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Posts Tagged ‘quick recipes’

Caponata

 

As I’ve said more than a few times in my ramblings, Steve, my husband, does not much care for eggplant so I always have to hide it under other flavors and textures. For a tasty side dish to serve along with a flank steak marinated in olive oil and rosemary, I combined the eggplant with zucchini and tomato to make a sort-of caponata. Thought I made enough to serve throughout the week, but our guests liked it so much there was nothing left to stretch out meals during the week. Here’s what I did:

 

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus more to taste

1 sweet onion, peeled and diced

1 head fresh green garlic, chopped (had just picked a bunch up at the greenmarket, but a couple of

cloves of garlic would work just as well)

Salt

2 small eggplant, trimmed and diced

2 large zucchini, trimmed and diced

One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice

A handful of basil leaves

About 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Chili flakes as many or as few as you want – I tend to be heavy-handed

Ground black pepper

 

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the onions have softened a bit. Stir in the eggplant and continue to cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant has absorbed some of the oil and begun to soften. Add the zucchini and tomatoes along with the basil and oregano. Season with chile flakes and pepper, cover, and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and cook at a bare simmer for about an hour or until the vegetables are soft and the flavors are nicely blended. You may want to add more olive oil along the way; I like the fruitiness of it so often add more than I probably should.

Remove from the heat and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

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Beans-on-Toast

 

My mom was a first generation American of Scots parentage so I grew up eating a cheap and cheerful dish called beans on toast that is everyday fare throughout the once United Kingdom.  The original is simply spoonfuls of Heinz baked beans (now known as Heinz Beanz) dumped on a slice of brown bread.  Of course, over the years, cooks have devised their own versions so beans on toast can now mean many things from plain to fancy.  To be tried and true you should use Heinz Beanz, but if you have a favorite brand of canned baked beans do not hesitate to use them.  There are no real amounts to be given, just pile on as many beans as you like.  Steve, my dearest husband, loves my version which stays pretty close to the original with a few exceptions which are:
I toast the bread.
I coat the toast with strong mustard.
I warm the beans and let some of the juices cook off so they aren’t quite so sloppy before I pile them onto the toast.
I cover the beans with cheddar cheese.
If I have it, a fry a couple of slices of thick bacon until almost crisp.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Then:  I pile the beans on the mustard-coated toast, top with a few slices of cheese, criss-cross the bacon on top and place the toast on a cookie sheet in the preheated oven.  I bake for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bacon has crisped.  I serve it piping hot with mustard and crisp pickles on the side.  As the photo shows for this recent version no bacon was in the house.  I lie, I did have turkey bacon but that just didn’t seem to be right!

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