No Fry Eggplant Parmesan Recipe – 30 Minutes

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Eggplant Parmesan can be…..

…..done a few different ways resulting in various levels of time needed and mess made.

A long time ago I was working as a grunt in an Italian restaurant and meet this cook named Sal. He was always complaining about the Italian food here in America and how so much of it wasn’t the “real thing”. On the subject of eggplant parmesan, or as Sal called it “parmigiana di melanzane” .

He said, “Real Italian cooks bake the eggplant for parmigiana not fry it.”

At the time I just wrote it off as another one of his rants.

Then, years later, I saw Mario Batelli do it this way on his television show. So I had to try it and it is now the way that I do it all the time.

Quicker, less mess and just the right texture. Not crunchy and not mushy.

Set the oven at 400°F/205C. If you are not using a nonstick cookie sheet then line your cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray or wipe it with olive oil.

Cut the ends off of the eggplant and peel them. Some cooks leave the skin on but we don’t like the taste of the skin. Then slice into about 1/2 inch thick slices.

Using a little more than your gut tells you to, salt and pepper both sides of the eggplant slices and lay them out in the cookie sheet.

About 8 minutes or until slightly browned a little and just starting to get soft. The time will vary with different eggplants do to how ripe they might be.

BTW – when you are picking out your eggplant get the ones with the the least – or hopefully none – skin blemishes and lightest in weight.

Lightly cover half of the slices with tomato sauce – you could use  fresh or canned tomatoes in a pinch – and top with the mozzarella. Lay the naked slices on top of the well dressed slices and this time after the mozzarella sprinkle some dried basil  and grated parmesan cheese. Lightly drizzle with olive oil.

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In the resulting bare spot in the pan spread out your veggie of choice for today. Broccoli or string beans will work. We like asparagus for this.

Give the asparagus the same tomato sauce, cheese, basil and olive oil topping that you gave the top eggplant layer. Into the oven for for about 8 minutes or until the cheese is done the way that YOU like it. 

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Then buon appetito!! Enjoy your No Fry Eggplant Parmesan. 

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Chianti of course!!

 

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Eggplant parmesan done with baked eggplant slices instead of fried.
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Course Main course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Set the oven at 400°F/205C. If you are not using a nonstick cookie sheet then line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray or wipe it with olive oil. Cut the ends off of the eggplant and peel them. Then slice into about 1/2 inch thick slices. Using a little more than your gut tells you to, salt and pepper both sides of the eggplant slices and lay them out in the cookie sheet. About 8 minutes or until slightly browned a little and just starting to get soft. The time will vary with different eggplants do to how ripe they might be.
  2. Lightly cover half of the slices with marinara sauce - you could use sliced tomatoes in a pinch - and top with the mozzarella. Lay the naked slices on top of the well dressed slices and this time after the mozzarella sprinkle some dried basil and grated parmesan cheese. Lightly drizzle with olive oil.
  3. In the resulting bare spot in the pan spread out your veggie of choice for today. Any stalky kind of green will work. We like asparagus for this. Give the asparagus the same tomato sauce, cheese and basil topping that you gave the top eggplant layer. Bake in to the oven for for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is done the way that you like it.
  4. Then buon appetito!! Enjoy your No Fry Eggplant Parmesan.
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Shrimp Zucchini Onions Garlic – 20 minutes

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Shrimp cooks fast. Zucchini cooks fast. Onions cook fast. Garlic cooks fast. 

So, It looks like we are going to put together a quick and easy meal. 

BTW,,also a very tasty meal.

Whenever I start some pasta to go along with this recipe it turns into a race to see if the pasta or the Shrimp Zucchini Onions Garlic skillet is going to finish first.

If you want to turn this into a one pot meal you could add a little chicken broth or just water with a little lemon juice squeezed in and put some gnocchi’s in when you add the shrimp. The gnocchi will take about the same time to cook as the shrimp.

Alright, lets get going!

If you have to thaw and/or devein the shrimp get it started. They will thaw quicker in the microwave then in water.

Put a skillet on at medium high and swirl in enough olive oil to cover the bottom.

Rinse off the zucchini and slice it into about half inch thick slices. Cut the onion into strips. Add the zucchini and onion to the skillet. Salt and pepper. Toss or stir as they cook.

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Chop up the garlic.

When the zucchini and the onion have started to brown…….

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…….push them to the outside of the skillet and add the shrimp and the garlic. Squeeze in the lemon juice and toss in the rind.

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Cook cook until they are pink on one side and then pink on the other and opaque in the middle. Enjoy!

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Now wasn’t that easy? A good California Chardonnay pairs up real nice with your Quick and Easy Dinner.

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Shrimp, zucchini, onions and garlic all in one skillet.
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Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
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Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Put a skillet on at medium high and swirl in enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Rinse off the zucchini and slice it into about half inch thick slices. Cut the onion into strips. Add the zucchini and onion to the skillet. Salt and pepper. Toss or stir as they cook.
  2. Chop up the garlic. When the zucchini and the onion have started to brown push them to the outside of the skillet and add the shrimp and the garlic. Squeeze in the lemon juice and toss in the rind.
  3. Cook the shrimp until it is pink on one side and then pink on the other and opaque in the middle. Enjoy!
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Baked Chicken Breasts with Vegetables

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Baked Chicken Breasts are a great way to…

…..put together a quick and easy supper on a busy weeknight.

Add the veggies and you could have your entire dinner all in one pan and leaving you free to tend to other matters while it’s in the oven.

This is what we used  along with the chicken tonight but you can make it with all kinds of variations of the meat and the veggies.

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Turn on the oven and set it at 400°F/204°C.

Slice up the veggies while the oven heats up.

