fruit Pizza – naan bread, Camembert cheese, blackberries, strawberries, basil and balsamic glaze

FullSizeRender (0000000D) FullSizeRender (00000008) FullSizeRender (00000004)

Grilled Asian Corn with peanuts

FullSizeRender (0000000E)

Grilled Watermelon with arugula, feta and balsamic glaze

FullSizeRender (00000012)

Crowd pic

FullSizeRender (00000003)

FullSizeRender (00000002)

FullSizeRender (00000005)

Veggie Pizza – Garlic naan bread, red pepper hummus, grilled veggies topped with goat cheese

FullSizeRender (0000000B) FullSizeRender (00000007)

Grilled pound cake and pineapple

FullSizeRender (0000000A)

Grilled German Potato Salad

IMG_2585

Grilled veggies with garlic couscous topped with basil

IMG_2586

crowd pics

FullSizeRender (00000009) FullSizeRender (00000016)

Zucchini & tomato salad with ricotta, Parmesan and pesto

IMG_2581

Hawaiian Rice – cooked in coconut milk, golden raisin, macadamia nuts and green onions

FullSizeRender (0000000C) FullSizeRender (00000019)

Mango & pineapple salsa

FullSizeRender (00000013)

Crowd Pics

IMG_2588

IMG_2576

Grilled romaine with mango vinaigrette, shredded jicama, pineapple, red pepper and black sesame seeds

FullSizeRender (00000010)

Me – having fun with the microphone….I love being on the Microphone 😛 

Chef Amy

Savory Tomato Cobbler!!

11 Comments

IMG_20130809_142435Okay so my Dad has a ton of Tomatoes…wait let me capitalize that “A TON” from his garden…I think he gets like 20 a day 🙂

IMG_20130809_142535

So I was thinking what could I make…hhmmmm oh what about at Tomato Cobbler!! 

Now this turned out in my mind just okay, after I made it I tasted a piece and thought I could make it better for sure 🙂

I then hopped in my car to take the over to my “food tasters” my “parents” 🙂

And they absolutely loved it!!!!!!!!  I was so surprised but very happy.

When I went to the office the next day someone brought in a huge bag of fresh roma tomatoes from somebody’s garden, and as people were in our kitchen getting the tomatoes 🙂  

Pat one of the many Great Men that work in our Corporate office, said “Oh I just love tomatoes”…I then said well you would love this new recipe that I came up with, I’ll take some of these tomatoes here and I will make it and bring it in for everyone to try.

So I did…and well as I’m sitting here typing this I have getting lots of emails and people stopping by and telling how good it was and can I get the recipe 🙂  Mostly from all the Great Women in our office 🙂

I am so happy that everyone loves it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Now I did change it a little from the first time I made it today so here is the recipe!!

Ingredients – added fresh basil – not in picture

IMG_20130809_113852

 

score your tomatoes

IMG_20130809_115905

boil your water

IMG_20130809_115803

add tomatoes

IMG_20130809_120027

peel tomatoes

IMG_20130809_121723

 

IMG_20130809_122017

chop or squish tomatoes add to a colander to drain, keep juices

IMG_20130809_125125

add melted butter and sugar together

IMG_20130809_123943

mix 

IMG_20130809_124015

add flour, seasonings, salt, pepper, baking powder mix

IMG_20130809_124249

then add cheese and fresh chopped basil

IMG_20130809_124410

add milk

IMG_20130809_124444

 

mix together

IMG_20130809_124612

baking dish I used

IMG_20130809_120547

add batter to baking dish

IMG_20130809_124717

smooth out

IMG_20130809_124824

add tomatoes

IMG_20130809_125341

then 1 cup of juices from tomatoes

IMG_20130809_125454

bake

IMG_20130809_140041

add basil and cheese and bake till melted

IMG_20130809_140120

this is the one I made of the office, didn’t take a picture till it was almost gone 🙂

IMG_20130815_090911

 

IMG_20130809_142126

Recipe – Savory Tomato Cobbler

I used a 2.75 qt. baking dish   Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Batter

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. Southwestern seasoning, **See Note below
1 tsp. Italian seasoning,  **See Note below
3 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped, plus extra for topping
1 2/3 cup fresh Parmesan/Romano cheese, shredded, divided  ***See Note below

1 3/4 to 2 cups tomatoes, skinned and drained

Spray your baking dish really good

Boil water in a large pot, score your tomatoes on the bottom with an “X”
Once water in boiling add tomatoes and boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on size.
Pull them out and take a paper towel to pull skin off, then core and place in a colander over a large bowl.  Add all tomatoes to colander then squish with your hands to release all juices, let drain as long as you can or over night in the fridge.  (you will need the juice)

Batter – in a medium bowl add sugar and melted butter and stir to combine, then add flour, seasonings, salt, pepper, basil, cheese, baking powder and mix and fold to combine, then stir in milk.  This will be sticky, once combined then spread out evenly into baking dish.

Top batter with tomatoes, then use 1 cup of the juices from the drained tomatoes (if you don’t have 1 cup add cold water to make 1 cup)

Pour over tomatoes the 1 cup of juices, then bake for 1 hour,  once done you can top the cobbler with some more fresh chopped basil all over it and then sprinkle the rest of the cheese all over as well.  The cheese will melt a little or you can return to the oven for a few minutes more to melt.  Let set for 10 minutes before serving.

****Seasonings note – the southwestern blend that I used had a combination of cumin, garlic, oregano, cilantro leaves, coriander and chives.  To make this I would take a heaping 1/4 tsp of each, that would make up what you need for this recipe.  Or you can just use Italian seasoning entirely for this recipe.

