I'd say it's perfectly balanced with saltiness, crunchiness, softness and acidity. Just don't scrimp on the baking time: the eggplant must be completely done in the center to pull off the dish.
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 egg
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 cup marinara sauce, or however much you need to cover the bottom of the pan
- 1 medium tomato, cored and diced
- 3 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated, optional
2) Pour tomato sauce across the bottom of the pan, shaking gently to cover evenly. Arrange eggplant in a layer. Place sliced tomatoes on top of the eggplant. If there’re more slices of eggplant, place those on now. If not, simply sprinkle with half of the cheese in an even crust. Reduce oven to 35o and bake for 20 minutes before adding the cheese. At this point check on the eggplant with a fork and judge further cooking time (the total could be anywhere from 30-45 minutes).
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 ripe peach
1) Thinly slice the peach and arrange in the bottom of a sprayed 9-inch cake pan (I used 8-inch but then had to pour the extra batter into another container to bake because it wouldn't all fit).
2) Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Add wet to dry, stirring to combine thoroughly but not overmixing. Add blueberries and stir gently.
3) Pour cake batter over the peaches, filling the pan only to within a half inch of the rim. If there's extra batter, pour into another small pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for ~40 minutes. It's important to check the doneness all the way down to the bottom as it will be wetter down there due to the peaches.
P.S. If you've ever wondered why peaches have an almond-shaped kernel in their center if you crack open the pit, here's your answer (it turns out it's not just Mother Nature playing a prank on us). As far as I know, that's actually an almond in there. Here's an abreviated version of the Food Lover's Companion's definition of almond: "There are two main types of almonds--sweet and bitter...The more strongly flavored bitter almonds contain traces of lethal prussic acid when raw. Though the acid's toxicity is destroyed when the nuts are heated, the sale of bitter almonds in illegal in the United States. Processed bitter almonds are used to flavor extracts, liqueurs and orgeat syrup. The kernels of apricot and peach pits have a similar flavor and the same toxic effect (destroyed by heating) as bitter almonds..."
For the past few days I've been reading through the November 2012 mega-issue of Cooking Light. I rarely have the opportunity to actually read entire articles, instead skimming the pictures, pop-out words and captions in an entirely unfulfilling manner. There are two substancial pieces that stand out from the trendy desserts and healthy cooking techniques. They're quite long in comparison with much of the journalism that we have come to accept in the concise news channels of the Internet, but they're well worth your time; think of them as short stories if you need to.
Mississipi Chinese Lady Goes Home to Korea is a mildly introspective essay from Ann Taylor Pittman, the food editor for Cooking Light magazine. It recounts her culinary and familial adventures when she journeyed to Korea, her mother's homeland. Hearing about all of the communal food resonates with me because of my own mother's Japanese heritage. I'm lucky enough to know many of them and have most of them living here in the United States (far flung as they may be). I visited them in California and was reminded of how comfortable (a term Pittman mentions) we are together, without judgement. Everyone's happy to share their food, inviting the others to experience a bite of their own pleasure.
This article is a good segway into a peek at my trip to San Francisco last week. I'm only highlighting the food adventures here: we did do other things besides eat, I promise!
Friday - an exciting adventure into what could be called the new Asiatown where authentic restaurants thrive. I ate at Pho Phu Quoc (aka PPQ), my cousin's favorite restaurant. I had never had pho (pronounced fuh) before because our local place is always packed at dinner time. I loved that the basin-sized steaming bowl were brought to the table accompanied with an array of bean sprouts, lime wedges, Thai basil leaves and jalapeños--customizable is my cup of tea. Plus, that's not even talking about the coconut drink. I'm pretty sure it's just Cream of Coconut, tapioca pearls and cubes of steamed taro. And that, folks, is all you need to hear.
Saturday - I baked banana bread for my uncle and cousin at their house for breakfast. Midmorning we explored Petaluma, a relatively small town about an hour outside of San Francisco and sampled cheese and ice cream at Petaluma Creamery. The piña colada ice cream is some of the best I've ever had, and that's coming from a chocoholic. When we arrived at my great aunt and uncle's house we had onigiri (Japanese rice balls), inarizushi (some people say the rice inside the tofu wrapper looks like a football), roasted chicken and burritos from La Azteca, the taquería my cousin Derek visits every time he comes to the West Coast. The evening brought us even more delicacies in the form of the Bon Odori Festival (a Buddhist festival honoring one's ancestors, usually shorted to 'Obon'). The temple we attended the celebration at serves hundreds of styrofoam bowls overflowing with udon noodles and topped with kamaboko (fish cake, the pink-edged pieces), braised beef (already consumed) and fresh scallions. For dessert, the traditional imagawayaki is served. It's two pancakes filled with a dollop of an, sugared red bean paste, and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds embedded in one side. Even if you don't like the idea of a normally savory ingredient--beans--being used in a sweet application, you must try it anyway.
Now I'll share the second article.Welcome to the Golden Age of American Food by Scott Mowbray delves into the foodie era that we have entered as we move away from the nutrient-depleted factory products of the late 20th century and into the slow-food movement of the 2000s. You may think that this is over-generalized, that many Americans live in food desserts, lacking basic sustenance, but Mowbray paints a convincingly bright picture of the heyday that we are coming to embrace.