Archive for the 'Eggplant' Category

Recipe: Lazy Eggplant Lasagna

|June 25, 2011|read comments (6)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

We've all heard about Lazy Pierogie – so why not try Lazy Eggplant Lasagna?

This didn't take long to make at all – it's so hot and humid that I took a jar of my homemade meat sauce out of the freezer the day before to thaw so that I could use it and not need to have a pot of sauce simmering on the stove! 

 This is a smaller eggplant than I would normally use because I made a smaller lasagna than normal. – – 

 

First, I combined my whole-milk ricotta with my chopped spinach.  You can wilt fresh spinach – but I chose to use frozen, cook and drain well and chop.  I used barely half the box – saved the remainder for another meal.  Allow to cool before adding to the cheese.  Seasoned with Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, fresh minced parsley (dried is fine to use) and mixed well.  Cover and refrigerate.

 

 

Wash and peel your eggplant.  Normally I would slice my eggplant – but this time I diced it instead.  I wasn't using lasagna noodles so why go for the slices?

 

Dip in beaten egg and dredge in seasoned bread crumbs – dry bread crumbs, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, garlic, onion powder, fresh minced parsley (dried is fine to use).

 

Well – you know the routine – heat your skillet, add your olive oil, heat your oil, and THEN add your breaded eggplant.  Fry until tender/light golden.

Meanwhile, I placed my pot of water on the stove to boil to cook my macaroni.  While waiting, I transferred the cooked eggplant to a dish to cool for just a bit, sliced my brick of mozzarella (which could easily have been grated – I sliced by choice) and I spooned about a half a quart of my sauce into a bowl.

Once again – you know the routine – pot of water comes to a rolling boil, add your salt and wait for the water to return to a full rolling boil, add your macaroni and cook al dente.  Drain well and do not rinse.

I used a few handfuls of medium shells, rotini, and cut ziti – a great way to use up macaroni!  And since they all cook at the same time – it was easy.  Once thoroughly drained, I stirred the cooked macaroni into my bowl of sauce and coated well.

 

I placed a couple spoons of sauce into my baking dish and topped with half my macaroni; spread my ricotta/spinach mixture over the top.

 

Then top this with cooked and partially cooled eggplant.  At this point you can sprinkle with grated mozzarella if you want.  I didn't do it this time.  Top with remaining macaroni, added a bit more sauce to the top of that and spread sliced mozzarella around the top.

 

Even though it was so hot and humid – I still preheated my oven to 350* F. and placed the lasagna in for 20 minutes – because this is not a big casserole dish.  A larger dish would take longer.

 

Enjoyed with a nice salad of greens and some onion bread.

If you didn't read my post about Chinese Meatballs then you missed my onion bread recipe – it's right up there with garlic bread – if not better:

Combine softened butter, fresh minced parsley (dried is fine), a bit of Kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, a sprinkle of onion powder, and fresh grated onion.  Slather on thick-sliced Italian or French bread.  Placed on a baking tray (can be done in the broiler or toaster oven as well) and in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes while the lasagna was heating through.

Mangia!!!

and so simple – did not take long at all to make!

I hope you try this one!

 

 

 

Recipe: Percitelli with Eggplant Parmesan

|February 24, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Veteran's Day this year I made another family favorite – Percitelli with Eggplant Parmesan in Meat Sauce. 

This year has been a rough one with so many funerals and wakes in the past month or so.  It got to the point that I was either at a wake or a funeral at least 5 days out of the week for several weeks.


I lost a few very close friends.  One quite suddenly and unexpected.  And it has not left me much time for anything at all.

With it being Veteran’s Day, of course I visited my dad’s grave, and my uncles and great uncles that all served our country. My paternal grandmother was a Gold Star mom. Three boys in the service, 2 in the Army and my dad in the Navy. Things were different in those days – there was no communication, computers, cell phones – just Gold Stars placed in the windows of the homes of those that were “missing”.


Yes, they did all come home – but there were many that didn’t.  And I just can't imagine a mother having to hang that Gold Star in her window and not know if her son would ever be found.


After I got home I started today’s dinner –

Eggplant Parm with Percitelli in Meat Sauce





And since my head is still up my azzzz with all this going on – I of course forgot to take my ground chuck out of the freezer – so it ended up in the pan frozen.  But it thawed as it cooked and didn't take all that much longer to cook. Heat large skillet, add some olive oil and heat the oil. Add 2+ pounds ground chuck and fry, breaking up, until it is all thawed and you can then season.


Meat seasonings:
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Garlic
Parsley
Ground fennel


While that was cooking, I started my eggplant.


Peeled and sliced thick; dip in beaten egg, then coat well with seasoned bread crumbs –


Plain dry bread crumbs
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Basil
Parsley
Garlic
Onion powder
Paprika

Skillet fried in olive oil.

Now – as you can notice – I did not salt the eggplant slices, etc. to remove any water.  There is no need to do this.  My eggplant wasn't bitter either.  Nor did it soak up a lot of oil.

By the time my eggplant was fried, my sauce ingredients were in the pan:

Tomato puree – and a half can of water
Tomato paste – and a can of water
Pinch sugar
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Parsley
Onion powder
Basil
Fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Bring to simmer; allow to simmer while my pot of water came to a rolling boil for my percitelli. Add my generous helping of salt, wait for the water to return to a rolling boil, add my percitelli and cook al dente.


While the macaroni is cooking, I cut my provolone cheese into rounds to fit on the eggplant slices.  It's hard these days to find a decent mozzarella cheese, and provolone is a great substitute.

Place the eggplant slices in a baking dish with a spoon of the sauce on top; top with a sliced of cheese. Placed in a preheated 350* F. oven just long enough to melt the cheese just a bit. We like our cheese ON our parm dishes, not melting off into the pan. Spoon a bit of sauce over for serving.


I sliced crusty Italian rolls to toast in the oven and added a piece of garlic/herb focaccia that I had made – just to heat through.