Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup

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cauliflowercoconutsoup

I love cauliflower and I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to cook it. One of my favorites is this recipe for Hot, Buttered Cauliflower Puree. Another favorite is Oven-Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic, Olive Oil and Lemon Juice. Add this soup to the list of things that I love to do with cauliflower. This soup is great for a cold and/or rainy day.

I know that this soup is called “curried” cauliflower soup. You may be wondering why my photo doesn’t look like any curry powder was using during the preparation. I actually used all of the spices in the ingredient list but the turmeric, which gives dishes a traditional “curry” color, because I didn’t have any in the house. Next time, I’ll toss it in.   It can only make the soup better, and it was very good without it.   If you don’t have vegetable broth on hand, you can substitute chicken broth, but if you do, the soup will no longer be vegetarian.

 

Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup
Recipe adapted every so slightly from The Kitchn

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium white or yellow onions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cloves minced garlic
1 large head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and cut into florets
4 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 cup coconut milk
Freshly-ground black pepper, to season
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Cook the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt until onions are soft and translucent, 8-9 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add garlic and cook for 2 additional minutes. Add cauliflower, vegetable broth, coriander, turmeric, cumin, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer until cauliflower is fork-tender, about 15-17 minutes

Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender until smooth, and then return the soup to the soup pot. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender to purée the soup right in the pot.) Stir in the coconut milk and warm the soup. Taste and add more salt, pepper or spices to taste.

Yield: 6 – 8 servings

One year ago: Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Two years ago: Chipotle Quinoa with Corn and Black Beans
Three years ago: Oatmeal, Cranberry and Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Four years ago: Crisp Roasted Potatoes
Five years ago: Dinner Spanakopita
Six years ago: Grandma Sachs’ Crumb Cake

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Cinnamon Streusel Baked French Toast Sticks

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Baked Streusal French Toast

I made these French Toast sticks recently on a lazy Saturday morning. The boys LOVED them (well, actually, three out of four did). I found them a little too sweet for my liking. They don’t take too long to make because you bake them on a large rimmed cookie sheet, so you’re able to make the entire batch of French toast at once, rather than a couple of slices at a time.  This is definitely not your everyday breakfast recipe.  Save it for when you have company.

I found my Texas Toast at Trader Joe’s. Texas Toast is just a nice thick piece of bread that’s twice the width of a typical slice. I typically make French toast using stale bread. My Texas Toast was nice and fresh, so I decided to toast each piece lightly before cutting it into sticks. Toasting the bread dried it out a little bit, which gave it more structural integrity when I dipped it into the egg mixture. Don’t forget to add a pinch of salt to the egg mixture. In my opinion, the French toast is slightly too sweet without it.


Cinnamon Streusel Baked French Toast Sticks

Recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod

For the French Toast Sticks:
4 slices Texas Toast (or French bread)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt


For the Cinnamon Streusel:

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Cut the bread slices into 3 sticks. In a large shallow dish, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Dunk bread sticks into batter, let excess drip off, then place onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 9 minutes.

While the French Toast Sticks are baking, make the cinnamon streusel. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Mix together with a fork, or in a small food processor, until you have a crumbly mixture.

Remove French Toast Sticks from the oven after the 9 minutes. Flip the sticks over and evenly sprinkle the cinnamon streusel over them. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for another 9-10 minutes, or until sticks are golden and streusel is set. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Yield: 4 servings

One year ago: Coconut Bread
Two years ago: Salted Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars
Three years ago: Spanakopita Lasagna
Four years ago: Chocolate Chip Waffles
Five years ago: Chive Risotto Cakes
Six years ago: Cheddar Corn Chowder

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Orange-Glazed Shrimp

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shrimp

This is a perfect weeknight meal. It’s easy to make, it’s delicious, and you can get it on the table in about 30 minutes. Serve it with rice and steamed broccoli and you have a nice dinner.

A couple of tips: Don’t overcook the shrimp. It’s easy to do, but if you overcook them they’ll be rubbery and tough. A perfectly cooked shrimp looks like it’s in the shape of a “C”. An overcooked shrimp will be in a tight “O” shape. Typically shrimp don’t take more than 3-4 minutes in total to cook.

