Eggplant Meatballs

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I really need to find my camera charger for my Canon. The battery is totally dead. I know the charger is somewhere and actually . . . there’s TWO chargers somewhere but until I figure out where that is, my iPhone camera is going to have to suffice. It’s better than nothing and it’s better than some digital cameras, so that’s okay.

In all honesty, I didn’t cook this. My boyfriend did. He cooked it with me in the kitchen guiding him. We’ve decided he needs to learn to cook. So for the past two weeks we’ve been having cooking lessons. He’s been a great student. I’m no expert, but I’m better than nothing. He’s starting to get better than nothing, but we will see what happens if he has to cook for himself. We probably need more lessons.

I had chosen this recipe to make for January’s Pasta Please, hosted by Ren Behan: healthy pasta. I love meatballs of all types, whether meaty or vegetarian. These meatballs were in my most recent Food Network Magazine and were perfect for the challenge.

The original recipe called for white beans. I can’t eat most beans so was going to replace them with chickpeas (which I can eat.) Unfortunately, the leftover chickpeas I had were moldy. So we used shredded potato instead. These were great.

pasta please

Eggplant Meatballs
(source)

Ingredients
1 small eggplant
1 large egg, beaten
2 small fingerling potatoes, shredded
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup basil, chopped
2 tbsp onion, diced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 cups marinara sauce
8 oz pasta

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place an eggplant on the sheet. Poke a few times with a fork. Roast the eggplant for 40 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the oven and let cool, but leave the oven on.

2. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise. Scoop the meat of the eggplant out from the skin and place in a bowl.

3. Add the egg, potatoes, garlic, basil, onion, parmesan, and salt and pepper to the eggplant. Mix together with your hands. Then add the breadcrumbs and mix together with your hands.

4. Form balls in the size of golfballs out of the eggplant mixture. Place on the foil lined baking sheet. Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes.

5. While the meatballs are cooking, cook the pasta per the instructions on the box. Also, in a small pan heat up the marinara sauce.

6. When the meatballs are done, mix together the meatballs, pasta, and sauce. Serve with some extra parmesan cheese on top.

* serves 4
* besides Pasta Please, this recipe is shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

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Baked Eggplant Sandwich

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21 days. In 21 days, exactly 3 weeks, I will be finished with my first day of bar exam testing. That makes me sick. And after I take the horrid test, I’ll be in limbo until November.

I’ve started secret shopping and haven’t been eating in as much. I can’t really turn down free food.

This sandwich is based heavily on this recipe. Mine is a little different, in that my tomato sauce is actually tomato paste and cherry tomatoes. And I used Asian eggplant instead of globe eggplant. It was super easy, but packed with flavors.

Baked Eggplant Sandwich

Ingredients
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Asian eggplant
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
olive oil, as needed
2 hamburger buns
1/2 cup Arugula
2 tbsp tomato paste
10 cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. First, let’s make the cheese spread. In a dry skillet, add the garlic cloves with the skins still on, over high heat. Toast them, flipping frequently for about 15 minutes. The garlic skins will become blackened. Once done, remove from the skillet. Unwrap them. You should essentially have roasted garlic.

2.Mash the garlic in a small bowl. Mix together the ricotta and Parmesan. Set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 375. In a shallow bowl mix together the bread crumbs and Italian seasoning. Set aside.

4. Slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch thick rounds.

5. Take two more shallow bowls out. Fill the flour in one. In the other add the egg. Dredge each piece of eggplant in flour. Dip in the egg. Then coat with the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes at 375. Then flip the eggplant and bake for another 15 minutes.

6. While the eggplant in cooking, heat a skillet. Add a glug of olive oil. Add the tomato paste and mix around. Add the cherry tomatoes. Mix around until hot.

7. Once the eggplant is done, put together your sandwiches. Place a handful of arugula leaves on the bottom bun. Cover with several slices of eggplant. Spoon hot tomato sauce on top of the eggplant. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Spread the ricotta cheese on the top bun. Put the top bun on top of your sandwich. Take a bite!

* serves 2
* shared with Kahaki Kitchen‘s Souper Sundays & Cast Party Wednesday

Eggplant Parmesan

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I know I say this every time I post a recipe that uses eggplant: I really don’t like eggplant. But I have this tendency when I don’t like certain foods to keep making them in different ways. I figure that it isn’t always the actual food I dislike, but the preparation of the food. The eggplant parmesan was a great way to eat eggplant. It didn’t even taste like eggplant. I first breaded and fried it and then baked it.

