Thursday, July 14, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan Sorta

This super easy weeknight meal rocked! It was way better than I had imagined and much lighter than a traditional eggplant parmesan. I wanted eggplant parmesan, but I didn’t want the breaded fried goodness that comes with it, so I had a dilemma. Not really, but it makes this recipe sound way cooler. I am in love with Mezetta pasta sauce because it’s gluten free and free of some other junk that our bodies do not need on a regular basis. I love making my own pasta sauce, but some nights you need something bottled and quick. This dish reheated well for the next couple nights of dinner too!

Roasted Eggplant

1 Eggplant
Garlic Power
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Olive Oil

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Trim the ends of your eggplant off and stand it on one flat end to make it easy to cut the skin off. Slice the eggplant lengthwise and lay flat on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with garlic powder and black pepper. Pop in the oven for about 10-15 minutes and flip. The edges will start to turn a little brown and the eggplant will be tender.

Sausage Marinara Topper
1 lb. ground pork sausage (beef, chicken, or turkey could be subbed) 
1 Jar Mezetta Pasta Sauce (or your favorite, or a nice homemade sauce)
(Click HERE for a great semi-homemade sauce)

Brown the sausage until cooked through, then add the marinara. Cook until heated through.  Serve over roasted eggplant and let it melt in your mouth.

Here's a picture of the pasta sauce I used from the companies website


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Skillet Eggs with Squash

I hope everyone is enjoying a long holiday weekend as we celebrate America's birthday and our freedom!  I love the 4th of July for many reasons.  One, I love what it represents, two it was my grandmother's birthday (my momma's mom may she rest in peace, and lastly because we usually have a big ole' cookout.  This year we are foregoing the cookout, which bums me out but there has been way too much going on for us personally to do it this year.  I was hoping to get my dad over for marinated steaks on the 3rd (which are AWESOME), but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.  There's some strangeness going on since my momma's passing.  I suppose we are all forming a new normal, but I feel I need my dad more now than ever. So, tomorrow won't be as I want it to be, but it'll still be a great day.  I hope you all have a wonderful celebration of the USA!!

This recipe is courtesy of Food Network Magazine, July/August 2011.  It was absolutely delicious and I ate it all week long with it reheating very nicely.  I undercooked the eggs just slightly (except for the one egg I broke when placing it in the skillet), so when I reheated it the eggs wouldn't turn to rubber.  It worked out absolutely perfectly and some avocado smashed up was the perfect companion to this recipe.  Next time I will add some pancetta to it because it would add an excellent depth to the dish.  However, if I didn't have any pancetta on hand, I would not hesitate to make it as posted again.  The best thing was that I only used my cast iron skillet...who doesn't love having less dishes!

Skillet Eggs with Squash

6 medium zucchini
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I used 1.5 T of dried parsley)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (I did not use the butter as the original recipe did)
6 large eggs
1/2 cup grated pepper jack or sharp white cheddar cheese (I did not use the cheese)

Grate the squash into a colander using the large holes of a box grater (or use a food processor fitted with the shredding attachment). Toss with 1 tablespoon salt, then let drain in the sink, 30 to 40 minutes. Squeeze the squash to remove as much liquid as possible.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Set aside 3 tablespoons of scallion greens. Add the remaining scallions (white and green parts), the jalapeno, and salt to taste and cook until the scallions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the shredded squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the parsley, nutmeg, and pepper to taste. Cook until the mixture is slightly dry, about 1 more minute. Remove from the heat and let cool, 5 minutes.

Spread the squash evenly in the skillet. Make six 2 1/2-inch-wide indentations in the mixture with the back of a spoon; put 1/2 teaspoon of butter in each one. One at a time, crack each egg into a small bowl and pour into an indentation. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the cheese.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the egg whites are set and the yolks are cooked to desired doneness, 10 to 12 minutes. Scatter the reserved scallion greens on top.

"What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others." ~ Pericles