I have a good friend, Tanya, who teaches me how to cook different Asian dishes. Sometimes we cook together. Sometimes she cooks and then explains how it’s made. Sometimes she just gives me a recipe and suggests I try it. This was one of those recipes. It is from her brother who submitted it to his local cookbook. And it is delicious.


    5 – 6 Tbl salt
    5 – 6 Asian Eggplants peeled and cubed
    5 Tbl oil
    6 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
    4 – 5 Tbl Basil leaves, chopped
    2 Tbl sugar {I would use less next time – very sweet!}
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    4 – 5 Tbl cilantro, chopped

Soak the eggplant in water with the 5-6 Tbl salt for about 15 minutes. Strain and rinse.
Heat the oil. Add the eggplant and fry for about 5 minutes. Flip them over and continue to fry until crispy with soft centers.
Add the sugar, garlic, and basil. Stir fry about 2 minutes.
Add the sugar and soy sauce. Stir fry an additional 3 minutes or so.
Serve over rice.

I’m always looking for new ways to cook eggplant especially when the garden gives us a great bounty – or someone else’s garden. And frying is not always an option.

Thanks, Tanya, for another good recipe.

Now! About that deconstructed wonton soup…..

Last week we said good bye to Chef Pepin. This week we are saying hello to our new chef – Ellie Krieger. In case you don’t know her already you can see her Bio HERE! We will be cooking with her for the next six months. And that is exciting. I was introduced to Ellie’s wonderfully tasty and healthy recipes almost 6 years ago when I joined Craving Ellie in my Belly. That group is now defunct but I loved the first dish I made – Peach French Toast Bake and I’ve never looked back. And now I get to cook with Ellie twice a week because, with 6 other ladies, I am cooking my way through Ellie’s newest book Weeknight Wonders over at Eating with Ellie.. Twice a WEEK!! That’s what I call good times!

I’ve had my eye on several Ellie Dishes so I figured I would use one of those to introduce Ellie Krieger.


This is her Mushroom, Onion, and Gruyere Quiche with Oat Crust

The crust is made with rolled oats, butter, and buttermilk and just a pinch of flour. And it is wonderfully crispy and tasty. The crust is layered with shredded Gruyere cheese and then piled with mixed mushrooms before being covered with an egg/milk mix. Talk about good. It was hard NOT to eat the WHOLE thing!


    Cooking spray
    3/4 cup rolled oats
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    3 tablespoons cold, lowfat buttermilk


    4 teaspoons olive oil
    1 medium onion, sliced thinly into half moons
    4 ounces sliced mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster, shiitake {I used button and a “Forest Blend” of dried ‘shrooms.}
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dry)
    3 large eggs
    2 egg whites
    1 1/2cup low-fat 1% milk
    3 Tbl AP flour
    3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese (about 1-ounce)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.

Process the oats, flour, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 3 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until you get a pebbly course texture. Add the buttermilk and pulse until the mix comes together. Form the mixture into a disc and chill for about 45 minutes.Place it between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll out into a circle about 10 inches in diameter. {As you can see I made mine in a rectangular tart pan so I had to roll it out differently and then patch it here and there.}

Remove the top sheet of waxed paper. Transfer the crust, still on the other piece of waxed paper to the pie dish, then remove the waxed paper from the top. Press the crust gently into the dish. Bake for 9 minutes, then let cool. {I completely missed this part about pre-baking but it came out just fine!}

To prepare the filling, heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large nonstick pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan and heat over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have released their water and begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, mustard, and thyme.

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, egg whites, flour, and milk.

Sprinkle the cheese into the pie crust. Top with the mushroom-onion mixture and pour the egg mixture on top. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for 35 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 wedges and serving.

I was wondering why Ellie had the cheese sprinkled on the bottom. Usually it is mixed in. But then I took my first bite and the first flavor was the smokey Gruyere I used and THEN the mushrooms. Perfect! And lots of ‘shroom flavor.

Definitely a repeat.


The recipe is on page 23 of Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix and a different version on FoodTV

See how the others welcomed Ellie over at I Heart Cooking Clubs

Need a cake that would go with everything? Then this is the one.


