I’m happy to be home…home in our kitchen.I just found a “before” picture of our kitchen:
I can’t get over how different it was! I loved the kitchen then, too– in it’s own, quirky way.The new kitchen is to die for- I can’t wait until it is done so I can show all of you!
It’s funny after a few days of not cooking, I feel the need to create a dish. In that way, home cooks are similar to artists…they have that craving to create. So, does that mean in a way we are artists? Well, I say yes! So there you have it…home cooks = artists in the kitchen.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am not an expert (obviously!). Later in life, I plan on going to culinary school. I do not plan on doing the same thing forever… so perhaps one day I will open a cafe, of sort (dreams do come true, you know!) But for now, I’m enjoying making my hobby a part of my every day life.
My favorite thing to do right now is take the ‘formula’ from per-existing recipes and create my own recipe. What I mean, is… I read the instructions of a dish that I think might represent the ‘basics’ of what I’m thinking and build on that. For this recipe, I used this site.
Every once and a while I come up with something I can’t help but admit is truly spectacular. This dish came out perfectly, and is so simple! If you like eggplant, you must try this dish!
Eggplant Towers (aka weeknight napoleons ;) )
1 medium eggplant
For Sauce (if you would prefer to use bottled, go for it!)
1 28 oz can plum tomatoes
1 tsp garlic paste
1 T EVOO
Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 375F
Slice eggplant crosswise making 1/2 inch circles. Lightly sprinkle with salt and let sit for 15 min (gets the bitter taste out).
If making sauce: add 1 T EVOO to large pan; add 1 tsp garlic paste; using hands, break tomatoes into pot (or use a knife!) and add juice (you want ‘chunks of tomato’) let simmer for 15 minutes.
Coat a 13×9 pan with cooking spray. Coat the bottom with sauce (~3/4 c)
Add 1 layer (half) of eggplant to pan; top each circle with crushed tomato (use the ‘chunks’); evenly sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of each one.
Top with another layer of eggplant; top this layer with rest of crushed tomato and sauce, then mozzarella cheese, then about 1/2 T Parmesan cheese per ‘tower’.
Bake for about 20-22 minutes until cheese is browned. Serve with extra parmesan cheese ,a basil leaf, and some nice ,warm, crusty bread!
Optional: serve with whole wheat pasta. ( I cooked some up for Luke)
I hope everyone has a great evening! See you tomorrow!