Posts tagged ‘eggplant’

Pasta, Veg, Veg, Veg, Dairy, Fruit

Menu: Mini ravioli with squash, shells, and parmesan shavings * chopped roasted eggplant with red and yellow bell peppers and basil * sauteed spinach * ricotta-yogurt blend with blueberries

Really more of a Thursday kind of supper, where I’m cleaning things out and/or trying not to have to go to the store, but there it was a Saturday and we had no meat or fish thawed or ready in the fridge and it was time for dinner and we are trying not to call Mangia Pizza in these circumstances.

I’d been to the farmers market, so once again I had lovely small Italian heirloom eggplants. I roasted them in a 400-degree oven for 40 minutes, along with a red and two yellow bell peppers. I found half a box of dry-pasta mini-ravioli stuffed with squash next to a quarter-box of shells (why I kept a quarter-box of shells instead of cooking it, I have no idea), and cooked them together (same cooking times). The vegs finished roasting and I peeled and chopped them together in a bowl with olive oil, a splash of balsamic, and a handful of basil from the patio, intending to use them to dress the pasta. Then I remembered the parmesan shavings, so decided to toss those with the pasta instead and serve the eggplant and peppers beside for mix-as-you-go-if-you-like. And so I did.

Finished the meal out with another batch of sauteed spinach (same as the last seven times you’ve seen it here); quick, easy, nutritious, delicious.

For dessert, I came across the end of a small tub of part-skim ricotta, and mixed it with the end of a big container of Brown Cow vanilla yogurt. Served it with blueberries and it was also interesting, though next time I might drain the yogurt a bit first as the dairy mixture separated out just a little towards the end.

About to head to the grocery store to replace all of the used-up-the-tail-ends ingredients above, plus purchase marinade ingredients for either lamb chops or steaks for Sunday dinner…

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June 29, 2008 at 4:01 pm Leave a comment

Leftovers At Last

Headache, and M is working late. I just heated up one little leftover lamb chop and had it with leftover pink-eyed peas, cucumber tomato artichoke salad, and the last eggplant relish from several days ago. There are three chops left for M and plenty of peas.

June 25, 2008 at 11:53 pm Leave a comment

Pork, Beans, Veg, Pasta, Veg

Menu: Sauteed Pork with Broad Bean Ratatouille * Lemon-Pepper Fettucine * Cucumber Tomato Artichoke Salad

We’re trying to watch our wallets and our weight here, so I buy a lot of produce at the farmers market so we have good healthy vegetables, and today I was shopping at Sam’s and came across a huge batch of boneless pork back ribs and thought, “hm, I bet I can do something with that.” I’d been planning some marinating and some braising, but by the time I got home, it was time to find something quick to do for dinner. It wound up taking an hour, but it was worth it.

Sauteed Pork (serves 3; we provide leftovers for an injured friend on Mondays, and I always want them to be good leftovers) (original recipe from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything”… it was for pork chops)

8 boneless back pork ribs
fresh ground sea salt and mixed peppercorns
2 T olive oil
1/2 c vermouth (original recipe called for dry white wine; this was as close as I could get)
1 tsp minced garlic (original says “or 2 T minced shallot, onion, or scallion)
1/2 c water (original says “or chicken, beef, or vegetable stock)
1 T wine vinegar (original says “or freshly squeezed lemon juice, which I might try next time)
a handful of fresh sage leaves, chopped

1 small eggplant
1 red bell pepper
1/4 corno di toro pepper
1 15-oz can broad beans (butter beans or limas)
1 15-oz can cannelini beans

Sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 or 3 minute.s Add 2 T olive oil; as soon as the first wisps of smoke rise from the oil, add the chops and turn the heat to high. Brown the ribs on all sides, moving them around to develop good color all over. The entire browning process should take no longer than 4 minutes, and preferably less.

Reduce heat to medium. Add vermouth and garlic and cook, turning meat once or twice until wine is all but evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 c water, turn to low, and cover. Cook 10 to 15 minutes, turning meat once or twice, until meat is tender but not dry. When done, they will be firm to the touch, juices will run just slightly pink, and when you cut into them (which you should do if you’re at all unsure of their doneness), the color will be rosy at first glance but quickly turn pale.

(this is where I switch to one of the Eight Ways provided by Mark Bittman, Sauteed With Onions and Peppers, which I change quite a bit)

Leaving everything else in the pan, remove the meat to a preheated oven to warm. Sprinkle chopped sage over before closing oven.

To pan juices, add 1 small eggplant, diced; 1 red bell pepper, diced, and 1/4 corno di toro pepper, minced. Stir, re-cover pan, and cook 5 minutes over medium heat. Remove cover and cook, stirring, until vegs are softened and beginning to brown, about 5 more minutes. Add 1 can broad beans and 1 can cannelini beans, both drained. Moisten with 1/2 c water (or stock), then cook til most liquid is absorbed. Splash wine vinegar over; taste and correct for salt if need be. Keep warm over lowest heat, stirring occasionally.

If you wind up waiting for salad or pasta to be finished, add pork to pan for final warming on low.

Cucumber Tomato Artichoke Salad:
2 medium to large pickling cucumbers (large relative to other pickling cucumbers)
1 medium to large tomato
1/2 can quartered artichoke hearts packed in water
fresh basil
feta cheese
Steen’s cane vinegar

Chop cucumbers; chop tomato. Halve quartered artichoke hearts to make eighthed hearts. Combine in bowl; sprinkle lightly with fresh ground sea salt and cane vinegar. Chiffonade basil; sprinkle over, them add feta cheese to taste (we always add rather a lot). Mix.

