Friday, January 01, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan


2-1/2lb medium eggplants, cut into rounds of about 1/3"
3-1/4 tsp. of salt
5lb of plum tomatoes
1- 1/4 cup of olive oil
2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
fresh basil leaves
1 tsp. of black pepper
1/4 tsp of dried red pepper flakes
1 cup of flour
5 eggs (or you can also use egg sustitute and it works too)
3- 1/2 cups of Panko
2/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb of fresh mozarella


Toss eggplant with 2 teaspoons of salt in a colander and let it drain for about 30 minutes.

While eggplant drains, blanch tomatoes together in a 5-quart pot of boiling water 1 minute. Transfer tomatoes with a slotted spoon to a cutting board and peel off the skin. Coarsely chop tomatoes, then purée in a blender. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot, then add garlic and sauté, stirring, until golden. Add tomato purée, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and red pepper flakes and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, (about 25 minutes).

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Stir together flour, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a shallow bowl. Lightly beat eggs in a different bowl, then stir together panko and 1/3 cup of Parmesan in yet another bowl.

One slice at a time, dredge eggplant in flour, shaking off excess, then dip in egg, letting excess drip off, and dredge in panko until evenly coated. Transfer eggplant to sheets of wax paper, arranging slices in 1 layer.

Heat olive oil in a deep 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then fry eggplant 4 slices at a time, turning over once, until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in bottom of a rectangular 3 1/2-quart (13- by 11- by 2-inch) baking dish. Arrange about one third of eggplant slices in 1 layer over sauce, overlapping slightly if necessary. Cover eggplant with about one third of remaining sauce (about 11/4 cups) and one third of mozzarella. Continue layering with remaining eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella. Sprinkle top with remaining Parmesan.

Bake, uncovered, until cheese is melted and golden and sauce is bubbling (35 to 40 minutes).


3 years...

That's how long it's been since I last posted a recipe. Wow!

This doesn't mean that I haven't cooked anything in that long but as it happens, life has goten in the way and I stopped caring about cooking as much as I once did. Schade!

Anyway, it seems like it's coming back to me...recently I made the decision to go from a chicken/turkey eater to a vegetarian. Originally my intention was to become a vegan; however, I was stupid to think that I could live without cheese even for a day. I'll take baby steps to that I suppose.

In any case, as I learn how to eat and cook in ways that are good, healthy and tasty enough that even my uber-carnivore roommates will eat my food, I will start posting recipes again.

I hope that if some of you have tips, pointers and fedback that will help me be a better vegetarian (or a better cook) you will share them as well.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cut out cookies


5 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar ---> or you can substitute this with Splenda for baking
1 large egg ---> or you can substitute with eggbeaters
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


2 to 3 tablespoons just-boiled water
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
Food coloring, preferably pastes

(or you can just buy Betty Crocker tastes better)

Special equipment: cookie cutters


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and moving towards moussiness, then beat in the egg and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and eggs, and mix gently but surely. If you think the finished mixture is too sticky to be rolled out, add more flour, but do so sparingly as too much will make the dough tough. Form into a fat disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Sprinkle a suitable surface with flour, place disk of dough on it, and sprinkle a little more flour on top of that. Then roll it out to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Cut into shapes, dipping the cutter into flour as you go, and place the cookies a little apart on 2 parchment or silpat lined baking sheets.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes; obviously it depends on the shape you're using and whether they are on the upper or lower shelf, though you can swap them around after about 5 minutes. When they're ready expect them to be tinged a pronounced gold around the edges; they'll be softish still in the middle, but set while they cool.

Remove the cookies with a flat, preferably flexible, spatula to a wire rack. When they are fully cooled, you can get on with the icing. Put a couple of tablespoons of not-quite-boiling water into a large bowl, add the sieved confectioners sugar and mix together, adding more water as you need to form a thick paste. Color,as desired. I think pastes are much better than liquid, not just because the range of colors is better but because they don't dilute the icing as they tint. Ice cooled cookies, as desired.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Coriander-Cinnamon Turkey Cutlets


1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 (1/4-inch-thick) turkey breast cutlets (about 1 1/4 lb)


Prepare grill for cooking with hot charcoal (high heat for gas).

Whisk together coriander, cinnamon, oil, and salt in a shallow bowl.

Turn cutlets to coat in spice mixture.

Grill turkey, turning once, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes total.

Transfer to a platter.

Cooks' Note: If you aren't able to grill outdoors, turkey can be cooked in a hot lightly oiled well-seasoned large (2-burner) ridged grill pan over moderately high heat, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 6 minutes total.