For the fresh juice, I used 4 tangelos (I had them on hand) and 2 mandarins. They produced exactly the right amount of juice, and fresh juice is always much better than the orange juice that you buy in the supermarket.

This will definitely be added to our regular dinner rotation.

Orange-Glazed Shrimp
Recipe from Food and Wine

1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Steamed rice, for serving

In a saucepan, bring the orange juice, sugar and soy sauce to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. Stir in the zest.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Cook half of the shrimp over moderate heat, turning once, until white throughout, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate. Repeat with the remaining olive oil and shrimp. Return all of the shrimp to the skillet, add the orange glaze, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer the shrimp to a platter, garnish with parsley and serve with rice.

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

One year ago: Macaroni and Cheese with Black Beans and Chipotle
Two years ago: Oreo Rice Krispie Treats
Three years ago: Homemade Cheez-It Crackers
Four years ago: Breakfast Tart with Pancetta and Green Onions
Five years ago: Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Six years ago: Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

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Broccoli, Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole

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DSC_0125

This winter we’re having in New York is seemingly endless. We’re approaching the end of March, and we’re expecting snow tonight. It’s crazy.

There are many nice things about cold weather, but one of my favorites is a nice, hearty, warm casserole. I made this a couple of days ago when it was quite cold outside. I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was delicious! Since the boys won’t go near it with a 10-foot pole, my husband and I have eaten it as leftovers for a couple of days now. It makes a great lunch. It’s as good the next day as it is when you first make it.

This recipe calls for a bunch of broccoli. When using stems from a whole head of broccoli, you have to peel the stems. Instead of peeling and chopping the stems, I bought a couple of bags of fresh broccoli florets, which cut down the recipe’s prep time a bit.

My husband LOVED this recipe. This is now one of his favorite side-dishes. This is comfort food at its best – perfect for a cold winter’s night.

 

Broccoli, Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole
Recipe from SmittenKitchen.com

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 large onion, diced
Salt
2/3 cup uncooked wild rice blend, rinsed
1 pound broccoli
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard powder or 1/2 teaspoon smooth Dijon
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
8 ounces cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice to onion and cook for 1 minute, then add 1 1/3 cups water and a few pinches of salt. Bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to lowest temperature and cook with the lid on for about 50 minutes (or whatever amount of time is suggested on your package of rice). Watch the rice. You may need to add a little more water, like I did.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel broccoli stems and dice them into large chunks. Cut florets into 1-inch pieces. Cook in boiling, well-salted water for 2 to 3 minutes, then drain.

You can use this same pan to make the cheese sauce. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the mustard powder (if using), a pinch of cayenne and garlic and let sizzle for 1 minute. Add flour and whisk until combined, cooking the butter-flour mixture for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly drizzle in milk, whisking constantly, then broth. Bring to a simmer and cook mixture at a simmer, stirring the whole time, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in smooth Dijon mustard if you didn’t use mustard powder.

Remove pan from heat and stir in 1/3 of grated cheese until melted. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Combine cooked wild rice blend and broccoli in a 2-quart baking dish or a 9-inch oven-safe skillet. Pour cheese sauce over and gently nudge to ensure all pieces get some sauce. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Bake casserole for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly, then run mixture under the broiler until cheese is lightly browned on top.

Yield: ~6 servings

One year ago: Meyer Lemon Gelato
Two years ago: Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
Three years ago: Alfajores
Four years ago: Pineapple and Meyer Lemon Sorbet
Five years ago: Peanut Butter Cookies
Six years ago: Smashed Sweet Potatoes

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Chocolate Nudges

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Every couple of years I am tempted by a dessert recipe that contains ground pistachio nuts. I LOVE pistachios and I love desserts. The combination is always surprising to me. It’s never quite what I expect. These cookies remind me of chocolate cookies sold at Italian bakeries. I served them to a couple of my husband’s band mates and they loved them.

These cookies are definitely different from most other cookies I make.  If you’re looking for something different for a cookie swap or for a dessert tray, give these a try if you’re a fan of Italian bakery cookies.

