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Nov 7, 2011 08:10 AM

What's for dinner? #115 - Old

Time for a new thread -- what's cooking in your respective kitchens these days?

I'm still recovering from 4 days of pork fat overload in Cleveland, so tonight (and the rest of the week) will have to be much, much lighter fare..... pork belly soufflé, perhaps?

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  1. Tonight we're having crispy oven-baked eggplant "fries"---lifted from someone's WFD last thread, with spicy marinara sauce and steamed broccoli seasoned with...? Maybe some leftover brown rice or a box of mac along with.

    6 Replies
    1. re: ChristinaMason

      How are those eggplant "fries" made?

      1. re: roxlet

        Someone on the last WFD explained (I am too lazy to go check. It might have been megjp; what's sad is that I remember they also made turkey sandwiches). Here's what I copied down:

        "Coated some strips of Japanese eggplant in egg and a cracker crumb-parmesan mix and baked them until crispy for a zucchini stick-type side. Buttermilk ranch for dipping.

        I was worried that the eggplant wouldn't cook in time, but it turned out almost squishy-tender. Almost like crumb shells filled with pureed eggplant. I salted the raw strips and let them sit in a colander to leech off extra water for about 1/2 hour, so that probably had a bit of a brining effect. I baked them at 400F, but I'm not sure how long it was. Not too long. A little longer than it took me to assemble 2 sandwiches."

        1. re: ChristinaMason

          The eggplant "fries" sound wonderful and healthy! Especially with spicy marinara sauce for dipping! I am planning a post Thanksgiving ( please no more turkey or turkey leftovers) dinner with a friend for the weekend after Thanksgiving ( during which we will also start making our freezable Christmas cookies and we are also going to try our hands at Emeril's fruitcakes) which will include sliders (she already has home made slider rolls in her freezer, and awesome homemade pickles, so the eggplant "fries" would be a great addition to that meal. Thanks for the idea!

          1. re: ChristinaMason

            That was me! And I did indeed eat them with turkey sandwiches. :)

            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

              Cool, you were my other guess :)

              My fries worked out OK---need to perfect my method. I used a regular Italian eggplant, which I cut into 3/4-in. rounds and then into either fourths or sixths (triangles), depending, and salted for 30 min. They were then egg-washed, breaded in seasoned panko and parm, laid on an oiled cookie sheet, spritzed with cooking spray, and baked until golden.

              They didn't get quite done enough inside, but that might be because my oven, which I thought I set to 400F, was only at 350F for most of the cooking time. I raised the heat after about 15 minutes to finish them off and even turned on the broiler to get them golden.

              Next time, I might briefly microwave and cool the eggplant before breading, so they're sure to be nice and creamy inside. They were still good, and worth perfecting. :) Thanks BBL!

            2. re: ChristinaMason

              ChristinaM, those eggplant healthy fries sound enticing. I've been going through some of my recipes this morning, ones I want to make this fall. I found one that is very similar, only using zucchini, and actually eggplant sounds even better. There's only something like 60 calories for 3/4 of a cup (zucchini). Bet this could turn into a healthy eggplant parmigiana!

        2. Yesterday was just the right temperature for a crisp, fall supper. I had company over and thought it might be nice to mingle and enjoy each other's conversation over a variety of small dishes, and with Middle Eastern spices lending them so beautifully to fall flavors, at least according to the American palate, I had a bit of mezze spread going on.

          To start we snacked on hazelnut dukkah and olive oil with some hummus, spicy pickled okra and cheeses on the side. Someone brought pita chips dusted with zaatar. Mains were a spanakopita, pasta salad and musakhan rolls (which one excited guest thought was a really tasty "burrito"). Dessert was a pumpkin flan which Saveur lured me into making when it included star anise in the ingredients. The spices were a bit muted, but it was a nice seasonal dessert.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JungMann

            i made a dukkah once and put it on a salmon i roasted. very unusual flavors, have not tried it in the traditional snacking method.

            1. re: mariacarmen

              I love a good dukkah! Coated chicken with it once, which was good, but I really just prefer the dip-bread-in-olive oil, dip-in-dukkah method. Hmm, just remembered I have a jar of it left from my last batch hiding in the cupboard, thanks for the reminder!

          2. the boy bought an abundance of ground pork by accident (lucky accident, i say), and so tonight he is making italian "turkey" burgers out of some of it with fennel seed. i am sure the porkiness can only enhance. i've asked him to make more of his pork/cabbage wontons for tomorrow, too. i'm thinking of a pork bolognese with the rest.....

            2 Replies
            1. re: mariacarmen

              Oh, a pork bolognese sounds wonderful! I'm in the mood for meatloaf, and I have a coupon from my local butcher for "buy 3 lbs. of ground beef, get 2 free." I think I'll add in some ground pork and ground veal as well for the typical meatloaf mix. :-)

              1. re: LindaWhit

                + 1 on the pork bolognese. Sounds great! I actually made a cheddar stout meatloaf tonight for dinner, which was great (Fine Cooking recipe) and is really supposed to be made with the typical ground beef/pork/veal meatloaf mix, but is forgiving enough to still be good made with the ground sirloin I used.

            2. btw, Lingua: pork belly souffle with bacon crumbles atop. sounds perfect.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mariacarmen

                i know, right?

                alas, i had an ad hoc band practice, so cooking was postponed til tomorrow (thai takeout tonight).

              2. I had planned to do a ravioli repeat last night, but steve h's earlier post inspired me to switch gears to lasagne. I had leftover butternut squash and sausage filling which supplied an extra layer to the squash and hazelnut lasagne from the COTM. Mr. NS made pasta sheets, which we layered with the squash/sausage fillings, plus extra squash, onions, hazelnuts, bechamel, mozzarella, and parmesan. A couple herbs from the garden, which is still going strong even after a few frosty nights.

                9 Replies
                1. re: L.Nightshade

                  That looks great. I have a pumpkin sitting on my counter and am planning to make a load of puree and a pumpkin lasagne sometime this week. I was going to use my usual recipe, but I know my dear husband would love it a whole lot more with sausage.

                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                    Thanks, ncw! We really liked the addition of an Italian chicken sausage, both in the ravioli and the lasagne. I thought the toasted hazelnuts went very well with the squash also.

                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                      Pumpkin and sausage in a lasagna sounds perfect!

                    2. re: L.Nightshade

                      Sounds great, looks great. I can almost taste it.

                      1. re: steve h.

                        Well, we have a *ton* left over. You could actually taste it if you could get over here!

                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                          Tempting. I need to learn a whole lot more about the Pacific Northwest.

                          1. re: steve h.

                            It's beautiful here, makes up for what we can't find in the specialty foods department. Funny, I've always been curious about your area of the country!

                      2. re: L.Nightshade

                        Oh, my goodness, that lasagna looks and sounds wonderful! I have been wanting to make a butternut squash lasagna, and haven't gotten to it yet, but I definitely will this fall! And will be using your suasage/hazelnuts onions flavor profile. Thanks for sharing!

                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                          That looks great. Have made something similar before but clearly it was missing sausage! I've got a squash sitting around, but what a shame my sage plant has died :(