Monday, June 27, 2011

Italian Lunch

Making the family meal before each service is becoming one of my favorite things to do. It gives me the opportunity to play with all sorts of ingredients while also forcing me to be creative. It's not always easy making a delicious and satisfying meal for all of the personnel with the few things we have available, but I take it on as a challenge. Usually we end up throwing a bunch of vegetable scraps or yesterday's soups in a pan and making a pasta sauce. Pasta twice a day seven days a week is acceptable when you're in Italy, but I like to change things up a bit. Yesterday I used the day old bread to make the most delicious paninis. Here is the recipe:

Eggplant Parmesan Paninis

1 Eggplant
1/4 cup Italian Breadcrumbs
3 tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup Tomatoes Concasse (Refer to Pomodoro blog)

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tblsp butter

8 slices of thin bread

Heat panini press. Thinly slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Cut the rounds in half. In a bowl toss eggplant with breadcrumbs, 2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated. In a sautee pan add 1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil, once hot add eggplant. Sautee on each side for about 30 seconds. Remove from pan and place on paper towel. Make an assembly for the sandwiches by laying out the bread. Butter each piece of bread. Layer eggplant on one side of the bread, sprinkle all sandwiches equally with cheese (1/8 cup) and also tomatoes (1/8 cup). Then press in panini maker. Serve this with Chianti and you'll feel like you're here with me! Enjoy!

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