Monthly Archives: September 2009

Fried Eggplant p. 245

Ingredients: eggplant, salt, flour, bread crumbs, eggs, pepper, EVOO.

My grandmother makes the best fried eggplant. The best. In the whole wide world. But I haven’t had any since I was in 7th grade. That’s been a long time, friends. (Mimi, please make me some fried eggplant!)

So I anxious to make it myself to see if it was as delicious as I remembered. Mark Bittman suggests cutting your eggplant in ½ inch slices. In my humble opinion, I think that’s too thick. Mimi’s wasn’t that thick. And in the end the pieces were too big to pick up and were just too thick. So if you make it at home, I would recommend cutting it about ¼ of an inch thick.

I’m really getting better at this frying thing. My mom never fried when I was growing up, so it’s a new concept to me, even though I was raised in the South. Bryan really didn’t take to the fried eggplant, which was a bummer, because we now have a large stack of left over eggplant.

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Filed under essentials, veggies

Olive Oil Salt Bread p. 830

Ingredients: EVOO, flour, baking powder, salt, water.

So this was my first run-in with actually making a bread. I was cooking spaghetti the other night and wanted some bread to go along with it. This looked easy enough.

The recipe says to put the flour, baking powder, and salt in the food processor. I found out the hard way, that my food processor is exactly 3 cups. So I dirtied it without even getting to use it and mixed up the dough by hand, which wasn’t difficult.
I put the dough in a cast iron skillet and put it in the oven. It didn’t turn golden brown and looked kinda blah. And it tasted kinda blah too.

This is a very easy recipe, but I wasn’t impressed with the results.

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Simplest Whole Roast Chicken p. 644-645

Ingredients: whole chicken, EVOO, salt, pepper, garlic, fresh herbs

Really the simplest way to cook a whole chicken. So easy a caveman can do it. Oh wait, he probably did.

Rub your chicken with olive oil and salt and pepper. Throw on some herbs and garlic if you like. Then roast in the oven for about 40-50 minutes. Simple as that.

The tough part is finding the meat on the chicken. Its like a treasure hunt. Ours was a small chicken and at first it seemed like there wasn’t any meat on this little chicken, but then we found it. The bird was tender and juicy and delicious.

Seriously one of the easiest and best recipes you can make, especially on a busy weeknight.


(Apparently I didn’t take any pictures of the chicken whole.)

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Crisp Pan fried Potatoes (Home Fries) p. 341-342

Ingredients: potatoes, peanut oil, salt, pepper.

Basically you leave cut up pieces of potato in a pan so that it browns all on one side and try not to stir too often. That’s really too much to ask of me. I think the main problem was that I had too many potatoes in the pan because it took forever to cook all the potatoes. Will have to try another time with less potatoes and less stirring.

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Mashed Cauliflower with Cheese p. 281

Ingredients: cauliflower, cream, butter, cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg.

I was planning on making eggplant the other night, but wasn’t able to find a decent eggplant in this city to save my life. So I went with cauliflower. It happened to be the closest and cheapest thing to me when I finally gave up on the eggplant hunt. Bryan was upset when he saw it. I think his actual words were “great, the only thing I hate worse than eggplant.” I made him promise to try just a bite for me. And he did and he loved it. Unfortunately for him, at that point I had tasted it myself and swore that no one was allowed to touch the rest of it but me. The point is, cauliflower can be delicious, just be willing to try a bite.

I boiled the cauliflower til it was done. The rest of the process reminded me of making mac and cheese from the box. Add in the cream, butter, and cheese, also a little salt and pepper and mix and mash. The result was something so deliciously evil that I claimed it all for myself.

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Sweet Potato Gratin p. 248

Ingredients: sweet potatoes, cream cheese, brown sugar, nuts

I never liked sweet potatoes. My mom would force them on me growing up. I avoided the casseroles at Thanksgiving and other events. Over the last year or so they’ve been slowly growing on me. I’ve even made them voluntarily in my own kitchen. I prefer them roasted.

This recipe, actually off the Vegetable Gratin chart on page 248, is super easy and so amazingly delicious. Even better than most sweet potato casseroles.

Simply roast your sweet potatoes. Then I put them in a casserole dish and dotted with half a thing of cream cheese and some brown sugar. Broil for a couple of minutes and then top with some roasted pecans. Amazing!

it doesn't look pretty, but it tastes amazing

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Marinated Celery and Carrots, Chinese Style p. 85-86

Ingredients: celery stalks, carrots, salt, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, cayenne

I happened to have all the ingredients for this recipe on hand and whipped it up last second before going over to families’ house for a meal. Simply chop your veggies and marinate in the other ingredients. I didn’t have time to marinate them for more than 30 minutes or so, but loved the flavor. I’m planning on making this for another event coming up and will marinate them overnight beforehand. This should fully infuse the vegetables with the flavor.

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