Happy Monday Friends!
It's been a VERY busy day here at Casa Bramasole. I spent a good portion of the afternoon at the UNC Hospital Cardiac department.
When the nurses come over and greet you with a hug, you KNOW you've been spending too much time at the hospital! Though I will tell you that the staff there is just wonderful- a caring, knowledgeable group of people that truly cares
Anyway, I was up there to get hooked up to what is known as an "event" monitor. Basically, It's a portable EKG machine that you wear constantly for 30 days that continually records whatever funky things your body is doing. The reason it's called an "event" monitor is that you're supposed to press a button on the unit if you're experiencing any strange symptoms. I couldn't help giggling (okay- I cracked up) when the doctor said "Now be SURE to push the button if you lose consciousness!"
So I ended up with very little time to throw together a meatless meal for me and Allie. Our regular readers know that I TRY to be a good proponent of Meatless Monday
This past Spring I came across a wonderful little magazine in my local Market- The Farmer's Market Cookbook presented by Vegetarian Times. I've tried several of the unique and creative recipes offered here and tonight I decided to try this Laotian Eggplant since I had everything on hand. I also threw together a fresh bread pudding with corn and cheese (my mom loves it) and, because tonight is Book Club night, I made a tray of Pecan Pie Cupcakes to bring to our hostess' house. If you'd like that recipe, come join us on Facebook- it'll be posted later tonight as our latest Bonus Recipe!
Laotian Eggplant with Tomatoes, Onions, and Mint
adapted from the Farmer's Market Cookbook
2-3 TBSP olive oil
1 lb. (about 3 cups) diced Japanese eggplant
1 red onion, sliced
4 medium tomatoes, chopped (I used 5 heirlooms)
3 TBSP dark brown sugar
2 tsp lime juice
1 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce ( I used 1 tbsp Thai chili sauce)
3 cups bean sprouts
1 8 ounce can bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained (I omitted- didn't have any)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
Heat oil in large wok or cast iron skillet till hot. Add eggplant and onion and stir-fry 10 minutes till eggplant is browned. Stir in tomatoes, brown sugar, lime juice, and chili sauce . Stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add bean sprouts and bamboo shoots and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with mint and serve
Fresh Corn and Cheese Bread Pudding
adapted from Southern Living (I think- I don't exactly remember where I copied the original from and I've tweaked it, as usual)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
1 12 ounce loaf French bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (about 7-8 cups
4 cups fresh corn kernels
1 1/2 cups shredded Fontiago cheese (or any other cheese you'd like to try- Fontiago is what I had)
Whisk together milk, cream, eggs, salt, and pepper. Toss in bread and stir. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Stir corn and cheese into bread mixture. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes till set and golden on top.
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Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,
Pattie and Allie