Tasty Tuesday, November 17

Tasty Tuesday November 17

This eggplant recipe is a meal, just add a nice salad on the side with some garlic bread. And it can be easily reduced to be a meal for two. When I do that, I only use one eggplant but go ahead and use the same amount of the other ingredients and just heap them high when I stuff them.
Depending on its sources paprika can be sweet, spicy or smoky. Generic paprika, by this I mean one that is simply labeled “paprika” whatever the brand, is usually the sweet kind. Spanish paprika is more likely to be spicy than Hungarian. Smoked paprika is a little darker red because it has been, you guessed it, smoked to give it a deeper, richer smoky flavor. They are all made from the same pepper that is harvested, dried and then ground up. So you see, it’s more than red dust to garnish deviled eggs and stuff.
And as always, buy or at least store your herbs and spices in glass jars. The plastic ones let the volatile oils that give the flavor escape unless you use them up fast. I never get rid of a glass spice jar, they can be washed and reused many times. And bulk herbs are so cheap to buy at Central Market.

Creamed Eggplant in Eggplant Shells

2 large eggplants
Olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tsp lemon juice
2 Tblsp flour
1 cup skim milk
1/2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried marjoram (oregano can be substituted here)
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (fresh really does make a difference, I consider dried parsley to just be pretty green confetti to be sprinkled on for looks only)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Paprika, as garnish

Cut eggplant in half lengthwise, cut off stem end. Scoop center from eggplant with serrated spoon, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick shells, coarsely chop it.
Place eggplant shells, cut sides up, in in greased baking dish, brushing lightly with olive oil. Place eggplant pulp in greased baking dish, brushing lightly with olive oil. Bake both pans, uncovered at 400 degrees until shells are lightly softened and eggplant pulp is tender 10 to 15 minutes.
Coat large skillet lightly with olive oil, heat over medium heat. Sauté onion, mushroom, bell pepper and garlic until tender. Add lemon juice. Mix in flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer.
Stir milk, Worchestershire sauce and herbs into saucepan, heat to boiling. Boil, stirring, until thickened. Stir in eggplant pulp, season with salt and pepper.
Spoon eggplant mixture into shells. Sprinkle with Parmesan and Paprika. Reduce oven to 375 degrees and bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Tasty Tuesday April 28

So we all know cabbage is good for you, it’s just hard to come up with something to do with it other than coleslaw. Even though there are many ways to make coleslaw, and there’s a few I really can’t stand. 
Most of us know cabbage can be cooked, just don’t really know where to start that ends up good and not a stinky, gassy mess. Well, here’s a simple place to start….

Drunken Cabbage

1 Tbl olive oil
12-16 ounces cabbage, sliced in shreds or chopped 
1 cup white wine–the sweetness of the dish depends a lot on what kind of wine you use. And cooking wine doesn’t count as wine. If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it. 
Salt and pepper. 

Heat a large skillet, add the olive oil, then the cabbage, and sauté 2 or 3 minutes, stirring. Add the wine and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and steam for a few minutes until the cabbage is tender. Taste and season again if it needs it. 

For variation, sauté some sliced onion or carrot before you add the cabbage for more depth of flavor, and carrot adds some nice color, you can garnish with parsley or green onion. I add caraway seeds to just about anything cruciferous that I cook and it’s good here. Sautéed garlic would be good in moderation. Red bell peppers would be pretty. 

Tasty Tuesday march 24

Tasty Tuesday March 24

I have joined a group of old broads ladies who get together Friday nights, dine together and then make art. The hostess does a lot of printing so we do woodcuts. I have been really loving getting back into art and have neglected some of my other pursuits, such as this blog. I promise to try to do better. 
Last night’s dinner was steak, cooked by Sam. Usually we are all asked to bring dessert and the hostess provides dinner. Knowing steak was on the menu, I also decided to bring chimichurri sauce for the steak. It is a sauce from South America that is used over meat, even though several of the ladies used it on their salads and declared it good there too. 

Chimichurri Sauce

1 cup packed fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt

Put everything in a blender and whirl until well blended. Put in a bowl, cover and let stand at room temperature. Note: it needs a little time for the flavor to develop, when I first made it, it didn’t smell or taste right, it wasn’t until 30 minutes later or so that the flavors developed into something wonderful! I might use a little more garlic next time too. 

Yield, about one cup.

Tasty Tuesday, February 3

Several years ago, a dear lady who was a friend of mine passed away. Some months later, I was visiting her son. He was going through the house, which he still lived in, and getting rid of things he didn’t need. There was a stack of cookbooks and recipe scrapbooks on the floor. He offered them to me knowing I like to cook, I accepted.
It was an amazing gift. I got to know her even better after reading through everything. She clipped recipes from everywhere and someone had given her a small photo album to keep clipped recipes in, and had started her off by adding several, and she had filled it up. There was also an old copy of The Joy of Cooking and every blank page was filled with written-in recipes.
I also saw her challenge to find things her son and her husband both liked, there were notes on some that one or the other had liked or not liked and a couple that everybody liked. Those usually looked like they had been well used.
Here is one of the recipes we like. I have changed it from the original to cut back on salt and reduce the size .

Italian Cauliflower

1 small head or half a large head of cauliflower, washed and trimmed
1 Tbl olive oil or butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp flour
1 can Italian stewed tomatoes (I use Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes)
1 small green pepper, coarse
Y chopped
1 tsp oregano

Separate cauliflower into bite size pieces. Put into a saucepan containing a small amount of boiling salted water, about 2/3 cup. Cook, uncovered, 5 minutes. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes until tender. It will go from completely opaque to slightly translucent. Drain of necessary and keep warm.
Heat oil with garlic, stir in flour and cook until bubbly. Add tomatoes and bring to boiling, stirring constantly. Mix in green pepper and oregano. Cook until pepper is tender and sauce thick.
Pour sauce over cauliflower, stir and serve.

About 3-4 servings.