Thanks to Erica for selecting me as the host of this week’s Blogger Secret Ingredient contest! I have been involved with this contest for a few weeks now and have even won a couple, so I know what it takes for a dish to be a winner. I can not wait to see how creative every one gets with my chosen ingredient!
For those newbies out there here are the rules:
- Recipes can be submitted by linking to my blog or e-mailing me with a link to your recipe.
- If you do not have a blog please feel free to join in! Simply send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org include your recipe and a photo of the dish I will be more then happy to post it for you.
- Please have all entries to me by Sunday Nov. 9, 8:00 pm est.
Ok so I have had you in suspense long enough, the BSI for this week is…….
That’s right I have chosen the lovely eggplant to be the star of the show this week. I know their season just ended (in October), but I found this lovely eggplant at my local grocery store for $1.00 so hopefully there are still good ones out there.
Fun Eggplant facts:
- Did you know eggplants are not vegetables but actually a fruit?!?!
- Eggplants contain Vitamin C and Potassium.
- Eggplants also have anti-bacterial, diuretic effects, as well as flavonoids (cancer fighting anti-oxidants).
- 1 cup cooked contains 25 calories.
Eggplant Cooking Hints:
- Do not cook in an aluminum pan. Aluminum makes eggplants discolor.
- The skin is edible in younger eggplants. Remove the peel in older eggplants.
- Cut each fruit before using, just like bananas. The flesh of the fruit will brown.
- Eggplant absorbs oil very easily; coat your eggplant with breadcrumbs, cornmeal or flour first before frying.
- To help reduce the bitter flavor in older eggplants, slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch pieces and salt heavily. Weigh down each slice in a colander and allow for the liquid to drain out of the eggplant
for 30 minutes. Rinse each slice with cold water and pat dry. This method is called “dégorgeing”. It is best to use this method before frying.
- In order to bake your eggplant, slice your eggplant in half. Score across the interior of each half. Add tiny slices of garlic to go into each score. Salt each half, and bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes. The eggplant is done when it is nicely browned and tender when pierced.
- When wanting to roast your eggplant, cut your eggplant into 1/2-inch slices. Toss in olive oil, salt, pepper and any of the other suggested spices below. Arrange the eggplant in a single layer in a baking dish (not aluminum). Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. The eggplant is done when it is nicely browned and tender when pierced.
And just to inspire some of you out there my the star of my dinner tonight was the eggplant. Enjoy my entry into the contest.
Balsalmic Eggplant Chicken Stacks
- 4 Slices of Eggplant
- 1/2 cooked chicken breast
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- balsamic vinegar
I started by grilling 4 slices of eggplant on the George Forman (about 3 minutes).
While those were heating I mixed together the chicken, feta, basil, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and evoo.
Once the eggplant was ready I made stacks by layering the eggplant, spinach, chicken mix, tomato and the top eggplant slice.
I put the stacks in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. Once out of the oven I drizzled more balsamic vinegar on top.
These were so easy to make yet looked and tasted so fancy. It was an awesome flavor combination and really made me happy I chose eggplant as the BSI.
For dessert I was in the mood for some fruit so I cut up a peach and made a small fruit salad with some grapes.
It was nice and light, exactly what my belly wanted.
This afternoon I had a snack of almonds
And then a Raspberry Fruit Leather.
Oh I almost forgot, the prize of the contest!! I swear that must me the most important part and it completely slipped my mind. Well since I completely forgot about it and do not want to disappoint, how about you guys help me chose the winnings?!?!?!
What would you like the prize to be? I created a poll of some choices and which ever selection has the most votes by the end of the contest, is what prize I will send the winner. This should keep it fun and hopefully motivate people even more to submit a recipe.