Makes 4 servings.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Chicken cacciatore


8 chicken breast filets
1 3/4 teaspoons table salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon of oregano
a few sprigs of fresh parsley
basil to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice
1 cup of portobello mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup of olives
1/2 cup chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth

Accompaniment: cooked white rice, roasted mashed potatoes


Pat chicken dry and sprinkle on all sides with 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and pepper. Heat oil in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken in 2 batches, turning over once, about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Sautee mushrooms and reduce heat to moderate and add onion, oregano, parsley, basil, bell pepper, and garlic to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any brown bits, until onion and garlic are golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add wine and simmer, scraping up brown bits, until liquid is reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, olives and simmer, breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon, 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and nestle chicken pieces in sauce.

Simmer, loosely covered with foil, until chicken is cooked through, 35 to 45 minutes. Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. For a thicker sauce, transfer cooked chicken to a platter and keep warm, covered, then boil sauce until it reaches desired consistency.

Makes 6 servings.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Potato and Mushroom Gratin


1.5 cups of whole milk
1 cup of heavy cream
half a cup of low fat cream
3 garlic cloves
6 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
2 bay leaves, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds sliced mushrooms (1.5 porcini/ 1.5 portobello)
1 leek, cut in rings
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 pounds baking potatoes, sliced paper-thin
3 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1 cup grated Gruyere


In a saucepan, combine milk, cream, garlic, 3 thyme sprigs and 1 bay leaf over low-medium heat. Heat to just under a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep while preparing the rest of the dish.

Coat a skillet with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add remaining thyme and bay leaf. Saute the mushrooms and leeks for 5 minutes to evaporate the liquid. Season with salt and pepper.

Butter a large casserole dish. Arrange 1/3 of the sliced potatoes on the bottom of the pan, overlapping them slightly. Season the potatoes with chopped parsley, chives, salt and pepper. Top potatoes with half of the mushroom mixture. Repeat layering 1/3 of the potatoes and remaining mushroom mixture. Arrange remaining potatoes on top. Press the layers down with a spatula to condense. Remove the solids from the infused milk and pour over the potatoes. Sprinkle the surface with cheese. Cover the pan with foil and place in a preheated 375 degrees F oven. Bake for 1 hour until the potatoes are tender. Uncover and bake for 15 additional minutes until cheese melts and gratin is golden around the edges. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Serves 8

Sauteed Spinach


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds fresh spinach (about 3 bunches), coarse stems discarded and leaves washed thoroughly and spun dry

3 cloves of thinly sliced garlic
1/4 of a small red onion chopped
1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar


In a large deep heavy skillet at least 12 inches across top heat oil over moderately high heat until hot and sautee garlic and onions. About 30 seconds later add spinach. Cook spinach, covered, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 minutes, and add balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.

Serves 4.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


1 (6 ounce) fillet orange roughy, or other firm white fish fillet
15 limes, juiced
1/2 pound cooked shrimp (optional)
2.5 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 red onion, chopped
2 avocados - peeled, pitted, and chopped
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
pico de gallo
2 teaspoons salt
1 pinch black pepper

1. Cut the raw fish into cubes and spread out in the bottom of a lasagna pan. Pour in enough lime juice to cover the fish; cover dish, and refrigerate overnight.
2. Remove fish from the refrigerator, and mix in shrimp, cilantro, onions, avocados, tomatoes, and celery. Stir in pico de gallo to taste, and season with salt and pepper. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Nutritional Facts:
Servings: 4
Calories per serving: 388
Protein: 23

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

1 lb plum tomatoes, cut in 1/4-inch slices
1 lb zucchini, cut in 1/4-inch slices
1 lb yellow squash, cut in 1/4-inch slices
2 red bell peppers, cut in 1-inch strips
2 green bell peppers, cut in 1-inch strips
1/2 lb mushroom caps, cut in 1/4-inch slices
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 containers (15 oz each) "lite" ricotta
2 tbsp bottled pesto sauce
1/3cup grated Parmesan
3 cans (14 1/2 oz each) diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
12 oven-ready lasagna noodles (1 package)
2cups shredded lowfat mozzarella

Preheat oven to 475°F. Toss plum tomatoes, zucchini, squash, peppers, mushrooms, salt, and oil in a bowl. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and place vegetables on it; roast 30 minutes. In a bowl, mix egg white, ricotta, pesto, and Parmesan. Coat a 9" x 12" baking pan with cooking spray. Spread 1 can tomatoes on the bottom. Top with 3 noodles. Spoon 1 1/4 cups ricotta mix over noodles, then a layer of 3 cups vegetables, then 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat this layer, starting with tomatoes. Add final can tomatoes, three noodles, remaining ricotta mix and vegetables. Top lasagna with last 3 noodles and 1 cup mozzarella. Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.

Nutritional information:

Makes 12 servings
Calories 299
Fat 10g (4 g saturated fat)
Carbohydrates 31g
Protein 22g
Makes 12 servings