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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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 ūüėõ 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 ūüėõ 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

Asian Flank Steak and Chicken Wings with homemade BBQ Sauce

1 Comment

 

 

 

This is a re-blog from last year but with grilling season still going strong is a great recipe for grilling out.

Hope everyone is enjoying the summer ūüôā

 

This is the Flank Steak and Chicken Wing with homemade BBQ Sauce recipe I used when I grilled out with some friends and made the Mac and Cheese in the electric pressure cooker (previous blog)

I love this marinade I use is all the time!

Marinade

1/2 cup honey or brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tbsp. whole peppercorns, or just ground black pepper will work too
Mix everything in a ziploc bag, place your steak inside and refrigerate up to 24 hours.  Grill about 7 minutes per side, for medium rare, slice thinly across the grain.

I made this steak¬†sauce to be served with the steaks as well, but then I divided it and to half, I added a 1/4 cup more of brown sugar, stirred that in and used it as a BBQ sauce for our Chicken Wings…so good!!

BBQ Sauce/Steak Sauce

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup shallots, minced
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves

Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan, heat over medium-low heat, bring to a bubble, and then reduce to low, cook until shallots are tender, 15 Р20 minutes.  Let cool, store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
Remember if you want to make half a BBQ Sauce, divide and add 1/4 cup brown sugar to half the mixture.

My go to veggies that I just love so so much are green beans, jicama and onions, I think I could eat that combo everyday.  All I do is clean and break the green beans, peel and slice the onions and the jicama you peel that like a potato, then I slice it and cut into matchstick like pieces (they kind of look like french fries). 

I toss all of together with a little olive oil and some salt and pepper, grill them in a sitr-fry basket until the desired doneness…I like me veggies with a little bit of crunch still.¬† You can also saute these up in a skillet if you don’t want to use the grill.

I really do love jicama, I first had it many years ago in mexico, I thought it was potato, but I quickly found out it was this big root vegetable like a potato.¬† I use jicama¬†in my soups in place of potato, it really is go much better for you, I also will eat it raw just like carrot sticks.¬† It’s also great in salad or adding a crunch to salsa, if you have never tried jicama please go to your local produce dept. and ask them for it, you will not be sorry…Enjoy!!!

Zucchini and Nectarine Crisp

8 Comments

So this weekend was my Mom’s Birthday and I was trying to come up with a dessert that was different. I had a few Nectarines and I thought…cobbler…crisp???? but not enough to a full recipe and I’ve done that before….but not with zucchini ūüôā

IMG_20130712_142518

So this is what I came up with and I thought it was yummy!!! ūüėõ

Ingredients
a co-worker gave me some nice spices from Penzeys, so I used them, otherwise I would
have used whole nutmeg and grated it myself 

IMG_20130712_111659

peel, slice zucchini

IMG_20130712_112216

put into large skillet

IMG_20130712_114452

add lemon juice, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and brown sugar, stir and cook

IMG_20130712_115205

meantime, peel and slice nectarines, and set aside

IMG_20130712_113249IMG_20130712_114233

once zucchini has cooked and softened, remove from heat

IMG_20130712_121549

fold in nectarines

IMG_20130712_121846

pour into a 9×9 (8×8 will work too)

IMG_20130712_121641IMG_20130712_122034

make the crisp topping

IMG_20130712_121616

add cold butter cubes, mix with fingers, or use pastry cutter

IMG_20130712_122321

you want it to be crumbly, about pea size pieces

IMG_20130712_122750

sprinkle on top of zucchini mixture

IMG_20130712_123004

bake

IMG_20130712_141929

Recipe – Zucchini & Nectarine Crisp

Filling 

3 medium zucchini, peeled, halved lengthwise, then sliced
3 good size nectarines, peeled, sliced, set aside
3 tbsp. butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup lemon juice

Add zucchini slices to large skillet, add butter, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, cook over medium high heat, once butter is melted and mixture starts to boil, reduce heat to medium and continue to cook for about 5 minutes until zucchini is softened. ¬†Remove from heat and fold in nectarines, spray a 9×9 or 8×8 baking dish and pour mixture in baking dish.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Topping

1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cold butter, cut in cubes
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Add all dry ingredients to a medium bowl, then add butter, with your fingers squeeze butter cubes with dry ingredients, to make a crumbly mixture.   Sprinkle mixture all over zucchini mixture and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly around the edges.

IMG_20130712_142607

Serve with sweet whipped cream or vanilla ice cream….Enjoy!!!

IMG_20130712_142415

Scallops………………Made Easy!!

4 Comments

IMG_20130403_180934

Okay yes I love Scallops…LOL ¬†I know I know, I say I love everything I blog about but that’s why I blog about it ūüôā

Any way ūüôā scallops are so delicious…if you don’t over cook them ūüė¶

I really cook very simple for myself, it was a beautiful spring day and I found some fresh carrots, brussels sprouts, mushrooms and these scallops.  I knew it would be a great quick spring dinner to  make and of course I used my infused olive oil.

Let’s talk about the olive oil for a minute, a lot of these stores that are popping up that have like 20 different infused olive oil and 20 different infused balsamic vinegar’s and yes I love them!!! ūüôā

Right now I have Lime infused olive oil, Roasted Onion & Cilantro infused olive oil, White Pear Cranberry Balsamic Vinegar and the Blueberry Balsamic. ¬†They have so many more to choose from, so check out where you live and see if you have any shops near you that sell these amazing oils and vinegar’s.

