Thursday, February 21, 2013

Eggplant & Angel Hair Frittata

I found this recipe on the back of one of the BJs Warehouse coupon flyer. For those who are going ‘BJs?” that’s a warehouse type grocery/household/computer store similar to Sam’s and Costco.  By the way I belong to all three.

But there is something different about BJs, at least in my town.  First ALL BJs accept manufacturer coupons!  They also send a coupon book each month and each week have coupon sheets.  Additionally they carry more high-end foodstuffs than our local Sam’s club does.  This allows me to stretch my grocery dollars to include a few special things each payday!  Oh and they take all major credit cards.  So you can guess that I shop there often! 

There are a few things they don’t have at my neighborhood BJs such as rotisserie chicken, but the BJs about 20 miles away does.  And I was NOT happy when they quit carrying really good sourdough bread, instead putting on the shelves a “take and bake” sourdough at twice the price!  This was in the middle of summer!  When I asked why the switch I was told “oh our customers have really been asking for this!”  Yeah, right, like I’ll ask for something that will cost me twice as much and require I finish the baking in the middle of summer!   Thanks for doing that BJs…I now make my own sourdough, so take that!  LOL.  Don’t mess with the Ezzie!

But when I saw this recipe I had to give it a try!   It was easy to do but I should have used a baking spray on my stainless steel skillet, because even with the oil it the frittata stuck!  But that was ok.  I served it to my hubby (who loves pasta with red sauce) and he really liked this.  He only wanted one serving but I found him scraping off the toasty bits from the pan.  See why I said it was ok that it stuck?!  LOL. 

I’ve changed the ingredients just a bit.  For instance the original calls for fresh mozzarella, I didn’t have any.  So I used a shredded mozzarella.  Instead of the BelGioioso Parmigiano-Reggiano, I used BelGioioso Salad Blend which is a blend of shaved cheeses that I love!  The black pepper I replaced with fresh cracked black pepper, always my choice.

I also used only 4 eggplant cutlets and baked them instead of frying or sautéing them.  I hate the mess frying or sautéing makes.  The only reason I used just 4 instead of 8 is because we didn't want more than two of us could eat.  Even with only 4 cutlets, I used the same amount of pasta and eggs, and we still had enough left over for lunch the next day.  

Note:  I forgot to take a picture before serving, so am using the picture from the coupon flyer. 

Serves 6
8 Michael Angelo’s Eggplant Cutlets
4 oz. Barilla Angel hair Pasta, cooked, well-drained
4 large eggs, beaten
Sea Salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
½ c diced fresh mozzarella, or shredded mozzarella or cheese of your choice
3 tbsp. grated BelGioioso Parmigiano-Reggiano or BelGioioso Salad Blend

  • Preheat broiler. Combine eggs and pasta in large bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté cutlets per package directions until tender-crisp. Set aside.
  • Add remaining oil, coating pan thoroughly. Reduce heat to medium and pour in half of pasta-egg mixture. Spread evenly and top with mozzarella, eggplant and remaining pasta-egg mixture.
  • Let cook, occasionally running rubber spatula around edges to prevent sticking, until center is almost set and bottom is golden-brown.
  • Transfer pan to broiler for 1 to 2 minutes to brown top.
  • Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Slice into wedges and serve with soup and salad.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Spicy Vegetable Soup in the Instant Pot

Baby its cold outside!  I really crave soups this time of year!  I made a good amount of this to take to work during the week, and to share with my neighbors.  I prepared the soup and set it to cook, then took off to the gym.  It was so great to come home to such a heart warming soup on a day that didn't break 30 degrees!    That's the beauty of my Instant Pot 6-in-1 pressure cooker.

I use two kinds of jalapenos, fresh and pickled, because I like to adjust the heat as I am making the soup.  Two jalapenos would have been too much, but with just one the soup needed to have a bit more heat added to it. You can add as many jalapenos as you like.  

I also use two kinds of broth, a low sodium broth by Pacific and 1 quart of broth made from Watkins chicken broth.  The Watkins adds a bit more depth than the Pacific does.  Feel free to use whichever brand you like. 

My neighbors, Wayne and Waneta, to whom I delivered a nice serving of the soup, sent me the following email "What a treat to have our supper delivered to us. The soup was really good & also the bread. It really hit the spot. Thanks again." I had taken them a loaf of my homemade Semolina bread which went perfect with the soup.   

Chop the following vegetables:
1 cup celery (with about an inch of green top part)
1/2 c carrots 
1 medium onion
1 three inch long fresh jalapeno with membrane and seeds removed 

Rest of the ingredients:

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seed
3 big russet potatoes cubed but leave the peels on
2 1/2 to 3 quarts Pacific low sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp. Watkins chicken broth 
4 cups of water
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. chopped pickled jalapenos

Chopped cilantro to taste (I used half a bunch in this recipe)

Set Instant Pot on Sauté.
Add 2 tbsp. olive oil to pot and let warm up for a minute or so.  Drop in coriander seeds and cumin seeds and heat until the coriander seeds pop. Put in the chopped celery, carrots onion and jalapeno.  Sauté until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add in the turmeric, cumin and pickled jalapenos. Once those have released some nice aroma, put in the potatoes and chicken broth.   

Change setting to soup and set for 30 minutes.  Let pressure return to normal. 

Right before serving add in the chopped cilantro. 

Serve with good bread.