Posts Tagged ‘tomato sauce’

So remember back when I talked all about how inspired I was by my new book?  Well, it took me forever, but I finally made a condiment.  The easiest condiment in the book.  Garlic-ginger paste. I made it last week.  It’s been sitting there ever since. Well, not quite.  I did slow cook some broccolini with a spoonful of the paste.  Wow.  Yum.

Well, since then I’ve been dreaming of a few different recipes. For one, Niloufer talks a lot about the Parsi obsession with eggs.  And since I have a habit of eating eggs for just about any meal, those recipes have been calling to me.  One of the methods she uses involves simmering a sauce (any type) in a wide, shallow pan, making little wells in the sauce, and cracking eggs into the wells to “poach” them.  So that idea has been dancing around my brain.  In another recipe, she utilizes onion tops.  Yes, the green tops from scallions, spring onions, leeks, and even garlic.  I practically survive on onions throughout the winter.  I just love their variety.  And each type can be cooked in a million different ways, producing such amazingly different results. So the onion top thing has been dancing in there too.

So tonight when did my daily scope-out-the-fridge-and-find-somethin’-for-dinner, I came across tomato sauce, spring onions, eggs, and my ginger-garlic paste.  Aha!  Dinner!

Have you ever eaten something sooooooo tasty that you didn’t even want to take a sip of water afterwards for fear of washing away the yumminess? That’s how I felt tonight.  And this is what I did…

Parsi-eggs with tomato, spring onions, and ginger-garlic paste
serves 1

  • 2 small spring onions or 1/2 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste (recipe to follow)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (or ghee, if you’re being authentic!)
  • 1/2 cup homemade tomato sauce
  • 2 eggs

Place a small, 8-inch saute pan over medium heat.  Pour in the oil and allow it to warm.  Add the sliced onions and a pinch of kosher salt and turn the heat down to low to cook very slowly, covered, for about 3-4 minutes.  Remove the lid, stir in the ginger-garlic paste, and continue to cook slowly for another 2-3 minutes.  The onions should be very soft.  Fold in the tomato sauce and continue cooking until the sauce is warmed through.

Make 2 shallow wells in the sauce (they have to be shallow because there isn’t much sauce here!), and crack one egg in each well.  Replace the lid and cook slowly until the eggs are “poached” to the doneness that you prefer.

Using a rubber spatula, slide the eggs onto your plate and gobble them up.

Ginger-garlic paste from My Bombay Kitchen by Nilourfer Ichaporia King

  • 1/2 cup peeled and roughly chopped ginger
  • 1/2 cup peeled and roughy chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • vegetable oil

Place the ginger, garlic, and salt in a food processor. Process until it forms a smooth paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula a few times, as necessary. Pack into a small jar or bowl and pour a thing film of oil over the top. Store in the refrigerator.


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I can attest to the fact that this is excellent at room temperature.  And let me tell you why I know this.  My darling little Chloe seems to know exactly what time dinner is to be served.  No matter her sleeping schedule during the day, she makes it a point to wake up just as we’re sitting down to eat.  And she’s not interested in hanging out in our laps.  She wants to EAT!  So, alas, I feed her.  And when she is sated, I get back to my Eggplant Parmesan.  No longer hot.  But still delicious.

Eggplant Parmesan
yields 8-10 servings

To make your own fresh breadcrumbs, cut a large rustic loaf of bread in half and allow it to stale overnight.  The next day, use a bread knife to remove the crust and discard.  Cut the bread into rough cubes and process in a food processor until fine (nothing larger than 1/8-inch).

For the tomato sauce:

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • a pinch of chili flake
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 2 14-1/2 ounce cans whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup water

Place a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add the olive oil.  Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, chili, bay, and salt.  Continue to cook gently until translucent.

Meanwhile, pour the canned tomatoes and liquid into a medium bowl.  Use your fingers to break up the tomatoes and remove any skin that remains.  Add to the cooked onions.  Use the water to “rinse” out the cans, and add to the pot.

Bring to a simmer, turn the heat to low, cover, and cook gently for about 45 minutes.  Taste for salt and set aside.

For the eggplant Parmesan:

  • 1 batch tomato sauce (see above recipe)
  • 2 large globe eggplants
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt plus another sprinkle on the fried eggplant
  • 4-5 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-1/4 cups vegetable oil or pure olive oil
  • 8 ounces mozzarella

Slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch rounds.  Lay them on a rack resting over a cookie sheet and sprinkle 2 teaspoons of kosher salt over them.  Allow to sit for approx 10 minutes.  Flip the eggplant over and sprinkle the other side with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.  Allow  to sit for 1-2 hours.

Using paper towels, pat the eggplant dry.

Meanwhile, set up a “breading station”.  Pour the flour onto one plate.  Pour some of the breadcrumbs onto another plate (you’ll add more crumbs as needed), and pour the eggs into a wide, shallow dish.  To bread the eggplant, first coat the slices in flour, then dip them in the egg, and then coat them with the breadcrumbs.  Place the breaded eggplant back onto the racks and allow them to “set” for about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 400º.

Heat about 1/3 of the oil in a large saute pan set over medium-low heat.  Carefully place a single layer of breaded eggplant slices into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides.   Set back on the rack and salt lightly.  Remove any burned bits from the pan, add more oil as necessary, and continue this process until all the eggplant has been browned.

Spoon about 1/4 of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.  Place a layer of fried eggplant on top of the tomato sauce.  Spoon another 1/4 of the tomato sauce over the eggplant, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the Parmesan and 1/3 of the mozzarella.  Add two more layers of eggplant, sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella.**

Cover with baking dish with a layer of parchment paper*, and then aluminum foil, and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove cover, and bake for another 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is golden.

Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

*The acidity of the tomato sauce will react with the aluminum foil creating an “off” taste.  Always use parchment underneath foil when topping ingredients that are acidic.

**Another way I like to make this is to place the eggplant into the dish by tiling them (slightly overlapping) in a single layer, rather than stacking.  This method uses a little less eggplant and results in more crispy parts.

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I mean, err…that didn’t come out right.  Let’s start again.

Emily does sausage.

Hmmm.  Still not quite right.

Well, dang.

What I mean to say is…sometimes I just crave sausage.  There comes a time when I just don’t want anymore “Emily Food”.  I’ve eaten more peaches, corn, tomatoes, and whole-grain salads than I can bear, and darn-it, I just want a sausage.  The kind where the skin snaps when you bite into it, and it’s salty, and juicy.  Oh, glory be!  Sometimes a good sausage just hits the spot.  (Oh dear, there I go again.)

P7220008I made a little baked dish with hard polenta, sausage, and tomato sauce.  Of course, you can actually buy hard polenta, ready to slice.  You can buy tomato sauce, and you can buy sausage.  But you know me–I wouldn’t dare!  Actually, truth be told, I did buy my sausage because two of my co-workers have a little sausage-making business and they turn out some super-delish specimens…not to be resisted!  This particular one was flavored with green chilies and lime.

Sausage and Polenta baked in Tomato Sauce

First, I sliced the polenta and placed it under the broiler, on a rack to brown.  Then I prepared a skillet over medium heat and poured in the tomato sauce, bringing it to a simmer.  I then tucked the browned polenta into the hot sauce and nestled the little sausage rounds (pre-cooked) in the nooks and crannies.  Then the whole pan went in the oven to bake for a few minutes just to bring all the flavors together.

So there you have it…Emily does Scott…it’s good for the soul!

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