Pasta
How wonderful it would be to use fresh noodles, or almost-fresh noodles, but instead we assayed “al denteTM All-Natural Carba-Nada Lemon Pepper Fettucine Noodles” … which were not that bad. Cook your favorite pasta as you like; serve.

We were going to have fresh blueberries and vanilla yogurt for dessert, but life intervened in the form of someone coming by to buy a bed we’d listed on Craigslist and it got too late.

Chef’s sustenance
Cherry tomatoes out of the bowl… diet tonic water with lime

Chef’s soundtrack
Donovan, “Jersey Thursday” * Doc Watson, “Cotton Eyed Joe” * Joan Osborne, “Make You Feel My Love” * Stevie Ray Vaughan, “Love Struck Baby” * Joe Henry, “Angels” * Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli, “Tiger Rag” * Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Maps” * David Bowie, “Heroes” (Live at The Bridge School Concert) * Jimi Hendrix, “May This Be Love” * The Smiths, “Back to the Old House” * Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd, “Desafinado” * Sparklehorse, “Don’t Take My Sunshine Away” * The Smiths, “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby” * Sting, “I Burn For You” * Fleetwood Mac, “Oh Well, Part 1” * Royskopp, “Remind Me” * Suzy Bogguss, “Comes Love” * Stereolab, “Percolator”

How did it turn out?
I really liked it. It wound up being more work than I’d anticipated, and I always resist “remove from the pan you just got all dirty by cooking into a whole new pan that will get all dirty, just to sit and keep warm in,” but I’m glad I did. I really really wish I’d been able to have fresh noodles. And I will spend the rest of my cooking life trying to make sure I can replicate that salad. Not a drop of oil, just the slight maceration from salting the cukes and tomatoes, and a few shakes of cane vinegar, mixing with the feta cheese, and it was wonderful.

Would I make it again?
Yes, even with low-carb pasta.

June 23, 2008 at 2:22 am 3 comments

Fish, Veg, Veg, Veg

Menu: baked wrapped tilapia again * eggplant relish again * three-tomato salad * tilapia-influenced coleslaw

I don’t usually re-run recipes quite so quickly, but we enjoyed the baked wrapped tilapia from my first post so much that I went ahead and did it again. This time instead of the chile garlic sauce, I used fresh hot peppers from this morning’s farmers market run, but otherwise it was unchanged.

I used a few of the ingredients … the wasabi oil and chopped garlic … to make a dressing for shredded cabbage for slaw… I added some chile garlic sauce, a little bit of Steen’s cane syrup for sweetness, Steen’s cane vinegar, a splash of mirin, and finally a spoonful of Miracle Whip light to finesse the line between creamy slaw and vinegary slaw.

For the eggplant relish, again, I roasted two small heirloom ivory eggplants from the farmers market in the same 400-degree oven with the fish packets and a red bell pepper. I chopped the peeled pepper and eggplant together and stirred in a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. That was it.

Finally, I sliced three kinds of heirloom tomatoes purchased at the market this morning, ground fresh sea salt over, and sprinkled a chiffonade of basil over.

I would definitely do it again.

June 22, 2008 at 12:36 am Leave a comment

Fish, Veg, Veg

Menu: Roasted salmon with dijon mustard * roasted eggplant with garlic and roasted red pepper * sauteed spinach and tatsoi * red potatoes * dessert: vanilla yogurt with blueberries, extra blueberries set aside for Bailey the lab

Heat oven to 450. Roast whole red pepper and whole small Italian heirloom white eggplant from Tecolote Farm for 30 minutes. Remove; set aside to cool. Slide in a tray of small red potatoes for 30 minutes. Peel eggplant and pepper. Mash eggplant in bowl; dice roasted pepper and add with splash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil and several grinds of sea salt. Place salmon filets in glass baking dish; spread dijon mustard over; bake in 450 oven for 10-12 minutes (while potatoes finish). Saute spinach and tatsoi in large nonstick saute pan or wok with a drizzle of olive oil on high heat.

This was based on a previous salmon recipe (that 450 cooking temperature impressed!) and a note I read somewhere that I can’t remember about roasting smaller eggplants whole for eggplant relish and baba ganoush. It worked. It was moist and delicious, not a bit bitter. The salmon impressed all over again. No soundtrack; I was cooking in between e-mails. No sustenance; we’re trying to be a little healthier. Would I do it all again? Well, I might play a little music… but otherwise, I would do this exact dinner all over again as soon as I hit the Tecolote booth at the farmers market.

June 19, 2008 at 2:18 am Leave a comment


Some of my cookbooks

In no order except for how they appear in my LibraryThing cookbook catalog: True Women Cookbook: Original Antique Recipes, Photographs, & Family Folklore, Janice Woods Windle (1997) * Made in Texas; H-E-B's 100th Anniversary Cookbook (2005) * The Texas Cowboy Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos, Robb Walsh (2007) * The Silver Palate Cookbook, Julee Rosso, Sheila Lukins (1982) * In the Land of Cocktails: Recipes and Adventures from the Cocktail Chicks, Ti Adelaide Martin & Lally Brennan (2007) * Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine, Daniel Boulud (2006) * Moosewood Cookbook : Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, Mollie Katzen (1977) * Crescent City Cooking: Unforgettable Recipes from Susan Spicer's New Orleans, Susan Spicer (2007) * Saveur Cooks Authentic American: By the Editors of Saveur Magazine, ed. Colman Andrews (1998)

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