It was a long day. Everyone was up too early and cranky. I knew The pizza I had started for dinner (chicken parm with onions and peppers and homemade sauce and pesto with grilled eggplant, hot Italian sausage, roasted tomatoes, and red pepper) wouldn’t be done in time for the kids and that I couldn’t wait until after they were in bed. So I had a little feast. The only thing missing was Alexa, and maybe a nice baguette. I made do with decent crackers.
My spread included grilled eggplant, white bean and roasted tomato spread, aged gouda from Trader Joe’s, and sausage. I dipped everything, except the cheese in the spread and layered things on crackers and sipped a glass of wine. I listened to Indigo Girls and remembered simpler times. I put the pizzas together around feeding too kids and holding one, then the other. It was a simple little late afternoon feast that was lovely at the end of a long day, but would have been better with company.
Technically, it’s not grilled, though you could
Slice eggplant on the diagonal. Sprinkle with coarse salt and layer between paper towels. Weigh it all down (a full tea kettle on top of a towel works nicely for this). Let sit for an hour or overnight.
Remove the weight and blot off any liquid beading on the eggplant.
Coat the bottom of a cookie sheet with olive oil. Spread the eggplant and drizzle with a little more olive oil. (Sometimes I sprinkle this with crushed red pepper flakes too.) Put into a 350 degree oven until the eggplant starts to brown slightly on the edges.
Cool and eat or store. Mine have been in the fridge for about a week and were still good. They are particularly good on pesto pizza.
White Bean–Roasted Tomato Spread
Drain and rinse can of cannellini beans. Put in a mini food processor with about a cup of roasted tomatoes and some of their oil. Process until smooth. Spread on bread or crackers or use as a dip with veggies (like grilled eggplant).
Salmon and Salmon hash
We had salmon last night. I intended to cook it in the oven, but the brief return of summer made the grill look more appealing. I did a half-hearted, quick marinade. Brian grilled it, and we ate with wild rice and spinach sauteed with garlic. And there was plenty left over.
I like salmon, enjoy it for dinner, but usually when I buy it, my mind is on the next morning and salmon hash.
We usually eat it with cheesy eggs. Today, I cooked down some chopped plum tomatoes and resauteed the spinach before I added the eggs. Mmmm. What’s not to like about left-overs?
- leftover salmon
- potatoes (baked the night before)
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- Chop an onion, sprinkle with salt, and saute in a little butter and olive oil until just starting to brown.
- Add chopped baked potatoes. Drizzle with a little more oil, and pepper heavily. Add the salmon, chopped coarsely. It will flake apart more as it cooks.
- Keep cooking until all ingredients are heated through and potatoes start to brown a bit.
- Sprinkle with chopped, fresh parsley.
- Serve with cheesy scrambled eggs.
With the surprisingly cool June weather and no chili left in the freezer, it was time to get out our 16-quart pot. Two meats (beef and pork), five kind of beans (black, red kidney, rosadas, romanas, and pinto), green bell peppers, carrots, onions, garlic, and hots (12 dried habaneros and some Thai chilis too) simmered for hours with enough tomato products (sauce, puree, paste) to fill the pot. Several hours later we had about 13 quarts of a very tasty chili.
Chili for dinner:
Last night we had chili pizza for dinner: sourdough crust topped with chili, covered with sharp cheddar (we use Cabot’s hunter sharp), sprinkled with diced onions and peppers and topped with a little more cheese for good measure. I make chili just so I can make this pizza. (We actually made two, so we have lots of leftovers.)
Chili for breakfast:
Beat 5 eggs and 5 Tbsp. of milk. Melt a generous dollop of butter in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Pour in the eggs. When they are almost cooked through, cover half with chili and shredded sharp cheddar. Fold over the other side of the egg. Cook until the cheese starts to look melty. Flip it all over (yeah, it might get a little messy) and cook a minute or two more. Serve with sourdough toast (from the bread you happened to make while making your sour dough crust). Makes enough for two grown ups and one toddler.
Chili for lunch:
Heat up leftover chili in a pan and serve over rice with cheese. Quick and satisfying on another cool, rainy day.
You could do all of these with a veggie chili and they’d be just as yummy. (Though I always forget you don’t eat eggs either, so the omelet is out. Which is too bad, because it really hit the spot for me this morning.)