Starting with the "Caponata" appetizer. This is one of those appetizers in this cookbook that I wouldn't typically make because I'm not a big eggplant fan. I decided to make it anyways so I could try it. I started it yesterday around noon because it has to slow cook for 7 to 8 hours. I actually didn't think it was that bad. All of the ingredients kind of melded together and it tasted pretty good. It was different, not bad, but probably something I won't make again. Very easy though and would be great for parties!
For the entree I went with "Veal Parmesan". This is one of my husbands favorite dishes and he orders it out frequently when we eat Italian. I have tried it off of his plate, but I'm more of a Chicken Parmesan fan and I have made that before. I had no idea where I could buy veal though. When I went to my normal grocery store of course they didn't have it, but told me to go to the bigger HEB Plus because they have a meat counter and should carry it. So, Brandy and I went to the grocery store together later that night to see if they had it and they did, but we went at 11pm and the meat counter closed at 9pm. I'll have to make another trip, but that's okay at least we found it! So, I got the veal and it turned out to be pretty easy to make and was very yummy! I think my husband approved :)
The pasta I went with was "Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Roasted Pepper Tomato Sauce". This too was very yummy! I got everything prepared and Brandy put it all together. It also went very good with the "Veal Parmesan". The recipe tells you how to make roasted peppers, but it also says you can substitute jarred roasted peppers and I went with the jarred kind. Not sure it makes any difference and it was easier! Very easy and yummy pasta dish!
For the dessert I was planning to make "Mocha Semifreddo Terrine". However, in order to make this recipe you need ameretti cookies. I had 3 employees looking for these cookies with me at my HEB. They also told me to try HEB Plus. Maybe I should just start going there to begin with! Well, when Brandy and I went to HEB plus at 11pm to look for veal, we looked for these cookies as well. A nice guy that worked there assisted us in our search. Unfortunately, we couldn't find them either. So, I knew of another dessert in the cookbook that all I needed was chocolate-hazelnut spread. I asked the nice guy if he had that and he showed me where it was. Next to the "Nutella" chocolate-hazelnut spread were the jellies and I noticed this jalapeno jelly that Brandy really loves, so she picks it up. So here are Brandy and I walking up the this nice Asian guy cashier at 11pm with Nutella and jalapeno jelly. He had the nerve to ask us if we had bread?! It was very funny and we all got a good laugh out of it.
Anyways, so we made "Chocolate Espresso Panini's" instead and they were delicious. I'm not sure where Nutella has been hiding from me, but wow is it good! AND...Brandy found ameretti cookies and I'll be making that other dessert soon. Unfortunately, my soux chef will be out of town and I'll be working solo for a few weeks :(
- 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 can (about 14 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
- Toasted Italian or French Bread slices
- Combine eggplant, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, salsa, oil, capers, vinegar, garlic, oregano and salt in slow cooker. Cover; cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
- Stir in basil. Serve at room temperature with toasted bread.
- 1/2 cup CONTADINA Italian Bread Crumbs
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound thin veal cutlets
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 can (8 ounces) CONTADINA Tomato Sauce
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
- Addional grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Combine bread crumbs and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese in shallow dish. Dip veal into egg; coat with crumb mixture.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add veal; cook until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Place veal on ovenproof platter; top with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in medium saucepan. Add onion and garlic; saute until tender.
- Stir in tomato sauce ansd oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through. Serve sauce over veal. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Roasted Peppers (recipe follows),* chopped
- 1 can (about 14 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile flakes or red pepper flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti, cooked and drained
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
*Or substitute 3 jarred roasted red bell peppers.
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add Roasted Peppers; cook 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, salt, oregano, chile flakes and black pepper. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes. Serve over spaghetti; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Roasted Peppers: Place 3 red bell peppers on a stovetop over and open flame or 4 inches from heat in broiler. Turn frequently to blacken all sides, using long-handled tongs. Transfer to a paper bag, shut the bag and set it aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour to loosen the skin. Scrape off the blackened skin with a paring knife.
- 2 tablespoons chocolate-hazelnut spread
- 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 2 slices rustic Italian bread
- Butter-flavored cooking spray
- Preheat indoor grill.* Combine chocolate spread and espresso powder in small bowl; mix well. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over 1 slice bread; top with second slice.
- Spray sandwich lightly with cooking spray. Grill 2 to 3 minutes or until bread is golden brown.
*Panini can also be made on the stove in a ridge grill pan or in a nonstick skillet. Cook sandwich over medium heat about 2 minutes per side.