Tag Archives: Sunday dinner

Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan

IMG_5909

Foreseeing a free weekend at home and a busy week ahead, I wanted to make something for Sunday dinner that would carry F and me at least through Monday with leftovers. I didn’t feel like cooking meat so browsed through my bookmarked vegetarian recipes and came across this one from Simply Recipes. I’d never actually made eggplant parmesan but was eager to try my hand at it — plus, eggplants are abundant at the moment, so those two factors decided me.

IMG_5904

Eggplant parm does take some time — hence the Sunday evening project — but it’s worth it in the end. The procedure seems complicated, but bear with me, take it step by step, and you will be rewarded with cheesy deliciousness. F gave the it a rave review and it was just as good reheated the next day. I think traditionally the eggplant is fried, but this recipe “healthifys” a little bit by baking the eggplant rounds, saving quite a bit of oil.

Eggplant Parmesan (adapted from Simply Recipes; serves 4-6)

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggplants, sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
  • to taste: salt
  • Simple tomato sauce:
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 cans  (~800g ) whole peeled tomatoes
    • 1 large bunch fresh basil, chopped roughly
    • to taste: salt & pepper
  • Eggplant coating:
    • 1.5 cups breadcrumbs
    • 1.25 cups parmesan cheese, divided into 1/4 cup + 1 cup
    • 3/4 cup whole wheat (or plain) flour
    • 4 eggs, beaten
  • to taste: olive oil
  • 600-700g fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4 inch slices

Procedure

  • 1.5 hours before prep/assembly time, slice the eggplants and salt both sides of each slice, then lay them on top of paper towels to drain.
  • After 1.5 hours, preheat the oven to 215C (425F) and rub some olive oil over two baking sheets.
  • Bread & bake the eggplant: Pat the eggplant rounds dry. Grate the parmesan and place it in a shallow bowl; add the breadcrumbs and mix together. Put the flour in a second shallow bowl, and in a third bowl whisk the eggs together. One at a time, dredge the eggplant rounds in the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Place the breaded rounds on the baking sheets, drizzle a little olive oil over them, then bake for 18-20 minutes, flipping the rounds at the halfway point.
  • While the eggplant is baking, make the tomato sauce (if you’re using your own sauce, feel free to ignore this step): combine olive oil, tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes until it begins to thicken and become fragrant. Set aside.
  • Slice the mozzarella.
  • Once the eggplant has finished baking, take it out and lower the oven temperature to 175C (350F).
  • Assemble eggplant parmesan: Spread 1/2 cup of tomato sauce in the bottom of a medium-sized glass baking dish. Place about 1/3 of the eggplant rounds over the sauce in a single layer. Place half the mozzarella on top of the eggplant and sprinkle 1/3 of the parmesan over the mozzarella. Place another 1/3 of the eggplant over the cheese, then spread 1 cup of tomato sauce over those. Add the rest of the mozzarella and 1/3 of the parmesan. Layer the rest of the eggplant rounds over the top, smother with the rest of the tomato sauce, and sprinkle the rest of the parmesan over everything.
  • Bake uncovered for 35 minutes, then let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Advertisements

Recipe: Rosemary, Garlic & Lemon-Crusted Chicken with White Wine Mushrooms

IMG_5560

As you probably know by now, F and I love buying and roasting a whole chicken ourselves. It’s cheaper than buying chicken pieces and creates lots of leftovers — we also often make stock from the carcass. Our favorite time to do this is for Sunday dinner, since we’re usually home on Sunday afternoons and thus have time to keep an eye on the chicken in the oven.

IMG_5556

This bird is rubbed with fresh rosemary, garlic, and lemon zest before being roasted to a perfect golden-brown. (You don’t have to use a whole chicken; feel free to rub the rosemary mix on a couple of chicken breasts or thighs — you’ll have dinner on the table a lot faster.) Mushrooms are sautéed with fresh thyme and reduced in white wine — a perfect accompaniment to the chicken. Just add rice or your preferred carbohydrate. The chicken and mushroom recipes are both below; I’ll let you figure out the rice for yourself!

