Saturday, July 16, 2005

Cookin No. 5 - Spindini or something like it

Ah. A nice hot muggy day.

Things have been a little busy lately, but everything is moving along perfectly. I have 6 weeks left before school starts, and its crunch time. Got to get myself prepared to leave a job that I have been working at for the past 4 ½ years, have to find a new job… hopefully in a kitchen somewhere…

Aside from all of that, I have pretty much stayed out of the kitchen this week, though I have had dinner out on the town almost every night.

Wednesday night was awesome though. My father, who is my main inspiration for cooking, made something wonderful. I grew up in an Italian household, and my father was the cook. He has made his mistakes, I won’t ever forget the first time he ever made hummus, I refused to eat hummus for about 6 years after that, it was, to say the least, horrible. But most of the things that come out of his kitchen, his domain, are just superb. Like the rolled eggplant that he made on Wednesday night. He likes to call it Spindini, or Rollatini… I call it scrumptious.

Spindini or Rollatini:

A lot of good sauce
One eggplant
One egg
Some chopped basil
A handful of grated Romano cheese
Small container of ricotta
Fresh mozzarella
Salami sliced thin

First the good sauce. However you make your red sauce, then go for it. I don’t really have a recipe for it, I usually just imitate what I have seen done in my family for years. It consists of my big cast iron pan, two cans of San Marsano Tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, salt, sugar, fennel seeds, ground pepper and an onion. I cook the garlic and onion in some olive oil until they begin to look translucent, then add the tomatoes, basil, salt, sugar and fennel seeds. The fennel seeds give the sauce a slight meaty flavor, without the meat.

Then the egg plant. Slice the eggplant about ¼ of an inch thick, long ways. Grill or broil the slices, until they are brown and almost cooked. Then lay out the slices, and lay the salami on top. In a bowl, beat one egg, chopped basil, some grated roman cheese, ricotta and mozzarella until everything is mixed together. Then plop a layer of the mixture on top of the eggplant and salami. After that, roll the eggplant and place into a covered container with the good red sauce. Bake in the oven at 350o for 40 minutes.

Plate and enjoy.

I know that this is not a conventional recipe, but nothing in my family is written down, we usually talk in terms of handfuls and pinches. If you have any specific questions about this dish, comment and I’ll try to answer your questions. I can tell you now, that if you like eggplant, then you will love this dish.

On to today.

My friend AS and I took her little sister to see Charlie and the chocolate factory. It wasn’t bad, but I still love the original with Gene Wilder. Afterwards, we went to a restaurant/ pub in Easton called Pearly Bakers. The food there is good, and they always have good beer. But the part about eating there that made me excited is that I found out they have an opening in their kitchen, and I got an application to fill out, and a recommended time to visit the manager. They don’t have a huge turnover, most people keep their jobs there for years, and I heard that their kitchen is fun, so lets keep my fingers crossed, and yours too if you please.

Tonight I had a beer called the Middle Ages Wailing Wench… a dark hoppy beer, rich flavors, I think there might have been some bitter chocolate in the process, because it had that flavor. Not a bad beer, but I don’t think I would run out and buy a whole case just yet.

Anywho my friends, I bid you a good night, I am going to curl up with a book and enjoy a Dixie beer.

Bon Appetite


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