Eggplant parmigiana

This is the real deal! If you want to try a dish from the old country, full of flavor, light and delicious, you must prepare this authentic recipe of Eggplant Parmigiana. You will marvel how basic and yet elevated this dish taste!

By: Maddalena Clemente and Anna Silvestri FROM La Casa Del Pane

INGREDIENTS:
For the sauce:
• 3 tbsp. of olive oil
• 3 cloves of garlic (whole)
• Pinch of hot pepper flakes (optional)
• 2-28 oz. can of San Marzano Tomato (whole) • Fresh basil
• Salt to taste

For the eggplant:

• 2 large to medium eggplants 🍆 (peeled and cut into rings or lengthwise-your preference)

• 6 eggs
• 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour (approx.)
• Salt & pepper to taste
• Frying oil (vegetable oil-at lease 1 inch thick in frying pan)

Additional ingredients:
• Fresh mozzarella (shredded) (about 2 cups)
• Fresh grated Parmiggiano (about 1 1/2 cups) • Fresh basil (torn)
• Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Start by making the sauce. In a saucepan; add the oil, garlic and hot pepper flakes (if using), bring to a sizzle and once the garlic becomes fragrant and lightly golden, add the cans of tomatoes (and place a small amount of water-about 1/4 cup, in the bottom of one empty can, pour from can to can to pick up any sauce in the cans and pour the water mixture in the saucepan), add salt and basil, give it a stir, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer on medium low for about 30 minutes while you fry the eggplant. (Taste in about 15 minutes and add more salt if needed, according to taste). When sauce is cooked, take off the stove and blend with an immersion blender or place in food processor to blend. Set aside.

While sauce is cooking, slice the eggplant medium thin with either a mandolin or a sharp knife.
In a shallow plate, add the flour, salt and pepper, set aside. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, add about one inch of vegetable oil, preheat over medium heat (not too hot or the eggplant will burn on the outside but will remain raw on the inside–test when the oil is hot enough to fry by sprinkling with a few drops of water, if the oil sizzles, it’s ready to fry). While the oil is heating, dredge each piece of eggplant in the flour, shake off any excess, dip into the beaten egg mixture. Add about 6 or 7 at a time to the egg mixture, then fry the eggplant 6 or 7 at a time in the hot oil and cook for a few minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain the eggplant on a paper towel lined plater, blot excess oil, repeat this process until all the eggplant is cooked. (Cook in batches, remove all in the batch before adding more eggplant to the fry pan).

To assemble the baked version: Use a large, deep baking dish, place a couple ladles of sauce on the bottom of the dish, place the first layer of fried eggplant in the dish, add some Parmiggiano cheese, fresh mozzarella, torn fresh basil and top of a ladle of sauce. Repeat this procedure with the 2nd layer of eggplant. The final layer is topped with more sauce, especially around the edges. Bake for about 1/2 hour, in a 450 degree oven until bubbly and the cheese is melted, allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving. (Serve along side a crusty, toasted bread rubbed with garlic and sprinkled with olive oil which you bake for 10 minutes—Optional).

EASY TAMALE CORN PIE

If you want something for a weeknight dinner that is both easy and delicious, you need to try this recipe. Who doesn’t like cornbread, fresh corn and hamburger meat? This is a great combination of flavors. (Check out the photos in the slideshow).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 (7.5 oz.) can or bottle of mild red enchilada sauce
  • 2 cans (4.5 oz. each) chopped green chiles
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 stalks fresh corn (boiled for 5 minutes)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded short Cheddar cheese
  • 1 box muffin mix (Jiffy)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (use the convection setting). In a 10 inch over proof skillet, cook the beef over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked. Drain with paper towels. Stir in enchilada sauce, 1 can of the green chiles and the chili powder. Set aside.

In a separate pot, boil water and add a teaspoon of salt. When the water is boiling, add two stalks of fresh corn on the cob and boil for 5 minutes. When the corn is done, remove from the water and place on a cutting board and strip the corn of the cob.

Add 1 cup of cheddar cheese and the corn to the meat mixture and stir to mix well. Set aside

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, muffin mix with 1egg and 1/3 cup milk. Add one can of chopped green chilies and 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, mix well. Pour the corn muffin mix over the hamburger mixture and smooth out evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes. Serves 6.

CARROT BANANA NUT BREAD

Why not make a nice tasty treat that actually contains a lot of hidden fruit and vegetables! You kids will love it and eat a little healthier then a regular cake! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, (1-stick, softened)
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 4 x 8 inch loaf pans with Pam for baking spray.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium size bowl. In another large bowl, beat brown sugar and butter together using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.

Add flour mixture into the flour mixture, stirring frequently to combine. Add mashed bananas and stir or fold in to combine. Mix well. Fold in carrots and pecans. Pour into the prepared loaf pans.

Bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Optional: Sprinkle with powder sugar when cooled.

STEAK PIZZAIOLA

This is a great dish that doesn’t break the bank! You can use different cuts of meat such as eye of round, sirloin, or strip steak. A lot of tenderizing and it’s a perfect bite of steak.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 steaks (I used thin cut New York Strip steaks-pounded and cut in half)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 can (14 oz.) cherry tomatoes
  • 1 carton (17.64 oz.) Pomi tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. Red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: fresh chopped parsley for serving
  • optional: White rice for serving

DIRECTIONS:

Thin New York Strip steaks have to be
pounded until thinner, fat cut off and then cut in half to make 6 steaks.

Place the steaks on a cutting board and trim all the visible fat. Use a meat tenderizer and pound the steak on each side to tenderize and pound until about 1/4 inch thick. Salt and pepper each side. Cut the steak in half. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil on medium high heat in a large frying pan. Fry the steaks in batches, turning once, for about 1 minute per side, do not crowd. Set the steaks aside.

Lower the heat to medium-low. In the same frying pan, add the garlic, onions, and bell peppers, fry for a few minutes until they begin to soften. Deglaze with the wine and stir.

Add the tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Stir well. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 10 minutes on medium-low to low. Add the steaks back into the pan and mix. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve on top of white rice. Serves 4

Three bean CHILI

With cold weather and football to watch, what’s better than a big bowl of chili! I’m changing it up a bit with three different beans, lots of meat and spices, what’s not to enjoy! This recipe will feed a crowd!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds lean hamburger meat
  • 3 (15.5 oz.) cans red kidney beans
  • 1 (15.5 oz.) can white kidney beans
  • 1 (15 oz.) can Kirby black beans
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (24.5 oz.) bottle or can tomato puree
  • 1 package Carol Shelby’s Chili Kit
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) water
  • added salt and pepper to taste

Optional to serve: Top with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, serve with crackers

DIRECTIONS:

Place a large pot or dutch oven on the stove, add olive oil and heat at medium-high heat. Add hamburger and brown, breaking up pieces for about 5 minutes. Add onion and red bell pepper and cook for about another 5 minutes.

Drain all the cans of beans and add the red and white kidney beans and the black beans to the pot and stir. Add the can of tomato sauce, fire roasted diced tomatoes and tomato purée, stir. Add one can of water.

Add the entire spice packet from the chili kit and stir to combine. If you like your chili mild do not add the cayenne pepper packet (add if you want it hot, according to your taste. You can as a little or as much as you like). If you want thicker chili, add the masa mix, again as little or as much as you want to thicken it. I add about 1 tablespoon.

Simmer on low for about 1 hours, stirring about every 15 minutes.

Serve in a bowl topped with cheddar cheese and sour cream (optional).

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