Tuesday, June 11, 2019

BAKED EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA WITH PROVOLONE & SWISS CHARD

The eggplants are so crispy and are baked in the oven.  I made a marinara sauce with canned cherry tomatoes and sautéed some Swiss chard and that was spooned under the marinara sauce. I peel the eggplant leaving stripes; otherwise, the peel can be quite chewy.

Lee's Kitchen Tips:
I saved the larger slices for the dishes and just had a few smaller ones for my husband to enjoy, plain, right out of the oven.



Baked Eggplants
2 large eggplants, partially peeled and cut into ½-inch thick slices.
½ cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
1 T water
½ cup Italian bread crumbs
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Cherry Tomato Marina Sauce
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 14-oz cans cherry tomatoes
1 small bunch fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Swiss Chard
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch Swiss chard, trimmed of middle stems and chopped 

In a shallow bowl, add the flour and season generously with salt and pepper.
In a second shallow bowl, whisk the egg with the water.
In a third shallow bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, panko, and grated Parmigiano.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Drizzle some oil on a large baking sheet pan and set aside.
Dip eggplant slices in flour, shaking off excess, then dip in egg mixture and finally in bread crumb mixture.
Place eggplant slices on the baking sheet and drizzle a little more oil on top.
Bake for 20 minutes, flip each one over, and bake another 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with a little more Parmigiano and add a piece of provolone cheese on top.
Place back in oven for cheese to melt, about 3 to 4 minutes.

In a saucepan, heat the oil over low heat and sauté
the garlic red pepper flakes for a minute or two.
Add the cherry tomatoes and mash lightly with a fork or potato masher.  Leave the tomatoes mostly whole.  Simmer for 20 minutes, add basil and season with salt and pepper
Set aside and keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, add the olive oil and sauté
the Swiss chard until soft, about 5 minutes.  
Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
Set aside and keep warm.

To Assemble
Spoon half of the chard in the middle of a plate.
Ladle on some cherry tomato sauce.
Add 4 slices of the eggplant and garnish with basil, if desired.

Serves 2




Tuesday, May 28, 2019

EGGPLANT CAPRESE-STYLE

This makes an excellent side dish (contorni) or lunch with a glass of red wine.  No need to salt eggplant before baking.  They get deliciously crisp with just a little oil.




Tomato-Basil Salad
1 cup cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 small bunch basil, rolled up like a cigar and thinly sliced (chiffonade)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Eggplant
2 medium eggplants, washed
1 cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
1 ½ cups Italian breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated Italian cheese (your favorite)
¼ t red pepper flakes

8 slices fontina cheese

In a small bowl add the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and a third of the basil.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Stir to combine, cover and set aside on your counter.

Cut the two rounded sides off of the eggplant and then slice each one into four slices, lengthwise, leaving stem on.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray a baking sheet with oil and set aside.
Place flour in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper.
In another shallow bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon of water.
In a third shallow bowl, add the breadcrumbs, grated cheese, and red pepper flakes.

First, dip a slice of eggplant in the seasoned flour, shaking off excess.
Next, dip it into the egg mixture, coating both sides and finally into the breadcrumb mixture; pressing down on each side to coat completely.

Arrange them on the baking sheet and drizzle with a little more oil and place in the oven.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and flip over with a spatula and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and add the fontina cheese to each eggplant slice.  Place back in the oven and bake for another 2 to 4 minutes, just until the cheese has melted, but not browned.
Transfer to a serving platter and spoon on the tomato mixture and garnish with the rest of the basil.



Friday, May 17, 2019

BIG MAMMA & PAPA'S 50TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY WITH FAMILY


Portsmouth, Virginia 1947

CAPRESE SALAD WITH ITALIAN OLIVES - Insalata Caprese

Caprese salad is one of the simplest and most delicious salads to make. Be sure to use good quality extra-virgin olive oil.



2 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
1 chunk whole milk mozzarella cheese, sliced
3 leaves basil, sliced
Italian black olives (Ligurian or Gaeta)
Extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Layer the tomatoes and mozzarella on two plates or one platter.

Add basil and olives.
Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 2

Monday, May 6, 2019

SMOKED SALMON & SUN-DRIED TOMATO FRITTATA


Frittate are Italian open-faced omelets. Use any smoked fish you prefer, such as tuna or trout.  Frittate is plural for frittata.


4 large eggs
¼ cup half-and-half or milk
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T unsalted butter
2 scallions, diced
¼ cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes in oil
¼ lb. alder smoked Pacific salmon
2 oz. goat cheese, torn into chunks
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

In a bowl whisk together eggs and half-and-half.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in a small nonstick omelet pan over medium heat.
Add scallions and sun-dried tomatoes and sauté 2 minutes.
Tear salmon into bite-size pieces and scatter in pan.
Pour egg mixture over and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and dot with goat cheese.
Place back in oven and bake another 5 minutes.
Garnish with torn basil and transfer to a cutting board and cut in half.

Serves 2