Showing posts with label Vinegar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vinegar. Show all posts

Monday, March 4, 2013

Eggplant Caviar

Continuing with my usual blogging has not been the easiest and smoothest thing on my list of things to do...just like my daily tasks these days, but I'm trying my best to catch up. I know I owe you, my dear friends comments, and replies on your blogs. It's not enough to be replying back on  my comment section, it should be done directly by visiting your blogs.

So, I will try harder...you've been all so sweet and kind with all your comments. I thank you for that!
I seldom make eggplant dishes, although I do love eggplant...as do all my family. So many ways of preparing it, for appetizers, side dishes, and main dishes. It is so versatile and can be prepared so deliciously, just like I made it for a wonderful appetizer.
 Eggplant Caviar is another favorite Sicilian dish which I have been making for a long time. It is quite similar to the famous Caponata, but with less ingredients, and is simplified, using only a few additions. Also, traditionally it is peeled and mashed up into a paste-like concoction which is not so attractive...so I prefer to leave the skins on which as you can see is soft and edible, and also leave most of it in chunks. All you need is some crusty bread, and enjoy!

Eggplant Caviar
recipe by; Elisabeth

1 large eggplant
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic minced fine
1/4 cup small capers
juice of 1 lemon
a handful of fresh chopped Italian parsley
sea salt, or Kosher salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste
crushed red pepper flakes, about 1 teaspoon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with dull side of the aluminum foil side up; spray with cooking spray. Cut eggplant in half, lengthwise then cut into thirds, and into segments as shown on photo. You can spray some more spray on the eggplant slices, or drizzle oil. (I sprayed mine with cooking spray)

Bake for about 20 minutes, and check to see if it needs liquid; just don't add any more oil...add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of plain water to the pan...it will soak into the eggplant. Continue baking for another 25 minutes.(45 minutes total)

When eggplant has a brownish color and soft, carefully take the hot baking pan out and remove the eggplant pieces with a flat spatula onto a cutting board to cool for a few minutes then, cut into bite size pieces.

Have a medium size bowl ready to add the 1/2 cup oil, the chopped garlic, pepper flakes, capers, parsley, the vinegar, and the lemon juice. Add the salt and pepper. Carefully add the eggplant, you can mash some of them up. Stir carefully, and serve it on small plates for first course, or just appetizer. Drizzle extra oil on top, and garnish with extra parsley.  Serves 4
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Monday, November 19, 2012

Fennel, Orange, and Onion Salad

With Thanksgiving around the corner, you'll want to eat lighter the few days before, to save some calories for the big Feast! One of my all-time favorite fall, and winter salad is the fennel and orange, paired with red onions, capers, on a bed of your favorite salad, or salad leaves; such as Romaine, or for that matter a simple Iceburg which I had leftover from using shredded lettuce to accompany last weeks tacos (sorry, no photo)
Fennel is so refreshing, so crispy and if you like licorice, you will love the flavor of this delightful fennel bulb, trimmed, and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces...and don't throw out the fronds; they make an excellent decoration...kind of reminds you of dill fronds, but not as strong...they are perfectly eatable, as well!
Back in 2000, when I first started my WeightWatchers diet (lost 37 lbs.) is, when I discovered this wonderful salad...with -0- points if you don't use a dressing with extra virgin olive oil...actually even with just 1 teaspoon of the oil, and a white wine vinegar dressing, I still think it's -0- points a serving...so go ahead, and enjoy this beautiful salad...and by the way, if you're wondering how to cut beautiful segments of oranges; watch this video that will show you how easy to segment an orange.

