The E.V T.V Show

…the food I make, the plants I grow, and the items I create.


Leave a comment

Marinated Eggplant Sandwich with Mozzarella and Soppressata

This past summer, I had the opportunity to visit a friend in Italy. Everything about Italy was fantastic; the scenery, the wine, the food…and the sandwiches were the best. Freshly-baked bread layered with honest, real ingredients.

Marinated Eggplant Sandwich

Often wrapped in butcher paper and served with a light drizzle of olive oil and vinegar – no soggy bread. These grab-and-go sandwiches became our staple lunch.

Marinated Eggplant Sandwich

Reminiscing about picnic lunches in Italy, I decided to whip up a batch of these at home this weekend. They were simple and flavorful. The perfect combination. I can’t wait for warmer weather and a blanket under a maple tree.

MARINATED EGGPLANT SANDWICH WITH SOPPRESSATA AND MOZZARELLA

total time ~30 min       yield: 2 sandwiches 

ingredients  

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 sandwich rolls or bread of your choice
  • 1 jar (8 oz) roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry, and halved
  • 1 jar (8 oz) marinated eggplant, drained, patted dry, and halved
  • 6 slices of fresh mozzarella
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced soppressata
  • 1 cup of arugula
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the rolls in half and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Bake until lightly toasted. Let bread cool.
  2. On one half of the roll, layer soppressata, mozzarella, eggplant, roasted red peppers, and arugula.
  3. Drizzle balsamic vinegar on the other half of the roll.
  4. Place sides together and cut roll in half. Enjoy!


Leave a comment

How to Make the Perfect Bechamel Sauce

Dress your favorite veggies in a bechamel sauce for added flavor and fun!

Dress your favorite veggies in a bechamel sauce for added flavor and fun!

A bechamel sauce, or white sauce, is the base to a fair number of delectable creamy dishes and once mastered, there is no stopping you! Add freshly grated cheese and turn your bechamel sauce into a mornay sauce, which can be used in a homemade macaroni and cheese or drizzle on top of broccoli for a kid friendly parent approved side dish.

Learning how to make a bechamel sauce was one of my greatest culinary feats.

At first I was so intimidated. While frantically stirring and juggling the flour, the pan, the whisk, the… I felt as if I either needed a third arm or for the whole process to slow down. To top it off, the recipes were all so precise, which can be challenging when you are a cook and not a baker. What is a measuring cup?

But with a little bit of practice, I mastered my own rhythm and you can too – I promise it is not that hard!  Below I will share with you a few of my secrets on how to make a perfect bechamel sauce every time.

I love making and eating this sauce almost as much as I love saying it. BEH shah mell Cooking is about feeding the body and the soul. It has to be fun.

 

BECHAMEL SAUCE

Total Time: ~15 minutes   Yield: 1 cup

ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • A dash of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp of mustard powder
  • 1 tsp of horseradish
  • 1 cup of milk at room temperature
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Required Cooking Tools:  1 medium sauce pan, a whisk, a fine mesh colander

As you play around with the methods and the recipe you may find you prefer using different tools.

directions

  • To make a bechamel sauce, you begin by making a roux. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Melt butter of medium heat.

Melt butter of medium heat.

  • While the butter is melting, over a bowl to minimize mess, place one tablespoon of flour  into the fine mesh colander. You will lose some to the bowl, but that is okay.
  • Once the butter is melted, bring the colander to the pan and tap it a few times – try and cover the bottom of the pan in a thin layer of flour. This method evenly distributes the flour and breaks apart clumps.
Use a fine-mesh colander to sift flour.

Use a fine-mesh colander to sift flour.

  • Return the colander back in the bowl and whisk the flour and butter together . Repeat this until there is no more flour in the colander and the flour butter mixture in the pan has created a solid mass. If you need to add more or less flour.
Allow the roux to toast - creating a nutty flavor.

Allow the roux to toast – creating a nutty flavor.

  • Let the roux toast for a minute or until golden brown.  Now it is time to make the bechamel sauce.
  • Add two tablespoons of milk to the pan and whisk. The flour will initially absorb the milk and do the opposite of what you are expecting – that is okay. Add another two tablespoons and whisk again.
Slowly add the milk and whisk!

Slowly add the milk and whisk!

  • You should begin to see the roux thinning. Continue to do this until the roux has been dissolved into the milk. Now you can add the rest of the milk.
  • Let it simmer for a minute, stir.
  • Add in the mustard powder, horseradish, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • If you want to make a mornay, or cheese sauce, now is when you can add the cheese. Cook until cheese is melted. Enjoy!