Week 45: Vegetarian/Vegan

Eggplant Parm

Sauce:
2 big cans of diced tomatoes (laziness is king)
1 can tomato paste
An indeterminate amount of Cabernet
A few cups of diced onion
A few tablespoons of minced garlic
Olive Oil
Oregano
Parsley
Marjoram
Thyme
Basil
Salt

Sweat onions in olive oil with salt
Add garlic when onions are about translucent
Add diced tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil
Add wine, continue to boil for a couple minutes
Reduce to simmer and add herbs.
Be in a hurry and not want to wait for sauce to reduce and add tomato paste.
Add herbs to compensate.

Eggplant:
Medium sized eggplant
Egg – beaten like a step child
Flour
Grated Parmesan
Mozzarella
Salt

Mix flour salt and parmesan in shallow dish
Put a thin layer of sauce in a baking dish
Slice eggplant and dredge in egg then flour, then arrange in baking dish
Top each layer of eggplant with sauce, mozzarella and parmesan
Bake at 400F until cheese is bubbling
Turn on broiler and brown cheese until desired crispiness
Served with angel hair pasta

Red Beans and Rice

I looked in the freezer and saw that I had a package of andouille from a groupon to a butcher from the summer. What better way to help usher in Winter than some red beans and rice? I ignored the fact that it will be warming back into the 60s for the following several days.

I searched around several different recipes on the web (I have no idea where my recipe is), and settled on this one. I did not have green bell peppers on hand so I desecrated the “Holy Trinity” by using a red pepper I had bought the following night’s dinner. Other than that, I mostly followed the recipe, but doubled it.

As for the creole seasoning, I had to break out the slide rule and scale down the recipe since I only needed a few tablespoons instead of a few cups. Luckily, I have the conversion chart stuck on the side of my fridge. I did cheat by rounding everything to tablespoons instead of teaspoons. The approximately half cup I have left over will have to be used for some other Creole meal.

Simmer down

Week 44: Cinnamon

  • Cinnamon, Apple, Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Spinach with Cinnamon and Goat Cheese

Sliced apples thin on mandolin, layered them over top of the pork loin, sprinkled on some cinnamon and brown sugar, wrapped that in thick cut bacon, topped with more apples slices and cinnamon and sugar. Placed this beautiful example of pork decadence in a casserole dish and surrounded it with diced sweet potatoes and apples. Sprinkled on some more cinnamon and sugar, then doused it with a couple cups of apple cider and baked at 350F for about 4-5 drinks (maybe 1.5 hours) and the thermometer returned a 160F reading.

The spinach was wilted in rendered pig fat and mixed with a bit of onion, cinnamon, brown sugar, and topped with goat cheese.

It could have been the hard apple cider clouding the senses, but the pork loin was fairly tasty. It wasn’t too sweet, and the bacon added the glory that bacon does to any meal. The sweet potatoes and diced apples added a nice texture difference, and the goat cheese in the spinach was a good deviation from the rest of the flavors. One note, the onion was not a good addition to the spinach. It didn’t play well with others.