Leggo My Eggo

Is it just me or does it seem like forever since I shared a recipe (EDIT: It was three weeks ago)? With us being gone on vacation for a week and Kevin traveling for work, I haven’t been cooking much (I eat like a college kid when Kevin’s not here).  Thankfully, we’re both home this week, so I’ve been able to get in the kitchen. And since yesterday was Meatless  Monday, I have a great meatless recipe to share with you that would be easily adaptable to a not-so-meatless version: Eggplant Parmesan.

Eggplant  Parmesan

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes (ish)

Ingredients:

1 small eggplant
1 1/2 c. Panko breading
1 c. flour
1 egg
3/4 c. shredded mozzarella
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan (or more if you’re like us and LOVE Parm)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 box whole wheat pasta
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
1/2 Tbsp dried thyme
salt
pepper
olive oil

Prep:

  1. Wash, peel, and slice your eggplant into about 1/2 inch slices. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  2. Set up a dredging station with your flour, egg, and panko. Season the flour with salt and pepper and add the thyme and oregano to the panko. I prefer to work front to back and set up my dredging like this (in uber classy tupperware).
  3. Begin by coating the eggplant lightly in flour. This allows the egg to adhere to the eggplant better. Next, transfer to the egg. Once coated, move to the Panko. When you’re done, you should have eggplant that looks a little like this (ignore the yellow photo, I forgot to white balance). 
  4. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Don’t use too much olive oil; eggplant is very absorbent and will soak up any excess oil, leaving you with soggy, oily eggplant. Fry until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel.
  5. Place your golden brown and delicious eggplant in a baking dish. Sprinkle on the Parmesan, then coat with spaghetti sauce. Finally, top with the mozzarella cheese. Bake until the mozzarella is melted and starts to brown, about 15 minutes.
  6. Serve over whole wheat pasta (or eat by itself). Enjoy!

Kev and I couldn’t stay away from this last night and both ended up going back for seconds. It was delicious! The recipe could easily be adapted for chicken parm (you would just pound chicken breasts until about 1/2 inch thick then dredge, fry, and bake like the eggplant).

Baby Spinach and Onion Quiche

At the time of my writing this post, we have 3 days, 9 hours, 27 minutes, and 47 seconds until our plane takes off from DFW airport bound for London Heathrow… not that I’m counting. I’m finishing up laundry today so that I can decide what I want to wear today, pack tomorrow, and work on spiffing up the house/yard on Thursday.

We’re also trying to empty the fridge this week so we don’t have any fuzzy surprises when we get back. That means making every meal this week out of things we already have in the fridge or pantry which includes (bus isn’t limited to) eggs, one half eaten jar of pickled beets, hummus, week-old deli swiss cheese, half a roll of store bought cookie dough, slightly sprouting onions and potatoes, tortillas, and a can Skyline Chili. It felt like an episode of Chopped in the kitchen last night as I tried to come up with what to make for dinner. In the end, I came up with one of my all-time favorite clean-out-the-fridge meals, quiche.

You can put almost anything you have floating around your fridge and pantry in quiche: random cheeses, lunch meat, leftover ham, lone veggies, even leftover cooked potatoes or pasta. Quiche’s fluffy, eggy goodness is a catch-all.

I chose to use our nearly expired eggs, week-old deli sliced swiss cheese, the (only slightly) sprouting onions, and baby spinach picked fresh from our gutter garden. I’d also use up the rest of the flour in the canister and a half stick of butter that was floating around the fridge since who-knows-when.

Onion and Baby Spinach Quiche

Prep: 30 mins
Cooking: 1 hour

Ingredients:

For the crust

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. shortening
1/4 c. butter (very cold, cubed)
ice water

For the filling

6 eggs
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. milk
2 small onions, sliced
about 4 c. baby spinach
1 c. swiss cheese
olive oil
salt
pepper

Prep:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine flour in salt in the work bowl of your food processor. Add in shortening and butter and pulse until pea sized balls form. If you do not have a food processor, use a pastry tool or fork to cut the fats into the flour.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of ice-cold water to the dough at at time, pulsing until incorporated. Continue to add until the dough just comes together to form a ball. The perfect pie crust will be two things: tender and flaky. To get a tender crust, work the dough a little as possible to avoid forming gluten in the dough (you almost never knead pie dough). To ensure a flaky crust, use ice cold water and butter. A crust’s flakiness develops in the oven when the solid butter in the dough melts and releases steam. If the butter is already melted, this can’t happen.
  4. Roll out your dough and place in a pie pan. Crimp the edges and trim the excess dough (my mom always saved the scraps and made pie dough cinnamon rolls with them. Yum!). Bake at 350 F for 5 minutes. Turn your oven up to 425 F when it’s finished.
  5. While your crust is baking, slice the onions and wash (and dry!) your spinach. Saute the onions in a skillet with a little olive oil just until they’re translucent. Turn off the heat and add the spinach to the pan, tossing with the onions until the spinach is just wilted (or slightly blurry). Set aside.
  6. If you’re using sliced deli cheese, you’ll need to cut it into small pieces. Set aside.
  7. Combine the eggs, milk, cream, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk until well combined.
  8. Begin your assembly. Sprinkle cheese on the bottom of your pie shell, then add the spinach and onion. Finally, top it off with the egg mixture.
  9. Place in a 425 F oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 300 F and bake an additional 40 minutes.

This is another one of those dishes that makes you look like you really know what you’re doing in the kitchen (even if you’re a little shaky). The finished result is absolutely gorgeous (I admired this one so long Kevin had to take it away from me so that we could actually have it for dinner). I had a better photo, but accidentally sent the wrong one to myself last night. Oops.

If the thought of homemade pie crusts scares your pants off, go ahead and use a premade or boxed crust. Some of my other favorite filling combinations include prosciutto, Parmesan, and rosemary, bacon, tomato, and cheddar, and shredded chicken, Monterrey jack, black beans, and jalapenos. Really, the possibilities are endless.

What is your go-to fridge emptier? What is your favorite quiche combination? Can you tell I have French food on the brain?

prosciutto