Ingredients

IMG_20130403_173001

I just thinly slice everything

IMG_20130403_174505

add my Roasted Onion & Cilantro infused Olive oil to skillet over med-heat
you can always you some fresh herbs at the end before plating if you
don’t have infused oils

IMG_20130403_174813

added my shallots, carrots & mushrooms cook about 5 minutes

IMG_20130403_174909                            IMG_20130403_175441

meanwhile pat dry the scallops, salt and pepper,
add to skillet with 1 tbsp. olive oil

IMG_20130403_175753                                 IMG_20130403_175917

turn when they get a nice caramel color on them

IMG_20130403_180725

at this time add brussels to your skillet with your
carrots, mushrooms, toss just and cook for just
about 2-3 minutes

IMG_20130403_175619

add a tbsp. butter  to scallops

IMG_20130403_180829

once butter melts, till the pan and with a spoon
scoop melted butter up over the scallops to finish
cooking them

IMG_20130403_180934

Plate your veggies

IMG_20130403_181034

top with the scallops and Enjoy!!

IMG_20130403_181231

Recipe – serve 3 or 4 scallops per person

5 – Carrots, thinly sliced
5 – large mushrooms, thinly sliced
10 – brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
1-2 large shallots
olive oil
Sea Scallops
salt & pepper
butter

In a large skillet over medium high heat add 2 tbsp. olive oil, then add mushrooms, carrots and shallots, cook until almost tender and a little caramelized.  Add the brussels and continue to cook for about 2 Р3 minutes.  Add to center of plates and top with cooked scallops.

Pat dry scallops very well and salt and pepper both sides, over medium high heats cook scallops in a skillet with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Make sure you do not over crowd the skillet, let them cook for a good 3 minutes, once caramel in color  you can turn them over, let cook 1 more minute then,  add butter. Once butter is melted, tilt the pan and spoon butter over scallops to finish cooking, scallops should be springy to the touch, they will continue to cook once you remove them from the heat.  You do not want the scallops to get firm that would mean they are over cooked.

Serve them right away and you can drizzle the extra butter over top once plated.

***Note on the butter, if you are only serving 4 Р8 scallops you will not need more then 2 tbsp. butter.  Anything less I would use only 1 tbsp.

Enjoy!!!

Simply Roasted…

3 Comments

pic 1Roasted vegetables are just simply divine!! ¬†That is in my¬†opinion, well anything roasted is divine, if its roasted right and not on the verge of¬†charcoal! ¬† I usually will roast my veggies in the oven, that is until spring hits or I should say mid 60’s and not raining outside, then its time to grill. ¬†I roasted some veggies last week when it was still cold and maybe a little snow…and then that weekend it got up to upper 60’s, oh well I grilled out anyway but I can’t wait for the spring to kick in that’s for sure.

I guess really you can roast any veggies, some maybe not as long as others, but for this bunch I put them all together.  pic 7

I had some fennel bulbs, onion, carrots, along with some¬†maroon¬†carrots from Texas and a¬†turnip…yup one little old lonely turnip. ¬†All with some garlic cloves, fresh dill and rosemary.

A friend of mine gave me a “Bunch” of rosemary that he got off his huge rosemary bush.pic 2¬† ¬†I clean about half the stems off and placed them in water and have them sitting on my table and I have fresh rosemary whenever I need. ¬†They are growing roots and new tops, this is a great way to keep fresh rosemary around. ¬†I’m really hoping the roots will be enough for me to plant them myself.

So really you can use any veggies or fresh herbs or dried if you do not have fresh for roasting.

My peeled and chopped veggies

pic 3

garlic (kept whole), mince the dill and the rosemary (too much rosemary can be over powering so be careful you can always add more if needed).

pic 4

tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, spread out on a baking sheet

pic 5

roast on 400 degrees till tender or how ever you like them, check them every 10 to 15 minutes and give them a quick turn.

pic 6

serve them up

pic 7

You can serve them with your choice of meat, or maybe with a salad, you can put them in a wrap,  on a burger or just by themselves are tasty.
This could be a great appetizer too, once roasted and cooled give another chop, slice a baguette, brush with olive oil, toast slices.
Serve on a platter with veggies, maybe goat cheese or feta crumbs, some pesto even some thinly sliced fresh mozzarella, let your guest make their own crostini’s. ¬†Add bowl of mixed olives, a dish of Marcona Almonds and some wine you now have a party!! ¬†
 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.

Grilling!!!

Leave a comment

Who doesn’t like grilling, I absolutely love it and can’t get enough of it, but I do have one draw back…I live in a building that does not allow gas grills on the balconies.¬†¬† So I got myself an outside electric grill and I LOVE IT!!!

Yes I have indoor grills (2), grill pans (2 but I just like to be cooking outside and this does the trick.

Where I live its been on warm side lately so its been great to get out and start grilling early, although I do grill out all year round it’s just nice when the weather is on your side.

I can’t wait for the farmers markets to start up in full swing too, I love grilling any veggies, mushrooms, onions, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, green beans, potatoes, carrots, eggplant, corn and I could go on and on…ha

I recently grilled a nice strip steak, sweet onions and pattypan squash its was all so delicious.  When I grill veggies I just brush them with some olive oil and hit them with salt and pepper, but any seasons, spices or herbs are delicious with them too.

So here is to happy grilling!!! Cheers!!!