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Eggplant with mint and feta
Slice a large eggplant thickly, salt it if you wish, then brush it with a little oil and grill on both sides until completely tender. Make a dressing with four parts olive oil, one of red wine vinegar, a little salt, and plenty of chopped fresh mint.
While the eggplant slices are hot from the grill, toss them gently with the mint dressing, then serve with thick slices of feta cheese and warm flat bread such as pita.
Quick supper of eggplants and pesto
Cut the eggplants in half and score deeply almost down to the skin. Roast them in a hot oven with a good dousing of olive oil. When they are squishy and meltingly tender, spread them with pesto sauce and return to the oven for a few minutes. Serve hot.
Hot eggplant, melting cheese
It is essential to get an eggplant truly tender. The knife should barely have to cut it. Its a good idea to lower the heat during cooking so the inside of the slice has a chance to soften while the crust lightly browns.
enough for 2 as a light lunch: a large eggplant; small handful of basil leaves; olive oil; 12 baby mozzarella
Cut the eggplant into long, thin slices. You should get about 6 from a large fruit. Salt them, leave for half an hour, then, when they have relaxed, wipe off the salt. Get a grill or ridged grill pan hot. Grill the eggplant slices until soft and lightly colored (4-5 minutes on each side), then place on a baking sheet.
Tear the basil leaves, mix them with a couple of tablespoons of live oil, then season with salt and pepper. Brush the slices of cooked eggplant with the seasoned oil. Slice each mozzarella in half and place the halves on the eggplant slices. Let the cheese melt under a hot broiler and serve immediately, before the cheese has a chance to color.
store eggplant at cool room temperature rather than in the fridge. Eggplant is great to soak up other ingredients and loves olive oil. You can salt sliced or cubed eggplant for around 30 minutes before cooking to draw out juices and relax the flesh, this way the eggplant will soak up less oil during cooking and helps disperse any bitterness that can be present. Garlic, tomatoes, and eggplants also love one another. Yogurt, mint, and spices (including cumin, cinnamon, paprika, cardamom, coriander, and turmeric especially) are traditional Middle Eastern pairings.
Baked Finger Eggplant, yogurt, and cucumber
Enough eggplant for 8, olive oil
For yogurt: half a cucumber; 3/4 cup thick yogurt; garlic clove; about 12 mint leaves; tsp of black onion seeds (optional); warm flat bread to serve
Preheat overn to 400*F. Wipe eggplants and cut them in half lengthwise. Pour a thin layer of olive oil into baking pan and place the eggplants, cut side down, in the oil. Bake until soft and squishy, about 40 minutes.
to make cucumber yogurt, wipe the cucumber half and grate coarsely. Sprinkle lightly with salt and set aside in a colander for half an hour. Squeeze the cucumber dry in the palm of your hand, then stir it into the yogurt. Peel and finely crush the garlic, chop the mint leaves, and stir both into the cucumber and yogurt. Toast the black onion seeds lightly. Transfer the yogurt to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the onion seeds.
Serve the eggplants on plates with the cucumber yogurt. Spread some of the baked eggplant onto a piece of the bread, spoon over a little of the yogurt, and eat.
The slender leaves cook in seconds, and only the very thickest stems are too tough. Steam the stems in a large shallow pan in finger's depth of water. Get the water boiling first. Lay the stems in a single layer, with most of the stems and heads protruding from the water. They will steam rather than boil when covered with a lid. Boiling broccoli can often damage the florets, so try a quick lunch by steaming the broccoli for 3-4 minutes. Then lower the heads into a bowl and scatter them with toasted pine nuts; dark, smoky raisins; and a drizzle of olive oil.
Looking for something a little more cozy for a cooler evening? Try this broccoli and bacon soup (two of my favorite things!):
Peel and coarsely chop the onion and soften it in the butter in a deep pan (keep it pale and translucent). Stir in half the bacon, snipped into short lengths (keep six short pieces for later), then the potatoes, scrubbed and cut into small pieces. Let the ingredients marry with as little color as possible, then pour in the stock and bring to a boil, adding salt and pepper as you go. Decrease the heat so that the mixture simmers gently for 15-20 minutes or so, until the potatoes collapse against slight pressure from the back of a spoon. Introduce the greens, trimmed of any exceptionally tough stems, and simmer for 10 minutes. The greens should still be bright. Pour in the milk, simmer briefly, then process the mixture in a blender until smooth, checking the seasoning as you do so. Broil the remaining bacon until crisp, then serve the soup in warm bowls, each with a piece of crisp bacon on its surface.
Savory Potato Crust
Grease a 9-inch pie plate. Add the potatoes. In a small bowl, combine the egg substitute, oil, and flour. Pour over the potatoes, and pat the mixture in the bottom of the pan and up the sides to form a crust. Broil about 8 inches from the heating element for 15 minutes, or until browned.
