I am definitely a newbie when it comes to writing a blog. Really, I am even a newbie when it comes to recording my recipes. Yes, I am a scientist, and in the lab I was always very exact with my measurements. I think that is why I love baking – formulas, measurements, acids, bases, heat, reactions, solids, liquids, and gases. It truly is a science. Cooking is definitely more of an art. I am not an artist, but when I cook, it is more of a little of this, a little of that, unless I am following someone else’s recipe. So I decided to start making cooking like a science experiment, and my spiral notebook of recipes is my new laboratory notebook. Just now it say salt and baking soda, instead of sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate.
But I am also a newbie with really, seriously reading blogs. I had a couple I checked out pretty frequently in the past. Mainly Weelicious and Fix Me a Snack, trying to come up with healthy meals and snacks (and even healthier spins on treats) for The Bug. For awhile, I was determined that no cracker from a box shall cross his lips. And, while I have made a fair share of homemade Wheat Thins and Cheez-Its, my delusions did not last long. Especially when we go to the playgroup at my church, and my kid steals Goldfish from all of the other kids. After he has already eaten his entire bowl of Cheerios, raisins, and freeze dried apples.
But I digress. So as I have been reading blogs, chatting on Facebook with other bloggers, I started to notice some chatter about “stealing recipes.” Confessions of a Cookbook Queen even had this gem in her hilarious series “Ryan Gosling, Food Blogger’s Husband” series of pictures. Well, I stumbled upon a recipe at Pink Parsley for Lasagna-Stuffed Portabellos, and immediately began drooling and planning when I would make this amazing-sounding recipe. Lasagna without pasta – I’m in!
Friday… yes, it’s Lent, this is perfect for Friday. And I am going to Mom’s. I love mushrooms. Mom loves mushrooms. Sam loves mushrooms. Larry… uhhh… hates mushrooms. Grrr! But I still wanted lasagna, so I decide to change it up a bit to a version that we would all enjoy.
Well, we all loved it, so I had to post it. Except the whole time I have been thinking about it, I’ve been paranoid that Josie (as if I know her well-enough to be on a first name basis) would think I was stealing her recipe. I don’t want to be rejected by the blogosphere after I just joined it!! So hopefully if she sees this, she knows that this was done in the utmost respect and appreciation of her recipe, which I will. You should, too. But I hope you try and like this one, as well.
None of us were in a pasta mood that night, so we just scooped up the sauce and cheese with some bread. But this would go fabulously with some pasta (regular or gluten-free), or even some spaghetti squash. Or even make just the sauce to go with your noodles. Salting and draining the eggplant (“making the eggplant cry”, like my Grandma always said) really gives it a nice meat-y texture – something good to give to your carnivorous husband (like mine) on Meatless Monday or a Lent Friday.
Are you more of a scientist or an artist? Baker or cook? Leave some comments below. I’d love to “chat” some more with you.
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This recipe was shared with:
Hodgepodge Friday 3/9/12 at It’s a Hodgepodge Life
Blogger Secret Ingredient – Parmesan at My Kitchen Adventures
2 medium eggplants, sliced in half lengthwise
1 T olive oil
1/8 t oregano and 1/8 t parsley (which I used), or 1/4 t Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
1 c ricotta cheese
1/2 t dried parsley
1/4 c plus 2-3 T (for topping) grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut in thin slices
about 1 cup “Faux”-lognese sauce, see below, or your pasta sauce of choice
1. Preheat your oven to 425ºF.
2. Scoop out the flesh from the eggplant, leaving approximately a half-inch thick “shell”. Reserve the eggplant for the sauce, if making.
3. Sprinkle a little salt inside the eggplant shells, and flip them upside down on a paper towel to draw out some of the water for about 5-10 minutes.
4. Blot out some of the water from the shell, and place them cut side down in a glass baking dish sprayed with olive oil or cooking spray.
5. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until eggplant starts to become soft.
6. While the eggplant is “crying” and baking, make the cheese mixture by combining the ricotta cheese, 1/2 t dried parsley, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper, to taste, in a small bowl.
7. Remove the eggplant from the oven.
8. Spoon about 2 T sauce into the bottom of each eggplant. Divide the cheese mixture evenly between the shells, and top with another 2 T sauce on each.
9. Lay the mozzarella on top of the stuffed eggplants, and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.
10. Baked for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese in bubbly and browned.
Eggplant reserved from preparing the “shells”, cut into about 1/4 in. cubes. If you are just making the sauce, 1 medium eggplant, or about 1 1/2-2 c chopped eggplant will do
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 t dried oregano and 1 t dried parsley (which I used), or 1 1/2 t Italian seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
1 T fresh basil
1. Sprinkle the eggplant cubes with a little salt and let sit for 5-10 minutes (make it cry again). Squeeze out the excess liquid using a paper towel or kitchen towel.
2. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion, and saute until translucent and soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
3. Add in the eggplant, oregano and parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Simmer until it is heated through, or longer, if desired. Just before serving or stuffing the eggplants, stir in the basil.