In retrospect though I should have served it with something else. I had just made the eggplant, but it would have been good with pasta or even some garlic bread.

I loved the fresh basil. I love basil anyway, but for some reason it tasted even better than usual.

Eggplant Parmesan
(source)

Ingredients
1/2 eggplant, cut into 4 slices
1 15-oz can whole tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled
a glug of olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 eggs, beaten
6 oz mozzarella, sliced
1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped

Directions

1. 2 hours before you’re ready to start cooking, place the eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt. Set over a sink and let sit for 2 hours.

2. Once the 2 hours are passed, press the eggplant slices with a paper towel to remove the excess moisture.

3. In a food processor combine the tomatoes, garlic, and the glug of olive oil. Process until well combined and chopped. Season with pepper. Set aside.

4. In a shallow dish combine the flour and breadcrumbs. In another shall dish beat the egg. Dip each slice of eggplant in the egg and then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.

5. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Once hot, add the eggplant slices. Fry until golden brown. Flip and fry the other side until golden brown.

6.  Preheat the oven to 350. Add 1/2 cup of tomato sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish. Place 2 slices of eggplant in the casserole dish. Use 1/2 of the mozzarella to layer the eggplant. Place the basil on top of the mozzarella. Layer another slice of eggplant onto each stack. Cover with the remaining sauce and then the remaining cheese.

7. Bake for 30 minutes and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

* serves 2
* shared with Foodie Friends Friday, Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, and Foodie Friday

Roasted Eggplant Pasta

 

I’ve said it before on here: I’m not part of the eggplant lovers club. Frankly, I’d be shocked if there even was such a club just because I really don’t think it’s a good food. While it’s not my favorite food, I do try to cook with it and find ways that work – because I know I shouldn’t be so picky. This was one preparation of eggplant that I really enjoyed. In the past I’ve made a few others:

Eggplant Bharta with Peas
– Lamb Moussaka
Rice with Eggplant

Mainly it’s a texture thing. If I get the eggplant a texture I like, I definitely enjoy it a lot more. Sometimes I just think it feels like a soggy sponge in my mouth.

Anyway – not to turn you off from this dish, the eggplant was not the texture I so despite! Roasting the eggplant definitely transformed the texture into something palatable.

This was a very easy pasta dish with a lot of flavor. I brought it for lunch to work, popped it in the microwave, and it was delicious.

Roasted Eggplant Pasta

Ingredients
1 small eggplant, peeled and cubed
cooking spray
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tomato, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 1/2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 cups cooked pasta of choice (I used Spinach Spaghetti Noodles which were excellent!)
2 tbsp parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. Place the eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet an coat with cooking spray. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 3 minutes, until golden. Add the tomato, tomato paste, sugar, and ground pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes. Add eggplant and basil. Cook 3 minutes.

4. Toss the sauce with the pasta and sprinkle with cheese.

* serves 2* Shared with Presto Pasta hosted by Simona of Bricole, Mealtime Monday, The Bulletin Board, & Mix it Up Monday

Around the World in 52 Weeks: Eggplant Bharta and Peas

I’ve been the worst world traveler ever. I got sick last month and I totally fell off the cooking wagon completely, so my kitchen travels suffered. Out of this sick month though, I did only miss two of the meals I was supposed to cook (Brunei and Isle of Man). In the next two weeks I’ll be doubling up and making sure I get back on track. This was the one resolution this year that I really didn’t want to fail at, so my cold that turned to a sinus infection will not defeat me!

I’ll also be posting my most recent traveling dish on the usual Saturday. I just wanted to get back on track a little here.

So this dish is Pudina Chicken and Eggplant Bharta and Peas. As I’ve said many times, Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines. In facts, I actually have traveled to India.

It was truly one of the best experiences of my life. The only bad thing is that I got a little spoiled by good Indian food, authentic spices, fresh and delicious bananas, and even the lack of meat. I’m a little hesitant at home to make vegetarian Indian dishes because I feel like I need to use paneer, but I have no idea where to get that locally.

I know this meal is hardly authentic with the Pudina Chicken. When I was in India I didn’t eat chicken at all – everything was vegetable based or paneer based. Maybe I should have made a veg dish. Now I’m kicking myself. The pudina was good, but the bharta was better and is the recipe I’m sharing.

On another note, I’m always looking for ways to prepare vegetables I don’t like. Eggplant is that vegetable in this. I loved this preparation.

