Baked Eggplant with Italian Seasoning

It’s summer and the vegetables are thriving! Well, at least that’s the way it looks like at the local farmers markets! The selection of various vegetables, greens and herbs has been excellent this season. One of the most versatile vegetables is eggplant. There are hundreds of various recipes using eggplant and most are fairly easy to do!

My personal favorite is a simple and easy recipe that you can make in less than 30 minutes! A classic eggplant recipe with Italian seasoning is a great starter or even perfect for an entire meal.

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 large eggplant (Usually serves 2-3 people)
  • 1 Stick unsalted butter
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Italian Seasoning bread crumbs
  • Paprika
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Chopped Parsley

Here’s how to do it:

Preheat your oven to 400 F.

Take 1 stick of unsalted butter and melt it in the microwave. Slice your eggplant into slices about .25″ thick. (I leave the skin on but most people peel the skin before slicing).

20190728_162620

In a separate bowl add 1/2 cup of Italian seasoned bread crumb mix. Add 1/4 cup of fresh parmesan cheese. Add a dash of paprika and a healthy dash of chopped dried parsley.

IMG_20190728_164004_013

Spread your sliced pieces of eggplant out and sprinkle salt on them. (Eggplant holds a lot of water so the salt will help draw some of the moisture out of the eggplant). Let sit for roughly 10 minutes allowing the salt to do its magic.

After 10 minutes is up you can begin prepping the eggplant. Take each slice of eggplant and dip in your melted butter then in your seasoning mix, covering liberally. Shake off any excess bread crumb seasoning. You do not want clumps or excess bread crumbs on your eggplant, just a coating. ¬†An excess of breadcrumbs will become a mushy mess after you bake it. You’re going for just a nice coating.

Place your seasoned eggplant slices on a baking sheet with some parchment paper or tin foil.

Bake at 400 F for roughly 15 minutes. You want a golden brown color to the eggplant.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a baking rack. Sprinkle a drizzle of EVOO over top the eggplant. I like to then sprinkle some fresh chopped basil over top to finish.

20190728_17053020190728_17053420190728_170543

Easy Lobster Roll Sliders

Happy 4th of July! Today I am celebrating by sharing an incredibly simple recipe for delicious Lobster Slider Rolls that you can prepare ahead of time to impress your guests.

20190704_155606

There are a lot of different variations for lobster roll sandwiches so the best thing you can do is make it your own! Here’s my take on the classic lobster roll:

As with any cooking adventure – freshness matters. In the case of seafood I cannot stress that enough. When shopping for your lobsters be sure to pick them out yourself, choosing the ones that are most lively in the tank. Your fish-monger or market might offer to steam the lobster for you but you should steam them yourself at home to ensure it is at its freshest when you begin prepping this easy recipe.

Lobsters can easily be steamed in a large cooking pot with a strainer inserted in the bottom of the pot. Fill the pot with roughly 25% water and bring to a rolling boil. Once the water is rolling carefully (I use tongs) place the lobsters into the bath. Make sure to have a lid that fits properly on the pot as to allow the steam to begin to build up. Turn the temperature down to medium and allow to continue to steam for roughly 12-15 minutes. You can check halfway thru just to be sure your lobsters are turning the correct shade of red. Finished lobsters should be a bright shade of red.

20190704_151904

Once your lobster is a bright shade of red after 12-15 minutes, remove carefully from the pot (again with tongs to be safe!) and allow the lobster to cool on the counter for another 15 minutes.

Once cooled you can begin extracting the sweet and juicy meat. Remove the claws and set aside. Wrap the tail in a dish cloth and squeeze – you will hear the shell cracking. Carefully pull the tail from its shell and set aside. Crack the claws open and extract the meat. Once you’ve taken all the meat from the lobster (be sure not to miss any) cut into small equal cuts as best as possible. Put the lobster in a small metal bowl and stick in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.

20190704_154555

*Note – the meat in lobster rolls needs to be chilled. Hot lobster meat in this recipe would just be gross!

Once your lobster is nicely cooled you can begin putting this tasty dish together!

In the same small metal bowl with your lobster add roughly half a cup of mayonnaise. (Do not use Miracle Whip because … GROSS!). Chop two sprigs of celery into small cubes and add into the bowl. Chop 5-10 fresh sprigs of chives and into the bowl. Add a healthy dash of paprika, celery seed, salt & pepper & old bay seasoning to the mix . Lastly, add just a small splash of fresh lemon juice. Incorporate all nicely until all the ingredients are mixed together well.

Cut fresh brioche slider rolls in half and place on the grill or cast iron pan until you get a nice char on them. Spread butter on the finished rolls. Scoop your lobster roll mix onto each roll, finishing off with a little more fresh chopped chives and dash of paprika for presentation.

20190704_15560620190704_155354Lobster Roll20190704_15541220190704_155407

*Notes – The bread used is important in this recipe. Try to find brioche rolls which are buttery and savory. Using sub rolls or steak rolls won’t be as satisfying.

20190704_154515

Ingredients List:

(2) 1.5lb fresh lobsters steamed

Fresh Chives

Fresh Celery

1 Cup Mayonnaise

Paprika

Celery Seed

Salt & Pepper

Old Bay Seasoning

Brioche sliders