Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cooking Lesson

"Do you like eggplant?"

"I. . ."

"Listen to this.  Slice eggplant into one-and-a-half inch thick slices."

"Slice it parallel to its equator, or parallel to its polar axis?"

"Slice eggplant into one-and-a-half inch thick slices.  Salt each slice on each side, set aside and allow them to weep for thirty minutes."

"It's making me cry, just thinking about it."

"In a one-and one-half quart saucepan,"  and here she starts to list ingredients.  Tomatoes, basil, cheeses, and I say,

"Aha! The cover-up.  Disguise the taste of the vegetable!"

She continues with the entire rigamarole, ultimately "covering the slices with the sauce."

"And that," I say, "is eggplant parmesan.  If you'd cover five slices of white bread with the same sauce, they would taste the same."

She keeps insisting that I should take an interest in cooking, learn a thing or two, "in the event that something happens to me and you have to take care of yourself."  Well, it's the thought that counts; and it is a loving thought.


Grace said...

George and I have had similar discussions - his answer is that he can happily live on sandwiches - he's done it before.

Eggplant is one of the few vegetables my husband really likes - maybe because it's not green. Seems the Irish like green everywhere but on their dinner plates.

Also the eggplant is cut in 1-1/2 inch rounds, you don't have to peel it but I do. You don't have to salt it and let it 'weep'. You do brush the eggplant with olive oil and bake or broil it. Much healthier and nicer than breading and frying it...

You get a nice big pie plate, put some tomato sauce on the bottom, not a lot. Make a layer of eggplant, add a few dollops of ricotta, then some grated mozzarella, then some grated Romano, a little bit of tomato sauce then a layer of eggplant, a bit more mozzarella and Romano and then cover with tomato sauce - not a lot. Bake in a 350 degree oven till bubbly and cheeses have melted.

If you a deep pan and enough eggplant you can make 3 layers ( a second layer of the ricotta/mozzarella/Romano)...but I think that's excessive...

And you just reminded me of a funny kitchen conversation we had the other night - I forgot to write it up. I'll go do that now.

vanilla said...

Grace, Aha! I just knew this post would get your eggplant recipe. Yours is quite similar to the one I "heard" last night, but with more cheese (yum!). Thanks.

Grace said...

Wait - another good eggplant recipe -

Peel the eggplant, slice it the long way, brush w/olive oil, bake/broil.

Saute some onions & garlic (if you like onions & garlic - they go well with eggplant). Remove from pan. Saute some ground meat - I like to use lamb but beef will do. When the meat is browned add back the onions and garlic and a small can of diced tomatoes and let it simmer until the tomatoes have cooked down and are absorbed into the meat.

Get out that big pie pan and lay the eggplant in it like pastry dough - small ends to the center, large ends up the sides. Add the meat mixture, sprinkle with grated cheese, cover with slices of mozzarella and top with slices of fresh tomato.

Bake in a 350 degrees over till hot and bubbly - Eggplant pie! Yum...

vanilla said...

Grace, so then a ride over to the farmers' market becomes imperative.

Lin said...

I hate cooking. Joe does all of ours. Although if we want to try something new, I have to instigate it.

I think you saw my post on the new exotic canned cat foods. It's an option if Joe decides to leave me. ;)

vanilla said...

Lin, appetizing as the label may make it seem, I do hope you don't have to resort to gourmet cat food.
(Don't forget to praise Joe's cooking from time to time!)