Rosemary, Garlic & Lemon-Crusted Chicken (inspired by Martha Rose Shulman)

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (ours was 2.6kg)
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • 2 lemons

Procedure

  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry, then place it in a large baking dish.
  • Put the rosemary, lemon zest, peppercorns, and garlic cloves in a food processor and blend until everything is chopped small and almost paste-like.
  • Rub olive oil and then the spice mix all over the chicken. Juice both the lemons over the chicken and stick the lemon halves inside the bird.
  • Roast the chicken for about 2.5 hours in the oven, basting periodically and covering if necessary.

White Wine Mushrooms (adapted from Martha Rose Shulman; serves 2-4)

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2kg (1lb) button/field mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 1/2 – 1 cup dry white wine
  • to taste: salt & pepper

Procedure

  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the mushrooms to the skillet and let them sear for 30-60 seconds, then stir.
  • As the mushrooms start to soften, add the thyme, wine, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the wine evaporates and the mushrooms are tender.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Mushroom & Leek Quiche

This mushroom and leek quiche is no ordinary quiche…it is a delicious, indulgent, deep-dish quiche.

IMG_5125

The following recipe was inspired by smitten kitchen’s “over-the-top mushroom quiche.” Ours isn’t quite as over-the-top as Deb’s, but since F and I had never made quiche before, we looked to smitten kitchen for some general guidance in crust-making, egg and milk proportions, and cooking time.

The crust turned out perfectly. Flaky, buttery, just barely browned. It’d be just as good for a sweet pie — apple, berry, you choose. If you need proof of the crust’s goodness, just look at the tower of butter that went into the dough:

Leeks and mushrooms, with the help of some thyme, come together beautifully for a smooth, fall-like flavor. The silky egg mixture binds everything together, and a bit of cheese on top and underneath lends a hint of salty richness. This quiche is equally as good warm and cold — enjoy it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.

A few notes before you start cooking: The quiche takes some time from start to finish, so you’d probably be smart to do it on a weekend or another day when you have at least three hours to spare. That said, much of the time is inactive, for dough chilling and quiche baking. Many people swear by par-baking quiche crusts, but we didn’t do it and thought the crust was perfect — just the teensiest bit soggy but otherwise golden and flaky. For the milk, feel free to use any combination of cream/milk/half-and-half that you prefer; we used mostly semi-skimmed milk and it was a little watery, so next time we might just use whole milk. Quiche is already indulgent, so why not?

Mushroom & Leek Quiche (with some help from smitten kitchen; serves 6-8)

Ingredients

  • Pastry Crust:
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 225 grams (1 cup / 2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, in small chunks
    • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water, ice cold
  • Quiche Filling:
    • 3 leeks, sliced thinly
    • 3-4 cups mushrooms, sliced thinly
    • olive oil, for sautéing
    • 1-2 tsp dried thyme (use more if using fresh thyme)
    • 6 eggs
    • 3 cups milk and/or cream (we used 2.25 cups semi-skimmed milk + 3/4 cup single cream)
    • to taste: salt, pepper, nutmeg
    • 1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese (or other melty cheese of choice)

Procedure

  • Make the crust: Whisk together 1 cup flour with the salt, then cut in the butter with a mixer or your fingers until a dough starts to form. Work in the rest of the flour, then the water (you may not need the entire 1/4 cup). Form the dough into a flat, round disc, then wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for at least an hour.
  • When the dough has chilled, prepare the crust: Lightly oil a springform cake pan. Cover your surface with flour and put the disc of dough on it. Sprinkle the dough with flour, then carefully roll it out into a 16″ round. Gently roll the dough onto the rolling pin, then carefully unroll it into the springform pan. Press it into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, then chill in the fridge for 20 minutes, while you prepare the vegetables.
  • Preheat the oven to 325F (160C).
  • Prepare the vegetables: Slice the leeks and mushrooms, then sauté them in olive oil over medium-high heat until soft, 5-10 minutes. While the veggies are cooking, whisk together the eggs and milk/cream. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Grate the cheese.
  • Assemble the quiche: After the crust has chilled for 20 minutes, take it out of the fridge and sprinkle half the cheese over the bottom of it. Fill the crust with the leeks and mushrooms, then pour in the milk-egg mixture.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top, then pop it in the oven for 1.5 hours (you may need to cover the quiche with tinfoil halfway through, so the top doesn’t burn). Let the quiche cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!