• Cheap Eats Recipes
    Mushroom Risotto from Valvona & Crolla by Mary Contini
    Cutting corners. If you have read my previous post about patience you'll know that I have very little of it... except when it comes to cooking. I will not tolerate waiting in line for a sandwich but I can stand over a pot and stir a risotto for ages. There is something about the stirring that brings me joy and comfort. However, time is not the kind of corner that I am writing about. It's the expense of ingredients. I try my best to stay faithful to a recipe when I am cooking. However, I am not opposed to substituting, adding or eliminating ingredients if I find them unnecessary, difficult to find, or ridiculously expensive. My jaw nearly hit the floor when I approached the cheese counter at the local delicatessen only to find that the fontina cheese that this recipe called for was $65.99 per kilogram. Good golly! Although the recipe only asks for 100g making the purchase $6.59, I could not bring my self to spend so much when this was merely for a weekday dinner. I had a block of parmesan cheese in the fridge at home and decided to stick with that. The recipe also called for 3 tablespoons of parsley. I do not have the luck of having a pot of parsley growing on my window sill... maybe one day I will. The parsley was $2.98 a bunch at the local greengrocer and I consider it wasteful to purchase a large bunch only to use…
  • Cheap Eats Recipes
    Eggplant Parmigiana – A Vegetarians Delight
    I've never been a big fan of eggplant. The oblong, deep purple nightshade has always struck me as somewhat bland and mealy. One day, Pizzaboy's Italian Aunt, made eggplant parmigiana as an entree for a Christmas Eve meal. I have been converted ever since. Parmigiana is a classic Southern Italian dish made with thick slices of eggplant that are fried in olive oil until golden then layered with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil and baked until bubbly. Variations made with breaded meat cutlets, such as veal and chicken parmigiana, have been developed in other countries, usually in areas of Italian immigration. In some recipes the eggplant is breaded and fried. While this adds a whole extra layer of texture, I don't think it's necessary. There are many versions of eggplant parmigiana. I probably like them all. The earthy sweetness of the eggplant and tomato sauce, the gooey mozzarella, and the sharpness of the parmesan all come together to make something delectable. Recipe adapted from Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights by Sophie Dahl 2 medium-sized eggplants 1/2 cup olive oil 1 large onion, finely diced 2 teaspoons garlic, minced 800g can of chopped tomatoes 2 tablespoons of tomato paste 3 tablespoons of dry white wine 1 tablespoon soft brown sugar 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 cup of shredded fresh basil leaves 250g bocconcini or buffalo mozzarella, sliced 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese Salt & Pepper to taste 1/ Slice eggplant into 1cm thick slices. Lay them on a flat surface…