Fennel, Orange, and Onion Salad
recipe ; by Elisabeth... Weight Watchers inspired

1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 naval orange, peeled, and sliced into segments
1 red onion, halved, and sliced thin
1 Tbsp small capers, drained and rinsed
sea salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoon white wine, or rice vinegar
small amount of leftover orange juice from the segments
Your favorite salad leaves, or bed of salad
Chopped fennel fronds

In a medium bowl, mix together the fennel, the red onion, the capers, and carefully mix in the cleaned orange segments. Toss with the oil, and vinegar. and serve on a bed of lettuce leaves, or your favorite salad mix...salt and pepper to taste, and top with fennel fronds. Serves 2-4... very tasty, mild, and refreshing.


Linking to: Cast Party Wednesday Link Party, @ Lady Behind the Curtain









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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Red Velvet {Birthday} Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

As you may know we've had a very stormy week, starting last Wednesday, and expecting the worst by Thursday, and Friday...kids having half a day of school on Thursday, and off on Friday, due to Hurricane 'Sandy' lurking around our area in S. Florida...leaving a mess behind in Cuba, and Haiti. Now, heading up to the east coast...already causing havoc in North Carolina! Luckily, we escaped a lot of what could have been really bad damage, just heavy winds, to deal with and a lot of downpour of heavy rains.
The only time you will see a frosted cake posted on my blog, when I make one for a special occasion...and this certainly was! My granddaughter Sophia just turned 11...the second oldest of the 4 grandchildren that I have. Gabriella had her 11th birthday in August. This was a special request from Sophia, she's such a 'sweetheart' and knows exactly what she wants. Red Velvet Cake is an 'all American' Southern cake...and don't let anyone convince you...otherwise:) Some like it 'ruby red'...but since there's cocoa powder used, I like to have a dark reddish/brown
version of this famous cake!
Most recipes call for cake flour, but the recipe that I adapted this from called for all-purpose flour. When using cake flour, you do not add baking powder, just baking soda, but I figured baking powder addition to the all-purpose flour would lighten it up...and it did; so moist, perfect, and yummy. Also, I cut down on the sugar, as well!
My two 'angels' Sophia on the left...and Gabby (cousins)...but more like sisters!











I don't like my Red Velvet Cake to be a
bright red color...so I added the special dark Hershey's cocoa, instead of the regular one. When you chill the cake, you can cut a perfect slice, just like this! I will share this 'failproof' and perfect recipe with you, step-by-step, so READ on!

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's The Season...for Dill Pickles?

It's The Season To Be Jolly...for Dill Pickles?...yes, and what a great gift for someone special who loves dill pickles, and better yet, homemade! You really can make your own fresh dill pickles, you don't need a whole case of canning jars, just two large 32 ounces (guess you would have to buy the whole case)...just need two large jars, 3 days to let it marinade in the homemade brine, and you can open it, and enjoy a crispy dill pickle with your favorite sandwich or burgers...yumm!
I must confess, I love pickles...any kind, dill, sweet, hot, half sour, but dill pickles, are my all-time favorite. I could munch on it, just by itself. Why would you want to pay $2.00 for a large dill pickle from the deli, or buy a jar of the refrigerated Kosher Dill's for up to $5.00 for a large jar, or even more! Those pickles are very good, and crispy crunchy, but sometimes they are too sour, too garlicky, or not sour enough. When you make your own brine for your pickles, you know that they are pure...no preservatives, no funny "off" taste, just pure fresh, crunchy dill pickles.

I checked so many different recipes, googled quite a few, but nothing seemed to be what I really wanted. The most important thing is the BRINE, and to make sure the pickles are the freshest, Kirby pickles you can find. The have to be really a nice healthy green color, no blemishes, and be sure they are firm! We find these at this time of the year in South Florida, the best to find is at a local produce market, or of course Whole Foods store.