Variation: Add 2 Tbsp minced onion or 2 tsp dried herbs (such as oregano, marjoram, or basil) to the potatoes. Or, replace the oil with 1/4 cup shredded cheese.
This crust is suitable for almost any entree filling.
from "Preserving Summer's Bounty"
Thank you Mary for contributing this recipe. She says "In case anyone is wondering what to do with Thai basil, this is one of my family's favorite recipes:http://vietworldkitchen.typepad.com/blog/2007/06/chicken_pho_noo.html. FYI there is a beef pho recipe at the same website.
The Thai basil is listed as an "optional garnish," but don't let that fool you. The "garnishes" aren't decorative; in food from southeast Asia they are absolutely integral to the flavor and texture of the food!"
Chicken Pho Noodle Soup Recipe (Pho Ga)
My friend Simon says that there's a lot of confusing and misleading online chatter about chicken phở these days. If you've had the original beef phở then you're bound to want to explore the chicken version, which is slightly lighter in flavor, but delicious still.
Making noodle soup is an art form that take a bit of time, but most of the time is passive cooking. I encourage you to try making your own bowl so that you may savor and appreciate a well-crafted bowl. At Simon's urging, I'm sharing this chicken phở recipe from my cookbook, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2006). Try it out and contribute comments so that we can build a nice body of content on this wonderful Vietnamese chicken noodle soup!
Chicken Pho Recipe (Phở Gà )
While beef phở may be the version that most people know and like, chicken phở is also excellent. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in phở gà (pronounced "Fuh Gah")within the Vietnamese American community, and a handful of restaurants are specializing in the delicate noodle soup. Some of them use free-range gà chạy or gà đi bộ (literally “jogging chicken” or “walking chicken”), yielding bowls full of meat that has a flavor and texture reminiscent of traditionally raised chickens in Vietnam.
If you want to create great chicken phở yourself, take a cue from the pros and start with quality birds. If you have never made phở, this recipe is ideal for learning the basics. It calls for fewer ingredients than other phở recipes, so you can focus on charring the onion and ginger to accentuate their sweetness, making a clear broth, and assembling steamy hot, delicious bowls. While some cooks flavor chicken phở broth with the same spices they use for beef phở, my family prefers using coriander seeds and cilantro to distinguish the two. To compare chicken with beef phở, see my beef pho noodle soup recipe.
Make the pho broth
After 15 minutes, the onions and ginger will have softened slightly and become sweetly fragrant. There may even be some bubbling. You do not have to blacken the entire surface. When amply charred, remove from the heat and let cool.
2. Rinse the cooled onions under warm running water, rubbing off the charred skin. Trim off and discard the blackened root and stem ends. Use a vegetable peeler, paring knife, or the edge of a teaspoon to remove the ginger skin. Hold it under warm water to wash off any blackened bits. Halve the ginger lengthwise and bruise lightly with the broad side of a cleaver or chef’s knife. Set the onions and ginger aside.
3. Rinse the chicken under cool water. Detach each wing by bending it back and cutting it off at the shoulder joint. Add the wings and neck, if included, to the chicken parts. If the heart, gizzard, and liver have been included, discard them or save for another use. (Some cooks like to simmer the heart and gizzard in water and slice them for adding to the noodle bowls.) Set the wingless chicken aside.
4. Remove and discard any loose pieces of fat from the chicken parts. Wielding a heavy cleaver designed for chopping bones, whack the bones to break them partway or all the way through, making the cuts at 1- to 2-inch intervals, depending on the size of the part. This exposes the marrow, which enriches the broth.
5. To achieve a clear broth, you must first parboil and rinse the chicken parts. Put them in a stockpot (about 12-quart capacity) and add cold water just to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes to release the impurities. Dump the chicken parts and water into the sink (make sure it is clean), and then rinse the parts with water to wash off any clinging residue. Quickly scrub the stockpot clean and return the chicken parts to the pot. Put the chicken into the pot, breast side up.
6. Pour in the water and snuggle the chicken in between the parts so that it is covered with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Use a ladle or large, shallow spoon to skim off any scum that rises to the top. Add the onions, ginger, salt, fish sauce, rock sugar, coriander seeds, cloves, and cilantro and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes, adjusting the heat if needed to maintain a gentle simmer.
At this point, the chicken is cooked; its flesh should feel firm yet still yield a bit to the touch. Use a pair of tongs to grab the chicken and transfer it to a large bowl. Flush the chicken with cold water and drain well, then it set aside for 15 to 20 minutes until it is cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, keep the broth at a steady simmer.
7. When chicken can be handled, use a knife to remove each breast half and the whole legs (thigh and drumstick). Don’t cut these pieces further, or they’ll lose their succulence. Set aside on a plate to cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate; bring to room temperature before assembling the bowls.
8. Return the leftover carcass to the stockpot and adjust the heat to simmer the broth gently for another 11/2 hours. Avoid a hard boil, or the broth will turn cloudy.
9. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve (or a coarse-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth) positioned over a pot. Discard the solids. Use a ladle to skim as much fat from the top of the broth as you like. (To make this task easier, you can cool the broth, refrigerate overnight, lift off the solidified fat, and then reheat before continuing.) Taste and adjust the flavor with additional salt, fish sauce, and rock sugar. There should be about 4 quarts (16 cups) broth.
Assemble the pho bowls
11. Cut the cooked chicken into slices about 1/4 inch thick, cutting the meat off the bone as necessary. If you don’t want to eat the skin, discard it first. Set the chicken aside. Ready the yellow onion, scallions, cilantro, and pepper for adding to the bowls. Arrange the garnishes on a plate and put on the table.
12. To ensure good timing, bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat as you are assembling the bowls. (For an extra treat, drop in any unused white scallion sections and let them poach in the broth. Add the poached white scallion sections (called hành chần) to a few lucky bowls when ladling out the broth.) At the same time, fill a large pot with water and bring to a rolling boil.
For each bowl, place a portion of the noodles on a vertical-handle strainer (or mesh sieve) and dunk the noodles in the boiling water. As soon as they have collapsed and lost their stiffness (10 to 20 seconds), pull the strainer from the water, letting the water drain back into the pot. Empty the noodles into a bowl. If you like, once you have finished blanching the noodles, you can blanch the bean sprouts for 30 seconds. They should wilt slightly but retain some crunch. Drain and add to the garnishes.
13. Top each bowl of noodles with chicken, arranging the slices flat. Place a mound of yellow onion in the center and then shower some scallion and cilantro on top. Finish with a sprinkle of pepper.
14. Raise the heat and bring the broth to a rolling boil. Do a final tasting and make any last-minute flavor adjustments. Ladle about 2 cups broth into each bowl, distributing the hot liquid evenly to warm all the ingredients. Serve immediately with the garnishes.
Copyright 2007, Andrea Nguyen, All rights reserved. Recipe from Into theVietnamese Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2006)
Yellow rock sugar (a.k.a. lump sugar) is sold in one-pound boxes at Chinese and Southeast Asian markets. Break up large chunks with hammer.
This spread is lovely when used on garlic bread, as a sauce for fish, or when tossed with steamed vegetables.
6 cloves of garlic, whole
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
dash of paprika
In a small saucepan, combine the garlic with water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain, let cool, and slip the skins off the garlic. Crush the garlic through a press. In a food processor or blender, combine the garlic, butter, dill, and paprika. Process until well combined, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
to freeze: prepare recipe as directed. Pack in small freezer containers, and freeze. To serve, thaw the frozen butter in the refrigerator.
· 1.5 cups basil leaves
· 4 cloves minced garlic
· 1/3 cup olive oil
· 1 lb turkey cutlets
· 12 mushrooms, sliced
· 4 small tomatoes, sliced
· 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
· 2 tablespoons pine nuts
In a blender/food processor, process the basil and garlic until well chopped. With machine running, add the oil in a stream. Process until a smooth paste forms.
· 10 basil leaves
· 5 lime wedges
· 2 oz simple syrup
· 3 oz white rum
· One splash ginger ale
· Ice cubes
In a 16 ounce glass, muddle (mash together) the basil leaves and lime wedges. Add the simple syrup and rum. Stir to combine. Fill glass with ice cubes and add the splash of ginger ale.
(for those 21 and older!)
I copied this recipe from Bare Essentials' website because it sounds so good.
Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Basil and Mozzarella
An easy appetizer. Be sure to use a glass or enameled pan (not plain metal) to avoid any reactivity with the acidic tomatoes. Splurge on a flavorful, fragrant olive oil for the best results.
PER SERVING: 86 cal, 5g fat (2g mono, 0g poly, 3g sat), 18mg chol, 7g protein, 2g carb, 0g fiber, 177mg sodium
Tomatillos are small, green, husk-covered Mexican relatives of tomatoes. Some also have purple on their skins.
Salsa verde made with tomatillos is one of my favorite treats all summer. And it freezes really well. If you want to freeze some to enjoy later, simply pour some cool salsa into a plastic freezer bag, seal well, lay flat on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once the salsa is frozen flat, you can remove the cookie sheet and have salsa that doesn't take up much room in the freezer and is ready to use at any time. Don't forget to label and date the bag! We are planning on having more tomatillos, so if you didn't get enough for a full batch for your brood, then you can make some while the tomatillos are still fresh and combine with more later.
Here is a starter recipe, but I encourage you to personalize your recipe:
1 Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well.
2a Roasting method Cut in half and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin.
2b Boiling method Place tomatillos in a saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove tomatillos with a slotted spoon.
2 Place tomatillos, lime juice, onions, cilantro, chili peppers, sugar in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt. Cool in refrigerator.
Serve with chips or as a salsa accompaniment to Mexican dishes.
Makes 3 cups.