Tag Archives: easy dinner

Easy Fancy-ass Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

(Insert 7000 word essay on why my husband likes this, and how spring flowers make me giddy here.)

This is my variation on eggplant parm. It’s different because it stays pretty crispy and isn’t a soupy damn mess after you bake it. Enjoy!

2 relatively uniform eggplants (Chinese eggplants if making as an appetizer

Salt

3 eggs whisked

2 cups panko

1 cup parmesan +1/4 cup for sprinkling (The crappy kind, otherwise it doesnt crisp up like it should. I like Kraft)

1/4 cup flour

Canola oil for frying

Marinara

1 small plant fresh basil leaves

2 logs of fresh mozzarella

Sea salt

Lay out a paper towel and sprinkle salt over the top. Slice the eggplant 1/4 inch thick and place it over the salted paper towel, then salt the tops. Let sit for an hour or so, to remove the excess fluid.

Mix together the flour, Parmesan and panko in a bowl. If you want to make this lower carb, just use the parmesan.

Add canola oil to a pan and heat to medium high. Dip the eggplant slices in the eggs, dredge in the flour Parmesan mixture and fry until crispy and brown on each side, about 3-5 minutes per side.

Preheat your oven to 400. On a baking rack on a cookie sheet stack your eggplant with 1 tsp to a tbs of marinara depending on your slice size, a basil leaf and a slice of fresh mozzarella on each eggplant approximately 4 slices high. Repeat this until all the slices are gone and sprinkle the tops liberally with Parmesan cheese.

Pre Bake

Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. And serve immediately.

Hints:

*The salt slows your trip to eggplant brown town, while drawing out all that eggplant juice, and there is a LOT of juice.

*Using a baking rack stops left over moisture from the eggplant and fresh mozzarella  from making everything super soupy.

Hi kids! I’m back! Probably. Many many things happened over the last couple years and I had to step away from blogging, from being a workaholic, to getting married, to having a baby. Things have evolved in my life significantly, and you’ll probably be seeing little to no 12 hour marathon recipes from me. However, in the spirit of trying new things,  I’m going to put the recipe first, that way, you don’t have to read a 20,000 word dissertation on how things are going in Brianna land Every. Fucking. Recipe. Real talk, everyone hates that. I have very rarely read the excessive extremely filtered diary / food description that is every damn blog post out there. I probably miss a lot of good tips because I don’t have the time to filter though so much content (*cough* Bullshit).  Not being mean, just being real. Let people choose to know more about things if they desire is my goal. I get that people work hard to write so much, but after a bit we can tell whats actually going on. If this hurts feelings, reflect inward. You can follow up on my life after my recipes if you’re so inclined to know my over shares! Can’t wait to get this blog up and running again!!

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Filed under Appetizers, Italian, Uncategorized

The Great Salmon Grilled Cheese Experiment

Last week I made salmon. A few moments after tweeting about it, one of my favorite people in the whole world responded that she too was having salmon, but since it was leftovers, it was going into a grilled cheese. That really tickled my fancy. In the creepiest way “tickled my fancy” can be understood. I needed to know what was going on in her mouth right that second, and so, the salmon grilled cheese experiment was born. Plans were made, cheese, bread, and salmon were bought. Aspirin was taken for its blood thinning properties to prevent any possible episodes that were about to take place. I was about to take that heart healthy protein, and make it my culinary bitch.

The main thing she said was missing was a sauce. Tomato soup is quite traditional to go along with grilled cheese. However, there was a slight allergy issue that was hindering that. I spent the rest of the week pondering that. Tarter is too thick, its also a bit crude for a grilled cheese, I thought about various salad dressings, oil and vinegar dips, and aiolis. It was all too rich. Hollandaise would be perfect but it was a bit too thick. Beurre blanc would also be magical but it was a bit too thin. What to do…. Combine the greatness of hollandaise with phenomenal flavor of beurre blanc, that’s what. Holland blanc… beurredaise..