Fresh Dill Pickles Home Made
my own recipe

2 cups white distilled vinegar
6 cups water
2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
4 cloves peeled fresh garlic
1 Tbsp. whole black pepper corns

2 small bunches of fresh dill (cut off bottoms)


6 to 8 Kirby pickles



In a large stainless steel pot, add the vinegar, the water,
salt, pepper corns, and bay leaves. Do not add the garlic or dill at this time, or the dill will get too wilted, and the garlic will get blue spots from the brine. Bring water to a boil, and boil on med. low for about 15 minutes. Shut the heat off, and let it steep for another 15 minutes OFF  the heat. Wash pickles real well in the sink, or in a bowl, and take off the end stem, if any. Make sure your jars and lids are sterilized already. You can just run it through the rinse sickle of your dishwasher, or boil them in a large pot of water for about 10 minutes, and let it cool down.

Cut the pickles in half, or in spears, and carefully pack  them in the jar, with the clean dill sprigs, and place the 2 garlic clove each, for the two jars, on the bottom. You can now pour the pickling brine almost to the top, making sure you spoon out the pepper corns, and the bay leaves to divide among the two jars. Close the lid tightly, and when it gets cool enough, place them in your refrigerator, for at least 2 days...3 or more days, is even better, up to 1 week to marinade. (I only kept it for 3 days before I opened the jars)

Make sure you check the jars at least twice a day to turn it upside-down, to let the marinade flow through all over!
Keeps up to 4 weeks in the fridge...if it should lasts that long! Very, very good, not too sour, not to garlicky, just right, crispy, crunchy and totally the best pickles, if you love Dill pickles!


Since I'm a "thrifter" I used last year's Christmas wrap to cut about two 4x6 inches of wrapping paper, overlapped the two, placed it on the jar top, placed a rubber band around it, and with plain scissors, cut around it in a zig-zag design. I also purchased a roll of gorgeous bow from Michael's, which is such an amazing store for crafts, and things, for $2.99 on sale, at a 50% discount. Tied a nice bow around it, and my special gift is ready for a special pickle lover recipient! The other jar, I already opened, to keep for myself, and to share with family! (also for my photo shots)

You can use smaller jars, for the pickles, (probably about 4) Recalling one recipe, on the Internet, I really cringed at the thought of up to 10 lbs of Kirby cucumbers, putting them in the bathtub...yuk! Doesn't matter how clean is your bath tub, to me, just is not something I would do. In a clean kitchen sink, with less...let's say about half the amount, maybe up to 5lbs, is more like it! ...but then, you need a lot of empty sterilized jars, and a "cold basement"...which we do not have here, in South Florida, so small amount is the best, and to refrigerate it!

So that's it for now...just a little suggestion for 1 of many, many homemade gifts you can give with "love" and from the "heart"
Thank you for all you kind and loving comments, I appreciate all of you, and just don't go overboard trying to please someone with "unrealistic" spending. You can make a person so happy, just by making something by hand, like crafting, baking a special treat, give a nice picture frame with a favorite photo of yourself or them; any of these gifts cost so little, yet means so much to the recipient you are giving it to!
Hugs, to all!
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Baked Barbecue Country Pork Ribs... and a giveaway!

This may not be a "baking blog" but I assure you, for sure it's a "food blog", which actually, in the beginning, less than a year ago, started out to be a blog about mostly thrifting, and some food. We all have to eat, but where, and how we eat, and mostly what we eat...who we eat with, seemed more of a challenge than finding a bargain at our favorite thrift shops. I like to make my rounds every week, to cook at my friends' once a week, or at my daughter's or my son's, so basically, I only cook for myself about twice a week, realistically. It still is a late winter for some of you, but for us right now, is our spring. A barbecue "indoors" is so much easier, when it's for 2 people, than barbecuing outside and dealing with all the cleanup mess. I found these lovely country ribs at my local market, and I knew what I would want to make as a side dish with it to share with my friend. A side of "doctored up" baked beans, mashed potato, and sauteed sauer kraut. Yumm! As a matter of fact, everything was doctored up...even homemade barbecue sauce for the ribs...and let me tell you. You can have "finger licking good" barbecue sauce that you made, instead of the ones in a bottle, which is ready made. Slather it on for the last 25 minutes, and you have the best barbecue ribs, "this side of south Florida"...not Texas!