ChefUptothePlate

Food, Nutrition and Cooking


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Eggplant going mush? Baba Ganoush!

Baba Ganoush (Eggplant and Sesame Purée)

1 eggplant
3 T sesame seeds
juice of 1 lemon
1 T water
1 clove garlic, crushed in a press
2 T finely chopped Italian parsley

Purée the sesame seeds with the lemon juice and the water (this is easiest done with a mini-chopper but can be done in a blender). Place mixture in a medium sized bowl.
If using a mini-chopper combine the garlic (whole clove) with the parsley (unchopped) and chop in mini-chopper, then add to sesame seed purée. If not using mini-chopper, add the crushed garlic and hand chopped parsley to the purée.

Meanwhile, poke multiple holes in the whole eggplant and either grill on an open flame or broil in oven broiler on all sides until the skin is slightly blackened. Allow eggplant to cool, place in colander and allow juices to drain away. Peel eggplant, scrape as much eggplant flesh as possible from the skin. At this point, it’s easiest to place eggplant into a food processor and process until smooth. If you don’t have access to a food processor*, then you can mash the eggplant to as smooth as possible.
Add the smooth eggplant to the sesame purée and enjoy!
Baba Ganoush can be used as a dip for vegetables or crackers/bread or as a sandwich spread. As this recipe is cooking the eggplant to soften it, a slightly “worn” eggplant will do as firmness is not required. If your eggplant is very large then you may want to increase the sesame seeds to 4 T and the garlic to 2 cloves.

A word about food processors: If you don’t have one, get one! My wonderful food processor and I have been together for well more than 30 years and it is without doubt my favorite electric tool in the kitchen. A food processor will save you a lot of time and make many difficult tasks very easy. Buy quality. Read reviews about different brands; as you see, I bought a good quality food processor and it has lasted a very long time. While I have had to replace bowls over the years, the motor continues to be strong as do the blades.


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Get into the Zone

Spinach and Cottage Cheese Calzones  

serves 4

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

1 uncooked pizza dough (available in many supermarkets in the dairy section)

1 10 oz package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and well drained

1 lb. 1% fat cottage cheese, strained to remove any excess liquid (whey)

black pepper to taste

olive oil

1-2 T sesame seeds

 

Divide pizza dough into 8 ~ equal pieces. Flatten each piece into an oval about 4″ x 3″. Place 4 of the dough pieces on a lightly oiled pizza stone or cookie sheet.

Combine spinach, cottage cheese and pepper. Divide equally among the 4 ovals, leaving a 1/4 edge. Top each calzone with a remaining dough oval and seal edges by pressing together. With a pastry brush paint a light layer of olive oil on top of dough and sprinkle with sesame seeds and a small amount of salt if desired. 

Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, checking after 20 minutes. 

Calzones are ready when the dough is golden brown.  Serve hot.