 

Chocolate Nudge Cookies
Recipe from Lottie + Doof who adapted it slightly from Saltie: A Cookbook

1/2 cup shelled, toasted pistachios
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, plus 3/4 cup
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened dark (dutch-processed) cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum
2 cups semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using the pulse setting, grind the pistachios and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in a food processor until they have the consistency of coarse meal.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Cream the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and rum.

Add the dry ingredients and the pistachios to the butter mixture, beating until well-combined and scraping the bowl as needed. Stir in the chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed. Form the dough into 1-inch balls. Put the 3/4 cup granulated sugar in a bowl and toss the balls of dough in the sugar until evenly coated. Place the cookies on the prepared sheet about 2 inches apart and bake until they begin to crackle all over the top and are just firm to the touch, 12-17 minutes. Let cookies cool on pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: ~24 cookies

One year ago: Sugar Saucers
Two years ago:Banana Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Three years ago: Jerk Shrimp Pies
Four years ago: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
Five years ago: Black and White Cookies
Six years ago: Lasagna with Pink Sauce, Leeks and Sausage

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Easy Cold Sesame Noodles with Shredded Chicken

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DSC_0138

I know that I haven’t posted in a while. My life has taken on a new focus – homework – now that the triplets are in middle school.  I make sure the boys successfully complete the mounds of homework that they are assigned. I am also the official question-answerer. Their math homework is definitely keeping me on my toes and I find that I’m relearning Life Science, which I had totally forgotten.  I now know more than I want to about the functions of each of the organelles in plant and animal cells.  I’m also relearning Egyptian, Greek and Roman history.

Anyway, with all of the homework, and trying to keep the boys focused on homework rather than fooling around, I haven’t had much of a chance to stage the meals that I’m making for photography. We typically have a fairly quick family dinner so the boys can get back to their punishing homework, which means that I’m on duty again. The boys are engaged in homework often until 10pm and sometimes later.

I’m going to do my best to get back to posting again. I’m still cooking lots of new things, and we (at least my husband and I) love some of the recipes, so I have to make a point to take the time to have the food photographed.

There’s one great tip that I learned when making this recipe. I learned a new way to shred chicken. In the past I always shredded chicken using a fork. This time I followed a cooking tip that involved putting the whole (cooked) chicken breasts in the bowl of a stand mixer and turning it on. It worked like a charm! I poached my chicken breasts and when I took them out of the hot water, I put them directly into the bowl of the stand mixer. I turned it on and in seconds I had nicely shredded chicken. This is now going to be my go-to method for shredding chicken for recipes.

This recipe called for Chinese egg noodles. I didn’t have any so I used regular pasta. I’m sure that’s not the perfect substitution, but I thought the resulting dish was delicious.

Easy Cold Sesame Noodles with Shredded Chicken
Recipe from Serious Eats

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (about 2 breast halves)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 ounces fresh Chinese egg noodles (or regular pasta if you can’t find Chinese egg noodles)
1/4 cup tahini or peanut butter
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 cups shredded cabbage (about ¼ head)
4 scallions, light green and white parts thinly sliced
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts

Place chicken in a medium pot and cover with cold water by three inches. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, remove from heat, and let rest until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside. Reserve poaching liquid in pan.

Meanwhile, prepare the dressing in a large serving bowl by whisking together the tahini (or peanut butter), vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, sesame oil, chilil-garlic sauce, and fish sauce until combined.

Add one cup of water to the poaching liquid and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook according to the package directions. As the water boils and the noodles cook, shred the chicken.

When the noodles are done, drain and rinse well under cold water, repeating as needed. Add the noodles and the chicken to the dressing along with the cabbage and toss thoroughly to coat evenly. Finish with the scallions and peanuts and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

One year ago: Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
Two years ago: Easy Black Beans and Rice
Three years ago: Avocado Fries
Four years ago: Chocolate Pancakes
Five years ago: Baked Shrimp Scampi
Six years ago: Chicken Piccata

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Sugared Pretzel Cookies

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pretzel butter cookies

These cookies remind me of the Danish butter cookies that come in round tins around the holidays. You usually see them around Christmas time. Those Danish cookies are delectable (one of my son’s vocabulary words this week), and so are these pretzel cookies. I found that they keep for at least 5 days, which is the amount of time it took us to photograph them. They would have disappeared much sooner but I ordered the boys not to touch them until they were photographed.