So here’s the details of our little experiment. Bread: Sour dough. Cheeses: Swiss or cheddah. Salmon: Chinook or lox. Sauce: Beurredaise. Yes, I know there are about 400 other combinations, but in the interest of not weighing 400 pounds, and the fact that  there were only two bellies to fill, we narrowed it down a bit.

What it came down to was Swiss on sour dough, my salmon recipe sans tomato, and the Beurredaise sauce. I took the left over herbed butter from the salmon and used it to fry up my sammich. The lox was ok with the swiss, but when we put it with the cheddar and the sauce it turned out to be really overwhelmingly flavorful. Swiss had the perfect mild flavor to go along with the oven roasted salmon.

Beurredaise recipe

1 cup of chablis

2 bay leafs

a few peppercorns

1 sprig of dill

1 sprig of thyme

1/2 a coarsly chopped shallot

1 clove of garlic

1 egg yoke

the juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/4 cup of butter.

salt and pepper to taste

Put your wine, lemon juice shallot, garlic, peppercorns and herbs into a sauce pan. Bring that to a boil and reduce it by half. Run that through a strainer and let it cool for a few minutes. Put it back on the stove on low. Whisk up an egg until it thickens, and add that to your wine. Continue to whisk with all of your might until the whole mixture thickens. Place it in a bowl and serve it up with your delicious salmon grilled cheese.

And that was that. Salmon grill cheese with a lovely hybrid sauce. Thanks Jeni, for the wonderful idea!

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Chicken noodle soup with spice

The temperatures have finally hit frigid here in the northwest. Its been downright sultry until now. Time for soups! As a kid I despised soup. I would plug my nose, quietly spoon it into my napkin, rub it on the underside of the table, and of course, sit there bitterly complaining until I fell asleep at the table, all in the name of not having to eat it. Now that I’m a bit older, I don’t hate it. Its almost to the point where I like it.

Sometimes when cooking we all need a perverted little voice that whispers creepily in our ear “shhhhhhhhhh… just go with it.” That’s about what happened with this chicken soup. It turned me into a spice-o-file.  I’ve taken a keen interest in whole spices and fresh herbs lately. The flavors are completely unique from their dried and ground up brethren. I like to think of soups as a savory tea with chunks in it. All you are really doing in steeping flavors into a broth to make cozy food magic.  Recently I’ve noticed nutmeg in a lot of recipes, in no particular amount, never mentioned again in the recipe, and not really stating what form it should be used in (thanks for that). I’m not going to leave you hanging that way today. I use the whole seed.  I plop it in there with a few of its whole spice friends, to let their spice BO permeate throughout my soup.  Life hack: If you have a tea strainer, put your spices in there. That way they are easily removed from you soup.

Fun pre recipe fact

Nutmeg is not only a delicious spice, but its also a terrible hallucinogenic that will make you violently ill if taken in high quantities. Feel free to Google it and read the experiences of several morons who thought that it sounded like a good idea at the time.

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6 cups chicken broth

1 cup white wine

4 chicken breasts cut up in your favorite chicken soup style

2 cups sliced mushrooms

4 sticks of chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

1 chopped potato (I hate potatoes, put as many as you want in there)

1 parsnip chopped

1 onion chopped and sauteed

6 whole cloves of garlic

1/4 cup fresh parsley

1 tbsp fresh thyme

1 tsp fresh oregano (chopped/bruised)

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup of your favorite small noodles

Salt

Pepper

In your tea strainer

1 nutmeg seed

2 black cardamom seeds

1/2 tsp fresh cumin

1 bay leaf

2 star anise seeds

Add in your chicken broth, wine and lemon juice, and bring it to a light simmer. Drop your tea strainer in, and add everything else except the noodles. Let this gently simmer for about 45 minutes, remove the tea strainer, and then add in you noodles. Let the soup continue to simmer away until the noodles have cooked all the way, and then eat it.

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Filed under Soups, Uncategorized