Saturday, January 21, 2012

Two Dinner Recipes for 1st 2012 Post!

Hey there long lost friends!

First of all, I apologize for my accidental 1 month+ hiatus.  I had all these great plans to write all about my Christmas baking (which I will soon!), but then the business of the holidays got away from me/I enjoyed being lazy.  And now that it’s been a few weeks since getting back into the swing of things, my curious fans (aka, the two people that read this blog) have been getting on my case to post something new.  So voila, TWO dinner recipes today since I’m so far behind:)

And now for my second apology… only the first recipe will have pictures:(  The second is a recipe I make on a somewhat consistent basis (once a quarter?) and I had made it a few months ago, taking pictures on my phone with the intent to post later.  And I made it again this past week knowing that I had taken pictures previously so I didn't take any new ones.  Too bad I didn’t realize they were phone pictures because, now for the good news, I got an iPhone two weeks ago!  And was inspired to write today and didn’t feel like making a trip to the Verizon store for pictures.  (It’s my birthday tomorrow… I’m enjoying my weekend!)

So now, onto the food.

Honestly, both of these dinners make excellent Sunday Night Suppers, but with a small amount of advance planning, are also quick enough to be included in my Weeknight Cooking Series (I’ll cite my tips for this in both recipe directions).

And without further ado…

Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant Ingredients
1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds eggplant
1 egg, beaten
½ cup bread crumbs
½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Sauce Ingredients
½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
½ onion, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
½ teaspoon crushed oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
Black pepper to taste

Topping Ingredients
1 8 ounce ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 cup grated Parmesan

1.      In a saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium-high heat until onions are soft and slightly brown.
2.      Add the crushed tomatoes, ½ to full can of tomato paste (depending on your taste), oregano, and basil.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.

3.      Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.  Slice eggplant crosswise into approximately 3/8 inch slices.  Dip the eggplant slices into the egg, then the bread crumbs.
4.      Lay the coated eggplant slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with half of the olive oil.
5.      Broil for a few minutes until golden brown (you’ll have to watch them).  Turn the slices over and drizzle with the other half of the olive oil.  Again, broil a few minutes until golden brown.

6.      When eggplant and sauce are both done, lay the eggplant in a 9 x 13 baking dish and cover with the sauce.  (If you’re doing this as a weeknight meal, you can follow the recipe up to this point the day before, cover with aluminum foil, and place in the refrigerator overnight. )

7.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
8.      Lay out the mozzarella slices on the casserole and sprinkle with Parmesan.
9.      Bake for 25-35 minutes until bubbly.  Finish it off with a few minutes under the broiler to brown the cheese.

Makes four very large pieces.  Sorry no pictures of the finished product:(  I made this the weeknight way so Jarrett was the one to finish it up.  And the one picture of my piece was taken on my old phone...
*Recipe adapted from The Weeknight Survival Cookbook by Dena Irwin, R.D.

Shrimp Curry
1 large onion, chopped
1 (2-inch-long) piece fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder (preferably Madras)
1 to 2 fresh serrano chiles, halved lengthwise
1 cup water
1 (14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk (full fat or low fat is fine)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 lb large shrimp in shell (21 to 30 per lb)

*If you're making this as a weeknight meal, feel free to chop the onions, mince the ginger, and peel and devein the shrimp a day ahead!
1.      Saute onions and ginger with salt and sugar in the oil in a large, heavy skillet or sauté pan over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
2.      Stir in curry powder and chiles and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.
3.      Stir in water, coconut milk, and lime juice and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5 to 8 minutes.
4.      While sauce simmers, peel and devein shrimp. Add shrimp to sauce, season with salt and pepper, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste and serve over jasmine or basmati rice.  (I make my rice following the package directions… use 1 cup uncooked rice to go along with this dish!)
Makes four servings.
* Original recipe can be located here.

And I promise I won’t wait another month until posting again!