Thursday, September 8, 2011

Week 35

Ratatouille (this is basically a mixture of summer veggies that can be prepared in a number of ways. I like to dice my veggies into bite-sized pieces then sautee them before letting them simmer for a bit to meld the flavors)
EVOO for sauteeing
1 onion, chopped
1 small eggplant (or half a large one), cubed
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 yellow summer squash, cut in half the long way then sliced thickly
1-2 zucchini, cut in half the long way then sliced thickly
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
28 oz can diced or stewed tomatoes
1/2 tsp thyme or oregano or your choice of herbs
kosher salt and pepper to taste

Heat EVOO in large dutch oven. Add onion and eggplant and sautee until starting to soften. Add garlic, squash, zucchini and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until starting to sweat. Add tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook about 20 mins or until veggies are tender but not falling apart. You can serve as-is, with some crusty bread, over pasta, or as a side dish.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (this was a total throw it together, clean out the fridge kinda meal)
EVOO for sauteeing
1 onion, chopped
3 celery stalks w/leaves, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
1 zucchini, sliced
1 cup frozen corn kernels
shredded meat from 4 cooked chicken thighs
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup or so chopped cilantro
lime wedges, tortilla chip strips, salsa, sour cream and/or cheese for topping

Sautee onion and celery  in EVOO in stock pot. Add stock and water and bring to boil. Add zucchini, corn, chicken and salt and pepper. Cook until heated through. Add cilantro and remove from heat. Serve in bowls with lime squeezed over the top and with additional toppings as desired.

Eggplant Parmesan (adapted from the All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook)
Cut one eggplant into 1/2" thick slices. Brush both sides of cut pieces w/EVOO, sprinkle w/kosher salt and place in single layer on baking sheet. Place in 450 F oven for about 15 mins, then turn slices and bake another 10 mins or until soft and golden.

Meanwhile, in 12" skillet, heat 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (w/juices), 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Heat until reduced and thickened some. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley.

Reduce oven temp to 400. In 8x8 baking dish, layer half of eggplant, spread on some sauce, and top with sliced mozzarella. Repeat layers, ending w/mozzarella and then sprinkle grated parmesan over top. Bake until bubbly, about 15-20 mins. Let sit about 10 mins before cutting and serving.

Penne with no-cook Tomato Sauce
2 lbs ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, sliced
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
2 Tbs EVOO
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb penne

Combine all ingredients except penne in bowl and toss to combine. Let sit 15 mins to one hour for flavors to meld. Cook penne to al dente, drain and toss with marinated tomatoes.

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