Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More Thanksgiving preperation

Yesterday I was rattling pans left and right. I made the Family traditional Eggplant Parmesan.  This is exactly how my mother would make it.  The trick to delicious egg plant is deep frying it and making it crispy.   The reason you want to deep fry the eggplant and make it crispy is so the breading will not dissolve when the tomato sauce is added to the dish.  I have been to many Italian restaurants and they lightly brown their eggplant or bake it and by the time they put it in front of me it is a big soggy mess.   Making it crispy allows the breading to stay on the eggplant.

Everything you will need to make the best Eggplant parmesan!

2 large eggplants, peal the skin and slice 1/8 of an inch thick.
15 oz. container of Progresso Italian style bread crumbs
1-1/2 cup of flour, add flour to the bread crumbs.
1/4 cup of parsley, add to the bread crumbs.
1/2 tea. salt and pepper
6 eggs, scrambled
Oil for frying
8 cups of your favorite tomato sauce.  I use my homemade tomato sauce.
4 cups of mozzarella cheese.

Put breadcrumbs, flour and seasoning in a large bowl and blend together.
Scramble all eggs in a separate large bowl.
Peel and cut the eggplant lengthwise 1/8 inch thick.
Heat oil in a frying pan.
Dip a slice of eggplant in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs. Pat the bread crumbs on the eggplant. Make sure it is fully coated.
Put the slices in the hot oil and fry on both sides.  Make sure they fry to a very rich golden brown.
Once they are done place them on a paper towel to drain the excess oil. 

Now that the eggplant is all fried you can start layering in a 3 qt. baking dish.
First put a small amount of sauce on the bottom of the dish.  Add a layer of eggplant then sauce, then cheese and keep going until your dish is full and the last layer should be cheese. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. 

You will have the best and most mouth watering eggplant you have ever eaten. 
I cut the egg plant in half because I was only making a small batch of the Eggplant Parm.  My little helper loves to cook like his mom.  He really loves the eggplant.  He will eat it right out of the fryer. 
You put tomato sauce on the bottom of the baking dish so it will not burn when it is baked. 
I didn't post the picture of the completed dish because I am not baking it until tomorrow.  I will post pictures then. 
Have a geat Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cooking all day!!!!

I have cooked so much today. I started at 9:00a.m. this morning and I just got done at 8:15 p.m. This sounds like allot of time but I rather do it today than do this all day Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving all I will have to do is put most of it in the oven. One of the items I cooked was the candied sweet potatoes.

Peal and rinse 6 sweet potatoes, then cut them into large chunks. Put them into a pot of boiling water until they start to get soft. Don't cook them all the way. They will become to soft and very dry when you bake them on Thursday.  If you are going to back them the same day you will want to cook them until they are tender. 
Mix together one cup of light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, 1/2 cup of applesauce, 1/4 cup of kayo syrup 1 tablespoon of melted butter and 1/4 cup of water. Mix until everything is dissolved.

Drain the sweet potatoes, Put the cooled potatoes in an air tight container then pour the sugar mixture over the potatoes and refrigerate until you are ready to bake on Thursday. Bake on 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
Mix together for the sweet sauce.  Melt butter first.
Once the sweet mixture is dissolved, pour it over the potatoes.  
 Tomorrow I will post my egg plant parmesan that I made today.


Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving is two day away and yesterday I started prepping all my meals. I don't fully cook them because I want them to be fresh Thanksgiving Day so I cook them in steps. Thanksgiving morning all I will have to do is put all the ingredients together, cook or bake them. Everything will taste as if I slaved over the stove and prepared it all that day.

I started with sautéing onions, celery and mushrooms for the stuffing. I add the sage and butter, and then in a container it went until Thursday. On Thursday all I will have to do is take the bag of Pepperidge Farm turkey stuffing mix, cook it with turkey broth instead of water, add my sautéed vegetables and done. Perfect and delicious!

I boiled my eggs for my deviled eggs.  I put the in the fridge until Thursday when I will make them. 

This year I decided to make cream of mushroom soup. I sautéed the mushrooms and in the fridge they went.

The next item I prepped for was the stuffed mushrooms.
I sautéed a small onion, diced into small pieces.
I added four slices of bread, 1/4 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons of dry parsley, salt and pepper to taste.  I cook this for just a few minutes to get everything blended.
1/2 lbs of ground beef.  I grind my own beef in a food processor.

You can buy ground beef and mix the bread mixture together and stuff your mushrooms. You will end up with the same taste.

I use a food processor because I like my meat 99.9% lean. As I am grinding my meat in the food processor I add 1/4 cup of olive oil. The meat needs a small amount of fat. I add back in the healthier fats from Olive oil. Once the meat is grinded I now add the bread mixture and pulse a few times to blend.

I then take a spoon and stuff the mushrooms with the beef and put them in a sealed container for Thursday morning when I will put them in the oven at 350 degrees until the tops are golden brown approximately 40 minutes.

Today I am starting on my candied sweet potatoes. I will start by cutting 6 potatoes into very large chunks. Then I will par boil them for 15 minutes. Don't cook them all the way. They will become to soft and very dry when you bake them on Thursday. Once they are done cooking, drain the water and set them aside to cool. While the sweet potatoes are boiling I mix up a batch of the sugar that these sweet potatoes will marinade and bake in. Mix together 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, three tablespoons of melted butter, 1/2 cup of water. Stir until everything is dissolved. Put the cooled potatoes in an air tight container then pour the sugar mixture over the potatoes and refrigerate until you are ready to bake on Thursday. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until tender all the way through. I will post the prep pictures later today.


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