Thursday, July 30, 2009

Eggplant Parm recipe

Two eggplant - 1 Can Hunts Tomato Sauce
1c Bread Crumbs - 1 tsp Basil
2tbs Butter - 1 tsp Oregano
2 Eggs - 1 Green Pepper
2 hand fulls Grape Tomatoes - 1 tsp Red Pepper Flake
2 Garlic Cloves (peeled sliced) - 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 C Shredded Cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees (F)
Slice eggplant thin, soak in egg 10 minutes. Melt butter, add to bread crumbs. Cover eggplant with crumbs Fry in Oil till brown, set aside. In pan, slice garlic, add to oil, and turn heat to medium. cut tomatoes in half, add to Olive Oil with Green pepper, When soft, add tomato sauce, pepper flakes, oregano, basil, simmer for 15 min. Lay eggplant in baking pan slightly overlapping, pour sauce on top, top with cheese of your choice, bake for 10 minutes, serve over pasta.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Poor Man's Loin...

I decided to play god once. I changed the landscape, asserted my will, and created life of my choosing, and in my order. I called this world "Garden", and it was so.

Seriously though. In one row, I wanted to plant 4-5 eggplants. (Is it an Eggplant or an Eggplant plant?) I was, however, late at the store to buy these bushy plants and only managed to score two; one Japanese, one regular purple. I lamented the pathetic representation until harvest time. These little plants will not stop throwing fresh eggplant at me. I'm pulling on average 1 a day. I have a problem... or do I? It is here that I dare to discover which variety is better and what style to cook in.

Variety is easy as can be. Cook them both and taste. The Japanese eggplant, being long and thin, produce many more, so I cook them first. I never had a Japanese eggplant, but I decide to grill them (inspiration but not recipe by Bobbi Flay). A little olive oil, salt, and pepper, then a hop onto the grill (gas). The result? tender. flavorful. Absolutely identical flavor to regular eggplant. ok, tie for variety.

I still had quite a few Japanese eggplant(s?) left so the next day I sliced it thin on the bias, and proceeded to bread and fry them into thin chips. Delicious. throw some salt on them when they are still hot with oil (which eggplant absorbs oil, fyi don't leave sitting too long in pan) then enjoy. I quite enjoyed that, but I was far from done with these little gems.
The next night, Pasta was the decision. My garden is vomiting food at me now and I need to use it, so I think Veggie Sauce. ok, I'm part Italian, lets do this. Simmer some garlic in oil, add halves of grape tomatoes till reduced, then add diced Jap. eggplant and zucchini. I salt and pepper here, then add tomato sauce. Stir it up, season to taste, served over Farfalle(bow tie) pasta. Delicious. Eggplant a little mushy, but good.
Last, the titan. The all famous, "Eggplant Parm". I have two beautiful regular Eggplant, I dip in egg, cover in bread crumbs, then I fry in some oil. At same time, I make a sauce. (again, I had veggies to use) I cut up grape tomatoes, and some fresh Green pepper and put in oil with garlic until soft, add salt and pepper. I then add Hunts sauce, Oregano, red pepper flake and Basil. Eggplants in dish with sauce on top and a lot of Mozzarella. Put in Oven for about 10 min.

Who wins? If you cant tell by reading, it was the Parm all the way. Nice spice, delicious kick, and great cheesy-ness. Well the way I cook it. But I like my cooking. Hands down the way I will do it for friends in the future. Glad to clear that up early in life.

Better with age...

I was thinking about one of my life's finest moments. I am talking of course about the time that I gave to my tongue the taste of a truly amazing beverage. I am referring to the Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA.

This is certainly an amazing brew. It was almost fate that I was sitting with my two good friends, Brad and Calen, when Calen brought out this beauty. The date brewed, (seemingly meaning less to some) a year to the day we decided to drink it. I don't believe in "Signs", but come on. That's pretty cool.

We poured this gem out into three anxious glasses and shared a moment of silence. This beer is famous for its complexity and its power. The Dogfish profile forming the exclamation point on the cap says it all: "This beer is not for Children". The color was a gold amber, slightly cloudy with the lively yeast. We inhaled a scent that screamed hops and was as fresh as the plant itself. We drew the amber liquid past our lips and into our hearts. The mouth-feel was commanding and full bodied, the taste was fresh and complex. At first you had an amazing sweetness from the Malt, but the linger was a pleasant bitter from a perfect choice of hops. Simply put, amazing.
This life changing moment stayed with me for many months. I later found myself in a bar, my last night before 6 months abroad. I decided, "To hell with cost, I want a 120!". The bottle arrived, only a few months from date of brew, I poured it slowly, aching for the perfect head. Smelled the ambrosia, brought it to my lips, chewed, and swallowed. terrible.
You see, I learned a lot that day. It turns out that the difference between 3 months and 12 was all the world. That extra time was enough to let the yeast grow and thrive. They feasted on the sugars within and produced a totally complex, magical experience, which must be enjoyed before you leave this world (Space ship?)
"All things come to him who waits - provided he knows what he is waiting for"
- Woodrow Wilson.

Conclusion: I have learned much from beer that I can put to my life. For example, you always save the good beer for your good friends, just as in life you never hold back when you have the opportunity to help a friend. But now I realize that with time and patience I can, like my coveted 120 become better with age.

In the Beginning...

I would like to begin this blog with a brief, "Thank you". This is for all of you who have, if only for this short moment, decided that my opinions are worth viewing. With that said, enough about you, lets talk about me.

I have often found myself thinking about the three subjects that I feel the most connected. Those being, quite obviously, Beer, Food, and Philosophy (I am not liberal, I don't drink coffee, and I hate hippies. Go figure these are my three). With Philosophy in mind I thought that it was important for me to lay down the ground rules. In Philosophy, all thought has to be based off basics of logic called Axioms (i.e. an object cannot be not the object, a = a, a /= ~a). That being said, I thought that I would state the rules followed by my blog.
  1. Beer is at the same time, as complicated, as sophisticated, and a better product in general than wine.
  2. The meaning of life is to find the very best of whatever your into and surround yourself with it at all times
  3. Philosophy is a vital way of exploring the universe from the birth of a star, to a single chew of your favorite food.

That being said, I will now dedicate the space here to examining my life as I see it. My thoughts and opinions have a home now and I invite you to follow along. I hope it makes you think, but above all I hope you can laugh. I offer no apologies to what will follow and look foreword to what Ill say next...