RSS

Category Archives: Eggplant Dishes

Roasted Vege Pasta & Sesame Chicken

First let’s start by getting our chicken tenders marinating.

Marinade:

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar               5 fresh rosemary sprigs

1/2 cup honey                               5 garlic cloves (cut in half)

1/2 cup dark brown sugar               2 TBLS toasted Sesame Seeds

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce      1/4 cup fresh, chopped, flat-leafed parsley

8-10 chicken tenderloins (no bone)

Add all ingredients (except chicken) & (except toasted sesame seeds) to a large zip-lock bag. Squeeze the bag to combine the sugar/honey and liquids together….then add Chicken and refrigerate for 2 hrs.

While the chicken is marinating we can work on making the pasta dish…

Combine the following into a large mixing bowl…(this amount makes 4 – 6 servings)

1 medium eggplant (unpeeled), chopped into 1-inch cubes

1 pint cherry tomatoes whole or cut in half

3 whole garlic cloves

3 TBLS Olive Oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly gr. black pepper

1 tsp. red pepper flakes (or 1 fresh cayenne pepper cut into thin slices)

I added poblano peppers, but I like the flavor of peppers, if you don’t, then you can leave that out. I didn’t list it in the ingredients.

(other ingredients you need that are mixed in later are: 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves & 3 TBLS extra-virgin Olive Oil & 1/4 cup pine nuts)

Mix together in a bowl so all vegetables are coated with the Olive Oil, then spread vegetables on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F. for 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender and the eggplant has turned golden.

While the vegetables are roasting, spread 1/4 cup pine nuts on a small baking pan and place on the rack just below the vegetables….roast until golden (about 8 minutes). Note: If you’re really ambitious, you can roast the vegetables on an outdoor grill which will add a whole different set of wondeful flavors to this dish!!

Start the Penne pasta by getting some salted water boiling….once boiling, add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm. Drain the pasta, but reserve 1 1/2 cups of the boiling liquid. Transfer pasta to a large bowl.

Once the roasted veges have cooled a little, you can add them to a food processor along with 1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves &  3 Tbls. extra-virgin olive oil. Pulse the veges until pureed, but not too smooth. you should still be able to see chunks of veges in the mixture.

Mix the pureed mixture with the pasta, adding enough of the reserved liquid to make the mixture saucy. Mix in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and sprinkle the roasted pine nuts on top.

Cooking the Sesame Chicken:

Place a small amount of Olive Oil in a large frypan, heat….

Remove chicken from bag…reserve the marinade!!

Cook the chicken until just cooked (no pink) … do not overcook….approximately 5 minutes on each side…

While your chicken is cooking, place the marinade in a small saucepan…bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer to thicken (about 15 minutes).

Place cooked chicken on a serving platter, brush each piece with the cooked marinade and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve….Enjoy!

**Recipes adapted from Giada’s Kitchen Cookbook New Italian Favorites …

Advertisements
 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 26, 2011 in Chicken Dishes, Eggplant Dishes, Pasta

 

Moussaka

Moussaka is a Greek dish, but also made and served all over the Mediterranean world. I have combined 3 different recipes to come up with this recipe. There are many variations to this dish. If you don’t like this combination, then simply google “Moussaka” and you will get many variations of the recipe and many videos showing you exactly how it is made.

I have taken pictures of the steps so you can see how to make it. We are having it for lunch today…I will let you know how it was received by my company :).

DSC00980

This is my first time cooking with eggplant, but I grew it in my garden, so I had to find a recipe :). To me, it smells a little bit like cucumber.

DSC00981

After slicing 3 small eggplants (about 2/3 inch slices), I laid them on paper towels. Then I sprinkled each slice with salt and let them sit for about 1/2 hr while I continued in the preparation of the dish. This is to “sweat” the eggplant (pull out some of the juice) before cooking.

DSC00983

DSC00986

DSC00989

DSC00990

DSC00993

While your eggplant is “sweating” , you can prepare the white sauce:

**In a saucepan, over medium heat, mix together:

– 6 TBLS Butter

– 6 TBLS Flour

Whisk the butter and flour until well blended. Then slowly add:

– 3 cups milk

Gently bring to a boil, stirring, and simmer for a couple of minutes. Whisk a cup of this mixture into:

– 3 eggs, well beaten

Whisk the egg mixture back into the white sauce and continue to simmer, whisking/stirring until thick. DO NOT BOIL!!  Add:

– ~ 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

– dash Hot sauce (of your choosing)

To the white sauce, add:

– 1 cup mozarella cheese (shredded)

– 1 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)

Stir until melted…set aside to cool. (This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use).

DSC01000

to make your Red Sauce you can use tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce, but you will need 8 oz. of it.

To the tomato/spaghetti sauce, add:

– 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

– 1 tsp. dried, crushed oregano

– 1 TBLS parsley

– 2 TBLS sugar

– a bit of salt and pepper

Simmer gently until warmed. This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use.

DSC00999

Meat preparation:

– 1 lb. hamburger  OR  1 lb. lamb (ground

– 1 large onion, chopped

– 3 cloves garlic, pressed and chopped

– 2 TBLS ground Cumin

– 1 tsp. crushed Oregano

– cracked or ground pepper (to taste)

Brown meat well in frying pan, add onion, cumin, chopped garlic, oregano and pepper. Saute until onion is tender.

Eggplant preparation:

After the eggplant have sweat for ~ 1/2 hr….pat dry with paper towels and shake them in a bag of flour and ground black pepper. Brown the eggplant in the frypan in a very small amount of olive oil. Eggplant will absorb the oil, so be careful not to use too much!

DSC01002

DSC01004

DSC01006

Assembling the Moussaka:

In a 9×13 casserole dish Layer the following:

– Fried Eggplant (you can trim to fit, or just overlap)

– 1/2 meat mixture

– 1/2 White sauce mixture

– All of the red sauce mixture

– Repeat with Eggplant, meat and White sauce.

You can garnish with a little red pepper or paparika and some more coursely shredded parmesan cheese (if you choose)

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for an hour, uncover and bake until browned on top.

Serve Moussaka with a green salad, black olives, a good bread and a bottle of light red wine.

DSC01015

Then don’t forget to….

DSC010144

Enjoy!! 🙂

 
7 Comments

Posted by on July 12, 2009 in Eggplant Dishes