Thursday, July 24, 2014

Eggplant Parmesan

2 Large Eggplant - Peeled & Sliced about 1/2" thick
3 Eggs - Beaten
1 Cup Flour
3 Cups Sundried Tomato Basil Wheat Thins - Use a blender or food processor to turn into crumbs
3 Cups Tomato Sauce - I make my own but your favorite brand is fine
1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
1/4 Cup Basil - Torn
9 Slices Mozzarella Cheese - About 1/4" thick
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese - Shredded
Canola Oil - or Vegetable Oil

Over a wire rack placed over a cookie sheet place the sliced eggplant.  Generously salt both sides and set aside for 1 hour.  The salt will draw out the bitterness in the eggplant and make all the difference in the world in the taste.  After an hour, rinse the eggplant under water to remove the salt and pat dry with a paper towel.

In a pan over med/high heat add about 1/4" of oil and heat to the point if you dropped a tiny bit of flour in it would sizzle.  Working quickly and in an assembly line take each slice of eggplant and dredge in the four, tapping off any excess.  Then dredge in the beaten egg and then the wheat thins and place in the pan.

Fry on each side about 1-2 minutes or until golden and browned then place on either a wire rack to drain or on paper towels to drain off any excess oil.  Repeat process until all are fried, adding oil as needed.

In an 8x8" pan place a ladle full of tomato sauce on the bottom and move around to cover bottom of pan.  Layer in a single layer of eggplant.  Cut to fit if necessary.  Ladle another tomato sauce layer, sprinkle 1/3 of the basil over the eggplant.  Repeat 2 more times to make a total of 3 layers.

Divide the ricotta cheese over the eggplant in dollops, place the slices of mozzarella cheese over that and the remaining tomato sauce.  Sprinkle the top with the parmesan cheese.

Place in a preheated 350 degree oven.  I put it on a cookie sheet in case there was spillage.  Cook for 35-40 minutes when the top should be a nice bubbly brown.  Let sit about 15 minutes before serving. Should serve about 4-6 servings.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mock Banana Nutella Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Ice Cream

3 Bananas - Diced & Frozen
1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt
1/4 Cup Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Nutella
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cinnamon

In a food processor or blender add the bananas, yogurt, peanut butter, nutella, salt and cinnamon.  Blend until a smooth consistency.  Transfer to a container and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

It's a great, healthier version of ice cream for the hot summer months.  The salt helps cut the sweetness.  Mix it up by, after blending, add in peanuts or candies.  Enjoy.

Original version of the recipe courtesy of Food Network:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Zucchini Carrot Fritters

3 Med / Large Zucchini - Shredded
2 Carrots - Shredded
1/2 Large Onion - Shredded
3 Garlic Cloves - Smashed & Finely Diced
2 Eggs - Beaten
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Coriander
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Cup Bisquick
3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese - Shredded
Canola Oil

Put the zucchini in a kitchen towel and squeeze until all the liquid comes out.  In a large bowl add the zucchini, carrots, onion and garlic.  Mix to combine.  Add the salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cayenne and mix to combine.  Add in the eggs, biscuit mix and parmesan cheese and mix to combine.

In a non-stick skillet over medium heat add 1 tbsp canola oil and 1 tbsp butter.  Scoop zucchini mixture into pan (about 1/4 cup) and pat down to about 2" circles.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.  I covered the pan to allow the center to cook.

Drain on a paper towel after removing from pan.  As a topping I mixed together sour cream and dill and put a dollop on each one.  Enjoy.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Peach Nectarine Blueberry Crostata


1 1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Sugar
1/8 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Cold Butter - Cubed
1/4 Cold Milk
1 - 2 tbsp Water (if needed)


3 Peaches - Peeled & Sliced
3 Nectarines - Sliced
1/4 Cup Blueberries (I used frozen because that's what I had)
1/4 Cup Flour + 1 tbsp
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Apricot Preserves

In a food processor add the flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon and pulse a few times to combine.  Add in the butter cubes and pulse until a coarse meal consistency.  Add in the milk and pulse again until combined.  Should be like wet sand.  If needed add in 1 -2 tbsp of water if dough is too dry.

Pour dough out onto the counter and form into a ball.  Flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

While dough is in the fridge start on the filling.  In a large bowl add the peaches, nectarines, blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and mix to combine.  In batches add in the 1/4 cup flour and mix between batches to coat the fruit.  You don't want to dump it all in at once and clump up.

While the dough is resting in the fridge occasionally come back to the fruit and stir.  It will start giving off juices and you want to keep mixing to keep coating the fruit.

After at least 30 minutes take the dough out and with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch consistency.  It doesn't have to be perfect and if there are holes just patch them.  It will be about 14 inches in diameter.

Spray a cooking sheet (with sides) w/ cooking spray and place the dough on the sheet.  Sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp of flour over the dough.  Using a slotted spoon place the fruit in the center of the dough and spread out, leaving about a 2" diameter to the edges.  Fold up the edges over the fruit, crimping the edges along the way, patching any holes to keep the juices in the dough while it cooks.

Place tart in a pre-heated 425 degree oven for 35 minutes.  Keep an eye on it as ovens vary, may take a minute or two more or less.  You're looking for a golden crust.

When tart is out of the oven, heat up 1/4 cup of apricot preserves in the microwave until loose (about 15-30 seconds).  Brush the preserves over the tart.  Let cool for about 15 minutes and then serve.  Can also be served at room temp or topped with basil infused marscarpone cheese or vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sweet & Spicy Ketchup

10 Roma Tomatoes - Diced
1 Cup Sugar
1 Medium Onion - Diced
4 Garlic Cloves - Smashed & Diced
2 tbsp Molasses
1 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Cumin
1 tbsp Pepper
1 Cup Cantaloupe - Diced
1/4 tsp Cayenne
2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

In a medium size pot combine the tomatoes, sugar, onion, garlic, molasses, salt, cumin & pepper.  Over high heat bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer for about 15 minutes.  Use a potato masher to break down the tomatoes, etc. and simmer for about 45 minutes (covered).

Uncover and cook 30 minutes.  Add in the cantaloupe, cayenne & vinegar and cook another 15 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth.  Strain through a wire colander or a food mill and put back on stove to thicken on med / low heat (about 10 minutes).  Adjust seasoning if necessary.  Place in airtight container in fridge.  Enjoy.