Eggplant Bharta and Peas
(source)

 Ingredients
1 eggplant
1/2 onion
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 jalapeno
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/4 lime
butter, as needed
oil, as needed
salt to taste

Directions

1.  Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and spread with butter. Place the eggplants sliced-side down on a baking sheet. Roast the eggplants at 500 in the oven for about 30 minutes.

2. Place the onion, garlic, and jalapeno in a food processor and puree.

3. When the eggplant is finished roasting, use a spoon to scoop out the roasted innards. Discard the skin. Mash the eggplant until smooth.

4. In a medium saucepan heat some oil over medium-high heat and add the pureed vegetables and mustard powder. Cook until slightly browned.

5. Add the mashed eggplant and peas to the pan. Cook until warm, and then reduce temperature to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the peas are fully cooked.

6. Before serving squeeze in lime juice.

7. Serve over rice.

* serves 2

I’d like to see people travel the globe with me.
Every Saturday I will be posting my recipe, as well as pictures to ethnic cuisines you have made and want to share.

– You must mention The Law Student’s Cookbook‘s Around The World In 52 Weeks in the entry you link. You can either use a link or use the banner.
– In your post you must  at least mention what cuisine the dish is.
– Email me your recipe at elizabeth@crabtech.net. Make sure to include:

* Your name or blog name
* The direct link to your post
* A picture of the dish or permission to pull a picture from the post

– Make sure to email me by Saturday at 12noon Pacific Standard Time

Lamb Moussaka

This month over at Food n Flix we watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, a romantic comedy which I hope you’ve seen! My Big Fat Greek Wedding is actually one of the few movies I’ve seen more than once. When I was rewatching the movie to decide what to make for this month’s Food n Flix submission my boyfriend was confused at why I would laugh before anything funny would happen. But that was because I kept hearing the funny lines in my head right before they were said. So I would preemptively laugh.

I had a long list of inspirations by the time the movie was over. I decided to be traditional though and make a moussaka.

In the movie there’s a flashback to Toula as a girl in elementary school. She was sitting at one table in the cafeteria and the girls behind her made a comment about what she was eating. Toula responded that it was moussaka. The mean little blonde girls squealed, “Moose kaka?!!??”

I also new I needed to use lamb in this dish to hit the nail on the head because “You’re a vegetarian. That’s ok, I’ll make lamb.”

Finding lamb however was not an easy task. Apparently my grocery store doesn’t carry it – only the commonly used beef, poultry, and pork. I almost decided to make a ground beef version of the moussaka, but I really needed the lamb if I wanted to make this a true “vegetarian” dish.

I googled around and found that this place in Sacramento (where I live) called Mediterranean Market sold ground lamb. On the Saturday I made this dish I jumped in the car and found this cute little market, which was full of grape leaves, kabobs, falafel mix, hookah supplies, and lamb! The butcher ground the lamb for me there on the spot and I was on my way with my lamb (and the falafel mix that I picked up too.)

This wasn’t exactly an easy dish, so it was good I picked a weekend to make it. It was definitely time consuming, but the product that came out in the end made it worth it. It’s kind of silly I made moussaka, because eggplant is not my favorite vegetable in the world (which I’ve said before.) This preparation of the eggplant though was great, so I think I might be slowly drifting to Team-Eggplant instead of Team-Eggplant-Is-Gross.

Anyway, the one real lesson I learned from the movie is to put Windex on every ailment. I couldn’t really show that to you guys in food style though.

Thanks to Kahakai Kitchen for hosting this month’s Foon n Flix! If you want to enter a dish for this month’s movie you have until the 27th of February.

Lamb Moussaka
(Source)

 Ingredients

CHEESE SAUCE
2 1/2 tbsp butter
2 1/2 tbsp flour
1 1/4 cup milk
Nutmeg to taste
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

MOUSSAKA
1 1/2 eggplants
1 large potato
salt to taste
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
1 lb ground lamb
1 cup tomato, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
pinch of allspice
ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp dry red wine
2 tbsp bread crumbs

Directions

1. Make the cheese sauce first. To make it heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir well, making sure to get rid of all dry clumps. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Gradually whisk in the milk to create a smooth sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, letting simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Once thickened remove from heat. Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper. In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks. Add a bit of the hot sauce mixture to the yolks, stirring well. Combine the rest of the yolks with the sauce. Stir in the cheese and blend well. Keep warm and set aside.