You’ll notice that there’s no leavening agent like baking soda or baking powder in these cookies. That’s no mistake. Traditional butter cookies like these are basically flour, butter, sugar and eggs. The interesting thing about this recipe is that you use the yolk of a hard boiled egg. Sounds weird, but it works. Just make sure that you press it through a very fine sieve. I used a tea strainer like this one.

Sugared Pretzel Cookies
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from Cooks Illustrated

1 large hard-boiled egg
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 large egg white, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
4 teaspoons turbinado or clear sanding sugar

Place butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Crack hard boiled egg and peel shell. Separate yolk from white. Press yolk through fine-mesh strainer (I used a fine tea strainer) and into mixer bowl with other ingredients. Beat mixture on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl and beater with spatula as needed. Add vanilla, mix until combined. Add flours and mix at low speed until just combined. Using rubber spatula or your hands, reach into bowl and knead dough a few times into a cohesive mass.

Divide dough in half; place each half on a square of parchment paper. Form each into a log about 6 inches long (it will be about 1 3/4 inches in diameter) and wrap tightly with parchment, twisting ends to seal. Chill logs for 30 minutes, until semi-firm.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Slice 1/4-inch off first chilled log and roll slice into a ball in the palm of your hands; this softens the dough. On a counter, roll ball into a 6-inch rope. Pick up each end of rope and fold it into a pretzel shape. Transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, placing cookies one inch apart on prepared sheets.

Brush each pretzel cookie with egg white wash, then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake cookies until they have golden brown edges, about 13 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven but let firm up on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to cooling racks.

Yield: ~36 cookies

 

One year ago: Carrot Soup with Ginger and Lemon
Two years ago: Zvi’s Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Three years ago: Roasted Butternut Squash
Four years ago: Parmesan Cheese Crackers
Five years ago: Cardamom Spritz Cookies
Six years ago: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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Citrus Seasoning Salt

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I intended to make a bunch of this seasoning salt to give as Christmas gifts this year. Didn’t quite get around to it, but I finally had a chance to make it the other day. This salt is delicious on green vegetables and it’s also delicious on poultry. I imagine it will be wonderful on seafood as well. The other night I had some green peas with a little bit of butter and a sprinkling of this seasoning salt. They were so good I would have been happy eating just peas for dinner. I had two big servings.

If you use a sea salt like Malden that has big flakes, you might want to give the finished salt a spin through the food processor to make the salt crystals more uniform in size. I bought my sea salt from Trader Joe’s and all of the crystals the same size so I didn’t have to further process mine.

If you’re a margarita drinker, this salt will be excellent on the rim of the glass. I might try some of this salt on the next batch of homemade tortilla chips that I make.

 

Citrus Seasoning Salt
Recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks

1 cup sea salt
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1 Tablespoon lemon zest

Preheat your oven to oven 225 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the salt and citrus in a medium bowl and mix well. Really work the zest into the salt with the back of a spoon or with your fingers. you don’t want any big clumps of zest., making sure there aren’t any clumps of zest. Spread the mixture across the parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 70 – 90 minutes, or until the citrus is completely dried out. The zest should crumble when rubbed between your fingers. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Yield: 1 cup of seasoning salt

One year ago: Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms
Two years ago: Spinach Salad with Chicken and Apples
Three years ago: Chicken Stew
Four years ago: Jacques’ Chocolate Mudslide Cookies
Five years ago: Whole Wheat Cinnamon Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Spinach Brownies

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Spinach Brownies

My cousin Erica posted a picture of these spinach brownies on Facebook last week and I thought they looked delicious. I love having something in the refrigerator that’s quick and healthy for lunch and these are just the ticket. They’re good both warm or cold, straight from the fridge.   The boys wouldn’t go near these with a ten-foot pole, so my husband and I ate them as a side dish the first night I made them, I actually ate them for breakfast the next morning, and I ate them again for lunch the following day.

Don’t be fooled by the word brownies in the title of this recipe. The only thing these have in common with traditional brownies is their shape. They are not sweet at all.

When you are making these, you can use 10 oz. of frozen spinach if you don’t have fresh. Be sure you really squeeze all of the water out of the spinach before you mix it into the flour and egg mixture. You don’t want to end up with runny brownies.

