Monday, March 29, 2010

Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

I recently had a mass marketed lemonade and thought it tasted super nasty, but at the same time I really wanted a lemonade, so I decided to try my hand at making my own! Through some research I realized the way to go is to use simple syrup not just sugar alone it mixes better and I think has a better flavor. There are different types of simple syrup I used the two to one ratio which is called the rock candy mixture. And to be honest squeezing lemons seems to be a great arm exercise, so it's a win win!
• the juice of 10 lemons about 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice
• 2 cups sugar
• 6 cups water
• ice cubes
• lemon wedges for garnish
Squeeze those lemons don't be shy when squeezing you can get a lot of juice out of them, and the skins are great for compost!
lemon juice only
Next take a medium sauce pan and put the sugar and one cup of water in whisk and put on medium heat, you want this mixture to come just below boiling. It will not look clear because all the sugar has not disolved but don't let it boil, after a while it will crystalize to the pan if it is allowed to boil. Whisk into the lemon juice.
sugar whisked in
Next add the remaining water about 1 1/2 cups at a time and whisk well.
water added
Finally add ice cubes to a glass and pour over, makes about four tall glasses add a lemon wedge for garnish and some fun straws!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

I am a total sucker for Italian food! First of all there are tons of vegetarian options and second it is so tasty! Eggplant parmesan is simple to make and delicious to eat. I make it a couple different ways, the way I am showcasing today is frying the eggplant you can also slice it very thin and cook it raw within the dish but that is for another day!
• 1 medium eggplant sliced in half inch rounds
• 1 large tomato sliced in about half inch rounds
• 12 oz mozzarella cheese (if you are going vegan I recommend the Follow Your Heart brand)
• 16 to 20 oz tomato sauce
• 3/4 cup bread crumbs
• 3 tbsp corn starch dissolved in
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 sprig of fresh basil
• 3 cloves garlic
• 1 tsp oregano
• 1 tsp sage
• 1 tsp pepper
• kosher salt
• olive oil
• Parmesan cheese for the top
Pre heat oven to 375. Place eggplant on a large cookie sheet and sprinkle a bit of salt on the top, let set for about 20 minutes and then wash the salt off. This will take some of the liquid content out of the eggplant and give it a better texture when cooked. Then dip the eggplant rounds in the corn starch and water mixture followed by dipping it in a bowl with the bread crumbs, oregano and sage, the two bowl system is needed here for sure. Next mince the garlic and place in large skillet with about 3 tbsp olive oil (you might have to add more after you turn the eggplant) after the garlic is cooking down nicely start adding the covered eggplant rounds as seen below.
half done!
The will have to be fried on each side this will take about 4 minutes per side, you should be able to easily slide a fork into them when they are cooked. Be watchful of this you don't want them to burn! Next let the rest on a paper towel, this will remove any excess oil.
eggplant drying
Then its time to stack! I like to use a loaf pan because I like a tall stack and I am only cooking for two you can experiment with other dishes but this is the one I prefer. Start with about 1/2 cup of sauce of the bottom, then add a layer of eggplant, a little overlap is fine but you want this to be one layer.
Then add a layer of cheese, then tomato, then this time about 1 cup sauce then eggplant then cheese then tomato... you get the point right
almost finished stacking!
Keep stacking until you run out of pan or ingredients! Sprinkle the top with parmesan and fresh basil! Add a little more sauce then you think you need to the sides, a lot of it will dissipate during cooking. Cook at 375 for about 40 minutes, you want your cheese to be slightly browned! After taking out of the oven let set for at least 10 minutes! Sorry I don't have a final picture it doesn't last to long around our house!
ready for the oven!