Monday, August 31, 2009

Eggplant Lasagne

This recipe can be alternated to have any type of filling in the lasagne, so feel free to experiment.

Now I know a lot of people that do not like eggplant and the biggest problem is most people just aren't sure how to cook it before preparing it. The big secret is to first slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch pieces and put them in a strainer and then sprinkle course sea salt over them for at least 1 hour before cooking them. You can then rinse them off and pat them dry. This helps get out all the acidity from the eggplant and will take away the not nice after taste that can come from that.

Now you will want to make a basic marinara sauce. for this you will need 3 cloves of garlic, a bunch of fresh basil ( dried is fine to but only a tsp if using dried) and a can of died tomatoes, a bottle of strained tomatoes (tomato puree) and a TBSP of tomato paste. and salt and pepper for taste.

So first you put a good glug of olive oil in a pan and let it heat then add your chopped garlic and your chopped basil (add dried basil after you put in the tomatoes) let cook for 2-3 minutes add all the tomatoes and let simmer, add a salt and pepper to taste and let simmer on low on your stove.

For pasta I find your best bet is the fresh pasta you can get, it is relatively inexpensive and you can get it at any Italian grocery store or even at the local supermarket. It is the quickest and easiest way to do it because you can just pop the whole thing in the oven and you don't need to pre cook the noodles!

Now for the eggplant... how I like to do it is add some olive oil maybe 1/4 cup and then fry the eggplant until its is brown on both sides, you will know when to flip when the olive oil has seeped through to the other side of the eggplant.

For cheese you will need 1 cup ricotta, 1 egg, and 1/2 cup parm, mix together

So add some sauce to the bottom of your lasagne pan, then add first layer of pasta, (depending how big your pan is will depend on how much pasta you need) then add more sauce and another layer of pasta, then add cheese mix and then another layer of pasta, you then add thin layer of sauce and you eggplant and then another layer of pasta. you can add lots of sauce to the top and top it all off with some fresh mozza grated or sliced and put on top. Baked at 350 for 35 minutes let sit for 3 minutes before serving!

Great with the Caesar salad!!!

You can also make ahead of time and freeze for an impromptu guest.

Chicken Chow Mein Night!

There is nothing I love more then a healthy and easy meal that is quick.

So Chicken chow mein is the right choice for me!

SOOO quick and easy.

You will need oyster sauce, hoisin Sauce, Soy sauce (low sodium), sesame seed oil, olive oil, sugar, cornstarch, chicken, chow mein noodles, and either frozen zen garden veggies (pre-cut and have the best veggies in them) or a selections of veggies, snow peas, water chestnut, baby corns, red pepper, yellow pepper, tomato, bean sprouts, green onion, and anything else that you should desire, just make sure they are sliced very thin.

(Also for the vegetarians out there, skip the oyster sauce and use Tofu instead of chicken still great!!)

First add 2 TBSP of Olive oil and 1tsp of sesame seed oil to pan. Slice your chicken in strips and fry until no longer pink, remove from pan and add one more glug of olive oil and a sprinkle of sesame seed oil. Add your green onion and all the veggies (frozen or other wise) cook for about 7-10 minutes or until they have reduced slightly.

Meanwhile prepare the sauce, now this is more of a judgement on how much sauce you would like. you may want to double the batch.

So add 1/4C soy sauce, 2 TBSP oyster sauce, 2TBSP hoisin sauce and a dash of cornstarch and sugar. whisk this all together and set aside.

Put a pot on to boil to cook the noodles, or you can leave them crispy and add to your pan after. However I prefer mine to be cooked. So once water is boiling cook noodles for about 2-3 minutes. Drain and add directly to the veggies.

Add the chicken to the veggies as well and then add the amount of sauce you like, give it a good stir, let it sit for about 2 minutes and serve.
This is great if you are having company!! Serves 4-5 people