3. Place potatoes in a pot. Add enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes. Once the potatoes are tender, remove from the heat and drain them. Once cool slice into 1/8-inch slices and set aside.

4. Peel the eggplants and slice into 1/8-inch slices. Heat 1/2 tbsp of olive oil until hot. Add the eggplant to the oil and cook a few pieces of eggplant at a time, until tender and lightly colored about 3 minutes. Transfer to a rack and set aside.

5. Next prepare your meat sauce. Heat 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet. Add the onions and cook over medium-high heat, for about 10-12 minutes until tender. Add the ground lamb and cook over medium heat until no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, garlic, cloves, bay leaf, allspice, salt, pepper and water. Simmer until thick, about 30 minutes. Add tomato paste and red wine  and continue simmering for 10 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

7. To assemble the moussaka, scatter the breadcrumbs in a deep baking dish. Place a layer of half of the eggplant slices over the breadcrumbs.  Add the meat sauce and spread it in an even layer. Top with a layer of potatoes. Then create a layer of eggplant with the remaining slices. Pour the cheese sauce evenly over the top.

8. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the moussaka from the oven and let sit for 20 minutes before serving.

 

Black-Eyed Peas and Eggplant Curry

I’ve said it over and over and over again – I love curry! I could make a resolution to only eat curries for a whole year and be happy as a clam. My boyfriend on the other hand isn’t a big curry lover, so I won’t make that resolution.

Anyway, this curry used ingredients I don’t typically use in my curries. Eggplant really just isn’t my favorite vegetable and black-eyed peas I rarely use (but I had some leftover from the black-eyed pea fritters I had made earlier.)

This dish though was fantastic. I served the curry over rice. YUM!

Black-Eyed Peas and Eggplant Curry
(source

Ingredients
1/2 eggplant
1/2 onion
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/8 tsp kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp curry paste
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp red wine
1/2 cup black-eyed peas, frozen or canned
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable broth

Directions

1. Trim the eggplant. Cut each into 1-inch pieces. Set aside. Half the onion and cut into strips. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan heat the oil over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the eggplant and cook tossing for 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, garlic, curry paste, and garam masala, stirring well. Cook for 10 minutes, until the onion is tender.

3. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the wine and simmer, stirring often for about 5 minutes or until a thick stew is formed. Add the black-eyed peas, tomato, and broth and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

* serves 2
* 246 calories per serving
* This dish is being shared with Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Tuesdays at the Table, and  Tasty Tuesday Party

Creamy Chicken and Rice with Eggplant

Eggplant and me usually don’t get along. It wasn’t until this dish that I actually appreciated the flavor and the texture of the purple vegetable that has given me such grief before. I was actually skeptical to try this recipe, just because of my experiences in the past with eggplant where I felt like I was eating a nasty sponge. I guess I like my eggplant really cooked, so it’s really soft and nice.

I found this eggplant recipe in an old cookbook that my mom gave me, Weight Watchers International Cookbook. Considering this is a Weight Watchers cookbook and not necessarily authentic, I am not claiming to know anything about Portuguese food. What I will tell you is this recipe was in the Portugal section of the book. Because of that I searched the internet (or.. allrecipes.com) for a Portuguese entree. Again, I don’t know if it’s authentic at all, but the internet told me and sometimes I half believe the internet.

Regardless of where these dishes originated, both the chicken and the rice paired perfectly together. I would make both of these again.

Creamy Chicken

Ingredients
2 tbsp Brummel&Brown
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions

1. Melt the yogurt spread in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook until browned on both sides. Pour in the chicken stock and white wine. Add the garlic. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Sprinkle flour over the top of everything in the skillet and cover with a lid. Simmer for 40-45 minutes.

2. When the chicken is cooked through, remove to a dish and keep warm. Boil the liquid in the skillet until it’s reduce to 3/4 cups. Whisk the heavy cream into the reduced liquid. Return the chicken to the pan and heat through.

3. Serve the cream sauce over the chicken.

* makes 2 servings
* 418 calories per serving

Eggplant with Rice

Ingredients
2 cups eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 oz onion, chopped
1 cup cooked rice

Directions

1. In a bowl, sprinkle eggplant with salt. Let sit for one hour. Drain off liquid.

2. In a covered skillet, cook onions in 1/4 cup of the bouillon, until tender. Add the eggplant and continue to cook until the eggplant is to your desired softness.

3. Add the rice and the remaining broth. Heat through.

* makes 4 servings
* 82 calories per serving