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Monday, March 12, 2012

Recipe Review from 3/5/12

A bit belated, but may we welcome my new nephew, Maximus!  Born 3/4/12. 

I bought him the little Viking's onesie....aren't I a good Aunt?

A very busy week at work left me rather brain fried in the evenings and disinclined to get on the computer, but gave me more time to pull together several good meals before I crashed with a couple of books. 

Cheesy Rice Graitin with Zucchini and Eggplant  (Ckng Lght Mar, 2012)
This earned a very good rating from me not only for ease of prep (made easier by making the rice several days in advance) but also because of flavor and quantity.  This had the perfect melding of seasonings and cheese.  Now, I don't have an 11x7 pyrex pan as called for and had to use my 9x13 so it ended up a bit drier than I suspect it was supposed to.  Not a problem!  This still reheated perfectly and was even better the next day.   To make this GF, omit the crumb topping and sprinkle liberally with parmesan and chopped walnuts. 

3/4 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice**
1 pound eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
Photo from
1 pound zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated and divided (1 cup)
 1/4 cup half-and-half Click to see savings
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 ounces French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley Preparation

1. Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

2. Preheat oven to 400°.

3. Combine eggplant, zucchini, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a bowl; toss to combine. Place eggplant mixture evenly on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Place vegetables in a large bowl.

4. Reduce oven temperature to 375°.

5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic; cook for 12 minutes or until tender. Add onion mixture to eggplant mixture. Add cooked rice, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cup cheese, and the next 3 ingredients (through eggs), and stir well to combine. Spoon rice mixture into an 11 x 7–inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover with foil, and bake at 375° for 15 minutes.

6. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 cup. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add breadcrumbs, and cook for 3 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 cup cheese, walnuts, and parsley.

7. Remove foil from rice mixture. Top evenly with breadcrumb mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and topping is browned.

Wine Match: Pick a smooth, midweight red like Vietti Barbera d'Asti Tre Vigne, Piedmont, Italy, 2009 ($16). With its vibrant fruit and acidity, this soft-tannin wine stands up to the rich cheese without overpowering the tender veggies. --Scott Jones

Sidney Fry, MS, RD, Cooking Light
MARCH 2012

**My preferred method for cooking brown rice:
1 1/2 cups brown rice   (works with basmati too)
2 1/2 cups boiling water
vegetable oil or butter
seasonings if preferred (I don't prefer unless it's saffron)

Preheat oven to 350*
Bring water to a boil. 
Spray 9x9 glass pan with oil or butter. 
Dump in rice.  Pour boiling water over rice.
Cover very tightly with 2 layers of aluminum foil.
Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let stand.  Fluff with fork before serving or storing. 

Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce  (Ckng Lght March 2012)
This was another pleasant surprise.  The sauce turns out surprisingly sweet which is highlighted quite nicely with caramelizing the onions slightly and picking red, orange or yellow peppers instead of green (which I find bitter).  I made the full amount of sauce but only two eggs.  Toast didn't seem right so I subbed some flax-seed English Muffins.  Yum!   I used the leftover sauce with some pork cultets later in the week for variety, but eggs again would have been just as good. 

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups sliced red bell pepper
Photo from
1 cup sliced green orange bell pepper
1 cup sliced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce (I used Barilla brand)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 large eggs  (or however many you need)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (1 1/2-ounce) slices 100% whole-wheat bread, toasted English muffins
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 teaspoons shaved fresh Parmesan cheese

1. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add bell peppers and onion; cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in marinara sauce and oregano; cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Form 4 (3-inch) indentations in vegetable mixture using back of a spoon. Break 1 egg into each indentation; sprinkle salt and black pepper evenly over eggs. Cover and cook 6 minutes or until eggs are desired degree of doneness.

3. Arrange 1 toast slice on each of 4 plates. Top each slice with 1/2 cup sauce and 1 egg. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons parsley and 1 teaspoon cheese.

David Bonom, Cooking Light
MARCH 2012


Anonymous said...

Max is ADORABLE and made even cuter with the addition of a Vikings jersey.

Congrats to your family on the new addition.

Karl A. said...

Baby Mater sure is cute, too bad about the poor sense of fashion...

Kristin said...

Careful a Packer fan you could be fined for such comments. ;)

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