The Newbie Cook
- 16,667 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
Should I make eggplant rollatini without bacon? I don’t have ham. And I don’t have prosciutto because I forgot to pick some up from Botto’s the last time I was there. It can be served without any meat, right? But what is life without bacon? Well, bacon it is.
Most cook eggplant rollatini with the bacon/ham/prosciutto rolled inside the eggplant along with ricotta cheese. I did the opposite and wrapped it over the rolled eggplant to keep it secure. By the time I was done, it looked like a swankier version of pigs-in-a-blanket.
This can be served alone or with a side of pasta. If you’re doing the latter, don’t skimp on the tomato sauce. Pile it on, baby! Trust me, you’ll need it.
Recipe after the jump.
Basti, our white long-haired chi, has a very bad habit. Whenever we cook, he always thinks that he’s getting fed. So he whimpers and begs… loudly. You’ll be surprised how loud a three-pound chihuahua can sound when he’s upset. We’re still in the process of correcting him and teaching him that dog food is for dogs and human food is for humans only. It’s not as if they have bad food — I buy big bags of organic Grade A dog food for them. Our older dogs still get excited when I cook but at least they don’t beg.
One of the dishes that can drive Basti nuts is stuffed pepper. We have a couple of big bell plants in our little garden and I had to think of creative ways to use them. I started with the most basic one: a soft bell stuffed with a blend of meat, rice and herbs.
I made three versions: the Classic American, the Asian, and the Asian-American.
The Classic American is mainly beef and rice enhanced with sage and parsley and is baked on a bed of Italian tomato sauce.
The Asian-American is similar to the above but with slight differences. Like adding cayenne, substituting Worcestershire with oyster sauce, and using plain crushed tomatoes instead of sauce.
The Asian is quite different. Pork is used instead of beef and rice is served on the side. Among other things.
See the recipes after the jump.