The mild vanilla flavor makes this one adaptable to just about any topping. From simple powdered sugar to ice cream and chocolate ganache. And, AND, it goes together in no time with ingredients you know you have in the pantry: AP flour, vanilla, sugar, butter, and eggs.

Donna baked hers in an 8″ x 8″ pan but I made mini cakes instead. Had to — opened the chill chest and discovered all I had was 4 oz of butter and recipe called for 8. No problem. Just enough batter for 3 small cakes.

The recipe is on page 152 of Donna’s off the shelf and was Peggy’s pick for the week. The rest of the cakes can be found on Wednesdays with Donna Hay

This was the last week to cook with Chef Jacques Pepin. It has been quite a fun 6 months trying so many of his wonderful recipes. Some of the dishes I made included:

Looking back I see that most of the dishes I made were sides. And that is usually what I have the most trouble deciding on with meals. Pepin made it easy. So I decided to say goodbye with just one more.


    Risotto with Vegetables

Which was delicious. So full of vegetables it is almost a meal in itself.

    1 cup of chopped peeled asparagus
    1 cup of frozen peas
    1 cup of julienned mushrooms
    1 cup of diced red (or orange) bell pepper
    2/3 cup chopped fennel

all mixed into a creamy risotto.

Pepin does his risotto a different way than I am used to. Usually one adds some broth a bit at a time and stir, stir, stir, stir until the rice is creamy. But Pepin sautees the cup of Arborio rice in butter and olive oil then adds 2 1/2 cups of the broth cooking only about 12 minutes and only stirring 2 or 3 times while keeping it on covered over medium heat. The last cup of broth is added with ALL the veggies {except the fennel which he added earlier} and cooks uncovered for another 5 minutes. This means of course that you aren’t completely tied to the stove cooking the risotto. And then, right before you serve it – add about 1/4 cup grated Parm. Perfect risotto!! And perfectly DELICIOUS.

The recipe is from Pepin’s Jacques Pepin’s Table on page 163. Also, there is a VIDEO where he makes this risotto along with some other dishes.

Stop by the IHCC webpage for more Au Revoir Chef Pepin Dishes.

My choice this week and I had to go with a shrimp dish.


And this was a good one. Even though I only made 1/4 of the recipe. One meal. But definitely a keeper and repeat. I was pulling out the ingredients and found I only had 4 ounces of orzo. Which is unusual because I usually keep it stocked. And did they have any at the store – NO!! So 1/4 recipe it was.

Shrimp, peas, basil, mint, shrimp, onions, lemon, all topped with feta right before serving. How can one possibly go wrong with that?

The recipe is on page 180 of Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders which is the book the Eating with Ellie group is working through for the moment. We will probably branch out into other books later. We’d love to have you join us. The recipes are listed on the EwE page. We post every Thursday. And we would add your choices to the rotation in December. Thank about it!

So many mushrooms in this dish. It was earthy. Rich. Filling. Delicious.


Hazan uses dried porchini mushrooms as well as fresh crimini to make this tasty pasta. Throw in some fresh tomatoes, onion, and parsley and you have the perfect meal.

The recipe is on page 90 of Hazan’s 30 Minute Pastas.

Check with Kayte, Peggy, Chaya, and Glennis and see if they made a pasta this week.

We only have two more weeks with Jacques Pepin and I still have plenty of recipes of his I want to make. So while I usually use other chef’s recipes for the PL I needed this one for Pepin.


I love Sweet Potatoes and this is the beginning of the season and they are starting to cure and gain sweetness. I am always looking for new ways to cook them. This one was perfect since the oven was on anyway.

    4 medium sweet potatoes (3 pounds), peeled and sliced 1 1/2 inch thick
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    1/3 cup pure maple syrup
    1/3 cup water

Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into 1″ slices. Place potato slices in water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook until just tender
Place in a casserole dish and dot each slice with butter.
Drizzle maple sugar over potatoes and then sprinkle with water.
Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Turn the slices over and bake an additional 25 minutes until tender and slightly browned. Original Recipe

I made about 1/4th of the recipe just for me. Easy. Sweet. Tasty. Definitely a repeat.

Other dishes in the Potluck this week? Visit with I Heart Cooking Clubs.


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