****Cheese note – in my pictures I have Parmesan and Romano cheese, you do not have to use both you can just use Parmesan cheese.  But Please…you must you fresh….you can shred a wedge or you can buy in a tub already shredded.

DO NOT use the Non-refrigerated kind in the Jar!!!

This dish would be great with a nice big salad!!  I hope you will give it a try!!!  Enjoy!!

IMG_20130809_142157IMG_20130809_142312

Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese

1 Comment

Growing up I think everyone at some point in time had tomato soup and grilled cheese, of course unless your Mom made everything from scratch most likely you got good old Campbell’s.  Don’t get me wrong Campbell’s is a great product, but who knew how really simple making homemade tomato soup was, so when I feel like I want something from my childhood this is what I do.  You can also serve cold or at room temp. For a party I served the soup in tiny cups and made grilled cheese sticks for convenient dipping, it was a hit for sure!!!

Tomato Soup

1/4 cup sweet or red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14.5oz) whole peeled tomatoes, give them a little squish
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

In a medium saucepan over medium heat add oil and onions, cook onion until translucent, stirring often not to burn.  Then add garlic, cooking and stirring for about 30 seconds, now add the tomatoes and their juices, bring to a boil then let simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add mixture to a blender and pulse to blend, make sure the lid is vented, you can take the center cap out of the lid, place a towel over top.  Once blended add cream and blend again, pour back into saucepan, keep warm, season with salt and pepper.

At this point you can serve or you may want to top it with some fresh chopped basil or chives, what about some sour cream, goat cheese, queso fresco or for me I like some crumbled gorgonzola cheese.  But you can top this soup with anything you can think of, plus its great to dip your grilled cheese in it too.

Grilled Cheese

1. Start with some good hearty bread, sliced and butter the outsides.

2. Cheese, there really is no one cheese that would not be good inside, for me I love changing it up, these are some cheeses I’ve used, provolone, smoked provolone & mozzarella, fontina, sharp white cheddar, Muenster, then my favorites are manchego and brie.  Brie with pears and some honey so good too, also crispy bacon…delicious

So what ever you use for your favorite grilled cheese go for it, but do me a flavor think outside the box!!!
There are so many wonderful cheeses out there, the next time you’re in the store take time to look around the deli area for the specialty cheeses, ask your deli server to help you pick something out, let them know you want to explore the wonderful cheeses of the world.

Let me know what you some of your favorite cheeses and combinations are…Enjoy!!

Cucumber, Tomato & Mint Salad

Leave a comment

This past weekend I did a cooking event featuring recipes that use “Fresh Herbs”  Everyone loved this refreshing salad…hope you will try it… Enjoy!!!

Cucumber, Tomato & Mint Salad

1 seedless cucumber, cut into slices, if you want to peel it you can, or peel every 1/2 inch to make stripes
(about 2 cups)
1 container grape tomatoes, halved
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. honey

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

In a large whisk together vinegar, oil and salt, then add cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions and mint, toss to combine.  Let set for about 5 minutes before serving.

This can be served as a side dish, maybe with a piece of fresh grill fished, or serve with fresh-baked crostini’s as an appetizer, what a great summer appetizer serve  to your guest.

Spicy Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Corn & Tomato Salad

Leave a comment

I love using pork tenderloin, it really is a no fail meat.  This rub is nice and spicy with Cocoa and espresso powders, great for a nice thick steak as well.

I am pairing this with a Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad…hope you will try it!

Chef Amy’s Spicy Pork Rub

1 tbsp. chipotle chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. espresso powder
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. kosher salt

In a small container mix all together well, this will be enough for 4-6 pork tenderloins.  You can rub as must or as little as you want.

Pork tenderloin, fat and silver skin removed, rub spice blend all over pork, grill over medium heat, turning as needed until internal temperature registers 145 with a meat thermometer. 

Remove from heat, tent with foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes, then slice and serve with Roasted Corn and tomato salad.

Keep remaining rub in an air tight container.

Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad

3-4 ears of corn, grilled, kernels cut off (about 3 cups)
1 container of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup queso fresco cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp. lime juice
zest of 1 lime
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt  and pepper to taste

If you don’t want to grill your corn, then just cut kernels off the cobs and in a large skillet over medium heat add 1 tbsp. oil, add corn and cook until soft, 3-5 minutes.  Cool corn slightly.

Whisk together lime juice, zest, vinegar and oil in a small bowl..
In a large bowl add tomatoes, corn, cheese and cilantro, toss with vinaigrette then season with salt and pepper.  Serve with Pork

Tortilla Soup

Leave a comment

This tortilla soup was a big hit, it doesn’t have a little kick from the ancho powder, you can cut back on that a little.  Great for a party with some Mexican Beer or Margaritas!!!  Enjoy!!

6 – 6 inch corn tortillas, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp. ancho powder
1 tbsp. cumin
6 cups chicken stock
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 can diced green chilies
1 ½ cup corn, fresh cut off the cob, frozen or can
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded, meat shredded or chopped
In a large stock pot add 3 tbsp. oil over medium heat, add tortilla pieces and cook, stirring, until browned, 2-3 minutes.  Add 1 tbsp. oil more then add onion, garlic, ancho powder, cumin and cilantro.  Cook, stirring until spices are fragrant and onion is softened about 7-8 minutes.  Add stock, tomatoes, green chilies, corn and bay leaves, bring to a boil, add chicken and lower to a simmer until ready to serve. Season with salt and pepper.

You can garnish the soup with tortilla chips, red onion, queso fresco, jalapenos, avocados and sour cream.