EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE

Thunderstorms couldn’t keep me away from my kitchenette. In fact, it was the opposite. You see, rainy weather lures me to my cooking range. And, that’s what it did this evening. Originally, I was planning on Chinese delivery; however, my culinary mind sent me searching for supplies (well, food).

The first thing that caught my eyes were my vine-ripe tomatoes. Those super-red and over-ripened fruits/veggies were begging to be rescued. So, I did. I rinsed same and retrieved for my other ingredients:

MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE
MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE

Eggplant parmesan was on my mind. However, I didn’t have the cheese of the hour. Moreover, there was no fresh basil. I did not allow that to damper my dish at hand. Decided to improvise and made my style, Eggplant with Feta cheese. Bought the cheese on sale for sometime; maybe a couple of months and stored the reserve in the freezer.

First, I made a home-made tomato sauce with my vine-ripe tomatoes. I softened finely chopped onions in olive oil. Then, chopped tomatoes, crushed garlic, thyme, dried basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, squeeze of honey and a splash of red-wine vinegar were added. I allowed these ingredients to simmer on low heat while I attended to my purple boy.

HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE FOR GRILLED EGGPLANT
HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE FOR GRILLED EGGPLANT

Grabbed my chopping board and went to ‘town’ with my big purple boy (eggplant).

SLICED EGGPLANT FOR GRILLING
SLICED EGGPLANT FOR GRILLING

Slices were seasoned with a pinch of salt and black pepper. I fleetingly thought about placing them in an egg wash, sprinkle bread crumbs and pan-frying. But, decided to employ the use of my grill pan. This move (grilling) saved me quite a few calories from pan-frying.

GRILLED EGGPLANT ALONG WITH HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE AND FETA CHEESE
GRILLED EGGPLANT ALONG WITH HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE AND FETA CHEESE

I was ready for action. Grilled eggplant slices were plated and fresh home-made tomato sauce was spooned on each slice with a sprinkle of the briny feta cheese. Didn’t have fresh basil in-house. I didn’t allow that to rain on my ‘parade’. Instead, I used thinly sliced kale I had on had.

FINISHED EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE DISH
FINISHED EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE DISH

I was super-happy. I served a few slices with a few roasted spicy jerk wings and sweet potatoes.

EGGPLANT/FETA CHEESE ALONG WITH ROASTED JERK WINGS AND SWEET POTATOES
EGGPLANT/FETA CHEESE ALONG WITH ROASTED JERK WINGS AND SWEET POTATOES

 

IT WAS AN ITALIAN SURF/TURF AFFAIR #GRILLED EGGPLANT/SHRIMP AND ROASTED CHICKEN WINGLETS

It didn’t take me long to decide on what to prepare and cook for supper. You see, already I had tomatoes (vine-ripe/plummy) perched onto of my counter. With a quick stretch, I fetched my smooth and shiny eggplant along with olives, capers, onions, scallion. I allowed my cutting board and chef’s knife to do the talking and chopped they did.

PREPPING FOR HOME-MADE MARINARA SAUCE
PREPPING FOR HOME-MADE MARINARA SAUCE

In a small sauce pan, a drizzle of olive oil was added. Then, onions were sautéed making sure to season along with salt and black pepper, dried oregano, and basil. Tomatoes were then tossed in along with crushed garlic, chopped olives, capers, thyme, pinch of sugar and a splash of red wine vinegar. Sauce simmered on low heat until finished.

SIMMERING MARINARA SAUCE
SIMMERING MARINARA SAUCE

Eggplant was sliced and sprinkled with a pinch of salt in order to extract any bitter taste.

SLICED EGGPLANT READY FOR GRILL
SLICED EGGPLANT READY FOR GRILL WITH MARINARA SAUCE

After brushing slices of eggplant with olive oil, these were placed on heated grill pan for cooking.

EGGPLANT ON GRILL ALONG WITH MARINARA SAUCE ON SIDE
EGGPLANT ON GRILL ALONG WITH MARINARA SAUCE ON SIDE

Grilled eggplant slices were topped with fresh marinara sauce and feta cheese with a garnish of fresh parsley.

Seasoned shrimp was brought to room. Previously, this was seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika and crushed garlic. Garlic was removed and shrimp was drizzled with a little olive oil. Shrimp was placed on grill for approximately two minutes on each side. Then each shrimp was brushed with a glaze made up of lemon, orange juice, honey and a pinch of salt.

CITRUS-HONEY GLAZED SHRIMP
CITRUS-HONEY GLAZED SHRIMP

Chicken winglets were seasoned with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, black pepper, crushed garlic along with a splash of soy sauce at least four hours beforehand. These were then brought to room temperature then placed on a foiled baking sheet for roasting.

Chicken roasted in oven at 380 degrees for approximately 40 minutes turning once. Chicken winglets were brushed with similar citrus and honey glaze. Then, an additional ten minutes were added at a temperature of 400 degrees.

COMPLETE DISHES WITH EXTRA MARINARA SAUCE FOR DIPPING ON THE SIDE
COMPLETE DISHES WITH EXTRA MARINARA SAUCE FOR DIPPING ON THE SIDE

I DID IT MY WAY…..##EGGPLANT PARMESAN

Many territories around the globe, winter is in its peak. However, today, in my neck of the woods, it feels like summer. Guys, the temperatures are flirting in the early eighties and the humidity is above average. Now, what the heck is going on? I’ve my so-called Floridian winter gears. Well, sweaters and jackets are on hold nearby. I guess, I’ve to abandon same.

Anyway guys, lately dear Georgie (George Foreman grill)has been my friend. Thought it was the perfect and opportune time to put it to use. Decided on an eggplant parmesan. But first, I made my home-made tomato sauce with a few plump and sweet tomatoes I had on my counter. Along with three cloves of garlic,bell pepper, diced onion, and dried seasoning below, I simmered this ‘bad boy’ to a great consistency.

HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE SIMMERING ON STOVETOP
HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE SIMMERING ON STOVE TOP

Ingredients:

MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR EGGPLANT PARMESAN
MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR EGGPLANT PARMESAN
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Onion
  • Salt/pepper
  • Bell pepper

Method:

  1. After I made tomato sauce, I set aside.
  2. Rinsed and sliced eggplant. Then, I seasoned with salt and set slices for a few minutes so as to pull out the bitter taste and to flavor.
  3. Eggplant slices were brushed with garlic flavored olive oil and placed on hot and grill that was previously sprayed with Pam oil.
    EGGPLANT SLICES READY FOR GRILL
    EGGPLANT SLICES READY FOR GRILL

    4. Eggplant slices were grilled for approximately 10 minutes.

    GRILLED EGGPLANT SLICES
    GRILLED EGGPLANT SLICES

    5. After grilling of eggplant slices, these were topped with homemade tomato sauce and sliced parmesan cheese. Then, these were placed under the broiler for approximately five minutes for cheese to melt.

    GRILLED EGGPLANT SLICES TOPPED WITH HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE/MOZZARELLA CHEESE READY FOR MELTING UNDER BROILER
    GRILLED EGGPLANT SLICES TOPPED WITH HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE/MOZZARELLA CHEESE READY FOR MELTING UNDER BROILER

    6. After cheese was melted, I garnished my eggplant parmesan with parsley (Ran out of basil).

    EGGPLANT PARMESAN
    EGGPLANT PARMESAN