My brownies had a nice brown crust on them because I decided to sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of Parmigiana cheese on top of the batter before I baked them. The original recipe didn’t call for this, but I do love my cheese.

 

Spinach Brownies
Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com

1 (10 ounce) package baby spinach, rinsed and chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (8 ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese
A couple of Tablespoons of Parmigiana cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

Place spinach in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and cook until spinach is limp, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside in a strainer to drain.

In a frying pan, melt the butter. Cook the onion over low/medium heat until translucent, about 5 – 8 minutes. When the onions are translucent, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. When the garlic is cooked, turn off the heat and set the pan aside.

Squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the spinach.

In a large bowl, mix flour, salt and baking powder. Stir in eggs and milk. Mix in spinach, onion/garlic and mozzarella cheese.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool before serving.

Yield: 24 “brownies”

One year ago: Creamy Spinach Enchiladas with Red Cabbage Slaw
Two years ago: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Three years ago: Roasted Vegetable Frittata
Four years ago: Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup
Five years ago: Lima Bean Soup with Parmesan Bacon Crisp

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Eggplant Un-Parmesan

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Eggplant Un-Parmesan

Here’s a recipe that I found on Mark Bittman’s website. I’m always looking for good vegetarian/vegan recipes because we’re trying to eat less meat and because of our friends’ dietary preferences/restrictions. When I looked at this recipe, I thought it might be a bland vegetarian side dish, but I was willing to give it a try anyway. Au contraire! It’s loaded with flavor and it was really delicious.

When you make this, don’t skimp on the fresh basil. Use it, and use a whole cup of it as specified in the recipe. It’s good. I had a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, so I used it in lieu of the plain diced tomatoes. It gave the recipe a little extra oomph.

When I made this, I found the sauce to be very chunky. I ended up with two layers of eggplant, and I actually used all of the sauce when I assembled the dish. I guess I didn’t follow their instructions about using a “thin layer” of sauce between layers. Perhaps I also didn’t cook the sauce long enough for the tomatoes to completely soften and get saucy. Regardless, I thought this was delicious. I loved that it was loaded with chunky, flavorful tomato layers.

The recipe calls for whole wheat breadcrumbs. I didn’t have any whole wheat bread kicking around (our boys are white bread fans – surprise, surprise) so I ended up using Panko, which worked perfectly.

This takes at least an hour to make, so allow that much time when you’re preparing it. I’ll definitely make this again. It was perfect reheated for lunch the next day.

 

Eggplant Un-Parmesan
Recipe by Mark Bittman

2 1/2 pounds eggplant
5 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes, with their juice
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs, preferably coarse-ground (or Panko)

Heat the oven to 450°F and position two racks so that they have at least 4 inches between them. Spray two rimmed baking sheets with a light coating of oil.  Cut the eggplant crosswise into 1/2 inch slices and arrange them on two rimmed baking sheets.

Use about 2 tablespoons of the oil to brush the top of each eggplant slice and sprinkle them with 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Roast the eggplant until the slices brown on the bottom and sides, 10 to 15 minutes; turn and cook the other side until they’re crisp in places and golden, another 5 to 10 minutes. When they finish cooking, remove them from the oven and lower the heat to 400ºF.

Meanwhile, put 2 Tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onion, sprinkle with another 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the mixture comes together and thickens, 20 to 25 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Cover the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with about ½ inch of the tomato sauce. Nestle a layer of eggplant into the sauce and top with some of the basil. Cover with a thin layer of tomato sauce and repeat until all the eggplant is used up; reserve some of the basil for serving. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and lots of pepper, and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Simmer the remaining sauce (you should have about 2 cups) over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, while the eggplant bakes.

Bake until the breadcrumbs are golden and the sauce has thickened, 15 to 20 minutes; let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, garnished with the remaining basil; pass the remaining sauce at the table (or refrigerate or freeze it for another use).

Yield: 4 servings

One year ago: Peanut Butter Blossoms
Two years ago: Ginger Scones
Three years ago: Cherry Banana Muffins with White Chocolate Chips
Four years ago: Classic Dinner Rolls
Five years ago: Malted Milk Ball Cookies

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