Posts Tagged With: Casserole

Eggplant Parmesan

Oh hey there healthy Eggplant Parm!  Its so nice to finally meet you!!

I LOVE eggplant parmesan but HATE the calories that so often come with it.  I can’t resist the breading, spicy sauce, and gooey cheeses though…and then let’s throw it over pasta because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love carbs!  I also love it in sandwich form, served on a toasted garlic roll, but that’s a whole other situation.  Mmmmm!

This eggplant parm is FAB-U-LOUS and has about half the calories as the normal version because the eggplant is baked, not fried.  Honestly, once it was smothered in sauce and cheese, you really couldn’t tell the difference.

A word for the wise…normally I would use my family’s secret recipe for sauce, but seeing as its a day long process and I’m down to my last 1/2 quart, I opted for a jarred sauce from the store.  Make sure to pick a good one.  I used this one since it had wine and a little heat in it.  Perfecto!

Enjoy!

Eggplant:

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 TBS water
  • 2 c. whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 c/ (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 (1-pound) eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • Cooking spray

Filling:

  • 1/2 c. torn fresh basil
  • 1/4 c. (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 (16-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Remaining ingredients:

  • 1 (24-ounce) jar premium pasta sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 c. (3 ounces) finely grated fontina cheese

Preheat oven to 375°

To make eggplant, combine 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon water in a shallow dish. Combine panko and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano in a second shallow dish. Dip eggplant in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere and shaking off excess. Place eggplant 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden, turning once and rotating baking sheets after 15 minutes.

To make filling, combine basil and next 6 ingredients (through egg).

To assemble, spoon 1/2 cup pasta sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer half of eggplant slices over pasta sauce. Sprinkle eggplant with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Top with about 3/4 cup pasta sauce; spread half of ricotta mixture over sauce, and top with a third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Repeat layers once, ending with about 1 cup pasta sauce. Cover tightly with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Remove foil; top with remaining third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melts; cool 10 minutes.

Adapted slightly from Cooking Light

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Categories: Entrees, Italian, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Pastitsio: Attempt I

Branden loves Pastitsio and ever since his favorite Greek restaurant closed its doors forever, he has been yearning for a Pastitsio that even compares.  There are a million different recipes for Pastisio, some with beef, some with lamb; some with a thick red sauce, some with a creamy bechamel.  Branden and I both prefer the bechamel variety with lamb (or a lamb/beef combo), but we’ve been pretty hard pressed to find a recipe that comes close to what we like.  We have finally found a recipe though that is a good starting point.  I figured I’d start with posting the original recipe because we did follow it completely (okay, so we added an additional 1/2 lb. of meat – and swapped veal for a beef/lamb combo, but I swear that’s it!!).

This recipe was good, but we have some ideas for the next time…starting with the bechamel.  It was fine, but lacking a tad in flavor.  Next time, the plan is to add some white pepper and a bit more nutmeg.  We also couldn’t find the Greek Kefalotyri cheese, so we went with a young parm and I just don’t think it was sharp enough.  We’ll be moving towards a slightly sharper parm (or driving the distance to track down Kefalotyri) for a bit more flavor.  For the meat “sauce,” we decided we needed a bit more wine, more garlic and more salt…and maybe a pinch more of rosemary.

Now don’t get me wrong, this recipe was very good as written, we just were looking for something a bit different.  Its all about personal preference when cooking.  Aaaaaand trying to recreate food memories.  We’ll get there…eventually.

By the way, here’s the original recipe.  This guy’s blog is pretty cool and has some authentic Greek recipes…reminds me of my month in Greece.  Sigh.  Enjoy!

Categories: Entrees, Greek, Pasta, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Bananas with Honey

This is the dish that got me to like sweet potatoes many years ago.  In college, I lived in an old frat house that had been broken into a triplex.  A huge group of friends (22 of us total) from Cru got together and rented the thing out.  It was a blast, especially when we had whole-house activities such as Thanksgiving.

One of my friends, Nick (pictured in bottom right of the photo), who is an excellent cook by the way, made this awesome dish that tasted more like dessert than the yucky sweet potato casserole that normally shows up on Thanksgiving tables.  I absolutely fell and love with it!  This is now my go-to sweet potato dish for family gatherings and its always a hit.

Enjoy!

  • 5 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 4 bananas, unpeeled
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees .

Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork, put them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes. Toss the bananas into the pan and continue roasting for 10 to 15 minutes, until both the bananas and potatoes are very soft. Remove the pan from the oven but don’t turn the oven off.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl. Peel the bananas and add them to the bowl along with 1 stick of the butter, and the honey. Season with salt and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until everything’s well combined and the mixture is fluffy. Spoon into an oven-proof serving bowl and smooth the top.

In a separate mixing bowl, use your fingers to rub together the remaining stick of butter, the brown sugar, flour, and pecans until the mixture is the consistency of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the sweet potatoes and return to the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the crumbs are golden. Serve hot.

 

 Courtesy of Tyler Florence (and Nick for introducing me to it!)

 

Categories: American, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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