Classics, Italian

Eggplant Cutlets

A baked version of an Italian classic.  I love making this when I am craving something salty and crunchy and greasy–but the best part about these cutlets are they are vegetarian and healthy.  Pairs perfectly with a bowl of tomato soup.  Ofcourse you could turn it into eggplant parm or even stack it up on a sandwich.  I like it as is with a side of spicy marinara dipping sauce !

Ingredients:

Eggplant cut into rounds, salted and set aside so that the water can drain out

1 or 2 eggs depending on how many cutlets you want to make

1/4-1/2 cup flour

1 cup of italian style breadcrumbs

Methods:

This is as easy as it gets !!!

Once the water has drained out from the eggplant, pat it dry.

Create a breading station, starting with flour, egg, and ending with breadcrumbs.

Note:  I like to season the flour with a good amount of salt and pepper and the eggs with red pepper flakes.

Dip eggplant in flour, shake off excess flour and then dip in egg and them in breadcrumbs.

Once all the cutlets are made you could either freeze them for later use (which I frequently do since fresh eggplant will go bad quickly)

If you are making them immediately, preheat oven to 400F and spray both sides of the cutlets with some cooking spray and bake for 20-25 mins till golden brown and crunchy !

Serve hot !

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Classics, Comfort food, Dinner, Italian, Lunch

Fennel and Sundried Tomato Chicken Burgers (freezer friendly)

I have always enjoyed the combination of Fennel and sun-dried tomato.  I had leftover shredded chicken left and I decided to make these burgers.  Also, the days are warming up and it’s always nice to have homemade burgers ready to go in the freezer.

Ingredients:

4 cups of shredded chicken, ground in a food processor

1 medium onion chopped

2 Tbsp of sun-dried tomato

1/2 Tbsp of fennel seeds, garlic powder, parsley, chilli flakes

salt and pepper to taste

1 egg

1 cup of bread crumbs (add more or less depending on the moisture of your mixture)

Method:

Grind the shredded chicken and set aside

In a food processor, blend all the ingredients other than the bread crumbs.

Pour the spice, onion, tomato, egg mixture to the chicken.  Add the breadcrumbs.

Mix to combine. DO NOT overmix.

Form into burgers ( size? well that is up to you– I made 8).  Arrange on wax paper on a cookie sheet and freeze.

Once frozen, throw them in a ziploc bag and you have burgers ready to go !

When you want to cook these, throw them frozen on a greased cookie sheet (lined with tin foil) in a 400 degree preheated oven for 40 mins turning half way.  OR ofcourse, you could grill them too.  I like to bake them and have them ready for lunches/dinners for the week.

Breakfast, Cookies, Italian, Treats

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

I love biscotti.  I follow a basic biscotti recipe from Martha Stewart but I change it up every time by playing with the ratio of flour and nuts and baking morsels.  This time I had dark chocolate and I bought pistachios, so the combination was pretty obvious ! They came out quite well too !

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup white sugar

¼  tsp salt

¼ cup brown sugar

8oz dark chocolate

4 Tbsp of unsalted butter

3 medium eggs

¼ cup + 1Tbsp ground pistachio

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together first four ingredients.

In a double boiler melt dark chocolate, butter and brown sugar.

Add the melted chocolate to the flour mixture.

Add the beaten eggs and mix.

Fold in ¼ cup of the ground nuts and shape into a 12-inch log.

Top the log with remaining 1Tbsp nuts.

Bake until logs are puffed and outside is firm, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 2 hours. While you are waiting, raise the temperature of the oven to 375F.

Using a serrated knife, thinly slice the logs crosswise, 1/4 inch thick. Lay slices cut side up on a baking sheet.

Bake until crisp, rotating pans and turning biscotti over halfway through, 20 minutes total. Cool completely before serving or storing in an air tight container.

Biscotti say hello to Sunday morning coffee !

Italian

Piccata Pinwheels

This recipe is created from three different recipes that have similar Italian flavors–Chicken Breasts stuffed with artichokes, Fontina and artichokes; Chicken roulade (which had a spinach filling) and finally the classic Chicken Piccata.  I took bits and pieces from each of these recipes and created my Piccata Pinwheels !

Ingredients:

4 thin sliced chicken breasts

For filling:

1 can of artichoke hearts

1/4 cups od chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil)

1tsp of dried basil

For coating:

1/8 cups of flour

2 tsp of salt

2tsp of pepper

2tsp of dried basil

red pepper flakes (add according to you heat tolerance)

For the sauce:

1Tbsp of olive oil

1tsp of chopped garlic

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1Tbsp of drained capers

red pepper flakes (add according to you heat tolerance)

1/4cup of water

Process:

1. In a pan, saute artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and basil.  There is no need to add oil since the tomatoes are packed in olive oil.

After the ingredients are mixed and heated through, puree in a blender to make a fine paste.

2. Spread the mixture generously over the chicken breast and roll them up.  Secure with toothpicks.  At this point you could cover then with plastic wrap or put them in a tupperware to cook later.

3. Mix flour, salt, pepper, basil, red pepper flakes.  Coat the chicken in the flour mixture.

4. Heat 1/2Tbsp of oil in a skillet and sear the chicken on medium high, placing them seam side down first.

5. Remove the browned chicken and set aside.

Reduce the heat and add remaining 1/2 Tbsp of oil.  Saute garlic and red pepper flakes till fragrant.  Then b the pan with lemon juice and water.

6. Let the liquid simmer for a few minute and stir in 1Tbsp of the remaining coating mixture to thicken the sauce.

7. Add the chicken back to the pan and mix in the capers.

8. Let the sauce reduce till desired consistency and serve immediately. Pairs really well with a simple salad and warm crusty bread !