Lay the chicken breasts out on a baking sheet and salt and pepper both sides.

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Lay the tomato slices out on the chicken.

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Then the onions. and the garlic.

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Sprinkle with salt and pepper then top it off with the lemon slices, grated parmesan and the rosemary. You could use dried rosemary if you would rather.

 

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About ten minutes in the oven. When the juices run clear from the chicken or it reads 165°F on an instant read meat thermometer switch the oven to broiler and push the veggies off to the side of the pan.

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Give it about 3-4 minutes under the broiler and serve up your Baked Chicken Breasts with Vegetables. This combo of the vegetables turned out to be a real tasty compliment to the chicken breasts.

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We knocked off a chilled bottle of Italian Soave with our Baked Chicken Breasts with Vegetables and it paired up real well.

 

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Turn on the oven and set it at 400°F/204°C. Slice up the veggies while the oven heats up. Lay the chicken breasts out on a baking sheet and salt and pepper both sides.
  2. Lay the tomato slices out on the chicken. Then the onions. and the garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then top it off with the lemon slices, grated parmesan and the rosemary. You could use dried rosemary if you would rather.
  3. About ten minutes in the oven. When the juices run clear from the chicken or it reads 165°F on an instant read meat thermometer switch the oven to broiler and push the veggies off to the side of the pan. Give it about 3-4 minutes under the broiler and serve up your Baked Chicken Breasts with Vegetables. This combo of the vegetables turned out to be a real tasty compliment to the chicken breasts.
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Date Night Filet Mignon can lead to happy endings

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Date Night Filet Mignon

A long long time ago when Gammy and were out on our first date I wanted to impress her so I took her to the fanciest, snootiest restaurant that I could find.

Even though she had grown up on a farm she had never heard of “Filet Mignon”. I wanted to impress her with my sophistication and worldly knowledge – yeah  right – so I convinced her to try Filet Mignon. I just told her that it was a “high class” kind of steak that I liked. 

She said, “Ok, I’ll try something new. I’m  here with you aren’t I?”

When the waiter took her order and asked how she would like it she said, “I’d like it rare, please.”

We joked through a few double entendres about “rare” and how she would like it as we enjoyed our wine.

In my efforts to impress her I had ordered a good Italian pinot noir.

“Wow, this is good! I’ve never had wine before. Just beer and sometimes a little bourbon.”

Since that first date we have always shared a bottle of wine with our dinners.

When our filet mignons were served she said, “Oh, it’s beef tenderloin steak”. 

So much for my efforts at making an impression.

Still to this day, almost 40 years later, on our “date nights” we just about always have Filet Mignon accompanied by a good Italian red wine.

I’ve done our Filet Mignon a lot of different ways. From just pan seared with salt and pepper to pizzaiola and everything in between. 

This way has become our favorite. 

What makes this way so good is the butter mixture that you will use to cook the steaks in and also top them with as you serve them.

Take your steaks out of the fridge and let them get closer to room temperature while you put together your butter mixture.

And for that butter mixture cut a half stick of butter into pads and put the pads on your cutting board. 

Mince the garlic, zest the lemon and chop the parsley.

Put the parsley, garlic, lemon zest, dried basil, cayenne pepper and grated parmesan on top of the butter and……

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……using a table knife or a small spatula smash it and mix it all together. Then form it into a kinda mini loaf of bread shape.

I learned this recipe a long time ago working at a fancy restaurant while still in high school. The chef would have me mix up the butter mixture and put it in ice cube trays and freeze them. So then they would be waiting for us during the busy dinner hours.

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Put a skillet on at medium high and swirl in just about a tablespoon of olive oil and plunk in about a third of the butter mixture. 

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While the skillet is getting hot generously salt and pepper both sides of the filets.

When the oil and butter have stopped acting up and leveled out put in the steaks. The butter and oil will foam up again but that’s ok.

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Cook the steaks about 3 minutes a side then test them. When the steaks are just starting to get firm or they read 130° on an instant read meat thermometer they are rare. When they are definitely firm to a poke and read 165° they are well done. The in-betweens will give you medium rare, medium and medium well. I’m sure that your meat thermometer has the temperatures for all of the different meats listed on it.

Serve up your Filet Mignon steaks and top them with pads of the butter mixture and the liquid from the skillet.

 

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Some of Poppop’s easy homemade bread to dip in those juices is just about a must and for old times sake we had a real good bottle of Italian Pinot Noir with our Date Night Filet Mignon.

 

 

 

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Beef tenderloin steaks seared in and topped with butter laced with some herbs and spices.
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Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
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Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
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Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. Take your steaks out of the fridge and let them get closer to room temperature while you put together your butter mixture. And for that butter mixture cut a half stick of butter into pads and put the pads on your cutting board. Mince the garlic, zest the lemon and chop the parsley. Put the parsley, garlic, lemon zest, dried basil, grated parmesan and cayenne pepper on top of the butter and using a table knife or a small spatula mix it all together and form it into a kinda mini loaf of bread shape.
  2. Put skillet on at medium high and swirl in just about a tablespoon of olive oil and plunk in about a third of the butter mixture. While the skillet is getting hot generously salt and pepper both sides of the filets. When the oil and butter have stopped acting up and leveled out put in the steaks. The butter and oil will foam up again but that's ok. Cook the steaks about 3 minutes a side and test them. When the steaks are just starting to get firm or they read 130° on an instant read meat thermometer they are rare. When they are definitely firm to a poke and read 165° they are well done. The in-betweens will give you medium rare, medium and medium well. I'm sure that your meat thermometer has the temperatures listed on it or they came with it on paper.
  3. Serve up your Filet Mignon steaks and top with the butter mixture and the liquid from the skillet.
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