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Posts Tagged ‘eggplant’

Eggplant Unrolled. Note the stylish 40 year old Corelle!

Well, it happened again. I set out to follow a recipe and end up doing my own thing. I may never know how an original recipe actually tastes.

Inspired by an Eggplant Roll recipe and this marinara recipe, I came up with the following Eggplant lasagna, or non- rollatini. Rolls would have been cool, but I felt my eggplant slices were too small and it would make it more work than it was worth. The resulting bake (I hate to use the word casserole) was absolutely delicious. Not to toot my own horn, but I seriously felt it was restaurant quality. This makes a HUGE amount, so this would be a good dish to make for a crowd.

KKF Eggplant: Unrolled!

For the unrolls:
3 large eggplant, sliced ¼ inch to 3/8 inch thick
1 head of garlic, smashed and removed from skins
3/4 cup olive oil
2 cups of yogurt cheese (yogurt that has had most of the whey strained out. If you don’t have or don’t want this, you can use ricotta and have the same impact.)
1 cup of cottage cheese (or ricotta)
1 ½ cups grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella plus some for topping the dish
A handful of minced fresh basil
1 pound ground pork
1 t salt
1 T Italian seasoning
Black pepper to taste

For the marinara:
3 T olive oil
6 cloves of the garlic used in the eggplant marinade, minced
26 oz canned diced tomatoes
16 oz can tomato sauce
7 oz can tomato paste
½ c diced mushrooms
¾ cup red wine
1 t salt
Pepper to taste

Steps:

Roasted eggplant slices

1. Toss eggplant rounds with smashed garlic cloves and the olive oil. Marinate for two hours, tossing half way through.
2. Cook the ground pork with the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Cool to room temperature.
3. Place eggplant rounds in a single layer on baking sheets and put in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.
4. Sauté the garlic and mushrooms in the olive oil until the garlic starts to brown. Add all the other marinara ingredients and let simmer 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, mix the cheeses, basil and seasoned ground pork.
6. Take a large casserole dish (I used a 9 x 11, deep dish) or two smaller dishes and put together the layers thusly: cover the bottom of the dish with marinara, then do a layer of eggplant. It’s ok if it doesn’t cover the whole bottom. Put a big dallop of the cheese/pork mix on top of each round, then press another eggplant round on top (not too hard, just flatten it out a bit). Repeat until you run out of rounds, with the cheese mix being the top layer.

Building the layers

7. Pour the rest of the marinara sauce all over the stacks of eggplant and top with the rest of the mozzarella.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, until hot and bubbly throughout.

Hot, bubbly and delicious!

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There’s something special about a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s crunchy, gooey comfort that is difficult to match. However, I made a something of a grilled chese sandwich today that would make the Waffle House imposters hang their heads in shame.

I got some asian eggplants and sweet red peppers in my last CSA bag and was looking for a way to use them. Typically I’d harvest some basil from my lame-o plant on the back deck, grab the chili oil and do a spicy basil eggplant dish. But I stumbled upon the recipe for Eggplant and Pepper Parmesan Sandwiches and since I had some goat cheese on hand, decided to go for it.

Eggplant? Oh yeah, baby.

Eggplant? Oh yeah, baby.

Not having any baguettes on hand – but did have freshly baked bread – I used my own bread for the recipe. No tapenade, no problem. I diced up kalamata olives, hit them with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and was pretty proud of myself. I subbed gruyere for the parmesan just because I love gruyere.

This one was a 10 out of 10! I probably made some obscene sounds while I was eating it.

Unfortunately, not every dish can be a success. I had planned some Baked Sweet Potato Sticks to accompany my gourmet sandwich. I pretty much followed the recipe, which was probably the problem. Instead of paying attention to my sweet potatoes I was screwing around on the internet. Instead of watching my time and temperature I was picking out a wine for the meal. Kids, you might want to look away.

the PC term for BURNT.

Overbrowned: the PC term for BURNT.

Kung faux pas #3: do not blindly follow time and temperature guidelines on a recipe. Don’t let this happen to you!

As an interesting side note, this dish set is older than I am.

So the sweet potato sticks got a little “overbrowned.” But they actually still tasted ok…if you’re into charred cardboard.

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