This old Neapolitan recipe makes a delightful first course or antipasto, and it is much easier to make than it sounds. Using ordinary pear-shaped eggplants makes preparation a piece of cake. The best mozzarella is sold as small balls floating in little tubs of water and smells like sweet farm fresh milk; with some of that and a big chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano, this dish should quickly become a new favorite. If these ingredients are not available, try sliced mozzarella, and thinly sliced ham will work in place of the prosciutto.
2 oval eggplants, white or purple 1 cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed 1/2 lb. good mozzarella 1/4 lb. Parmigiano-Reggiano, roughly grated 1/4 lb. prosciutto or ham, sliced paper-thin olive oil to sautee eggpplant coarse salt freshly ground pepper 2 cups tomato sauce (to see our recipe click on "italian main" above) toothpicks
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Wash eggplants carefully and cut off top and bottom. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, end to end. Then continue cutting the eggplants into 1/4 inch thick slices. If you have a mandoline it will make this part go much faster.
3. Cut prosciutto or ham to roughly the width of the eggplant slices. Depending on the mozzarella you use, either cut the balls in slices about 1/4-inch thick, or slice the block about the same width as the prosciutto or ham. Rinse basil leaves and pat dry on spread-out paper towels.
4. Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and place a few at a time in a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Sautee, turning until very lightly golden on both sides and softened. Set aside on paper towels to cool.
5. On a large flat work area, lay out one eggplant slice. On it, layer one slice prosciutto, and two or three basil leaves, and the mozzarella, followed by a dash of salt and pepper. Starting at the small end, roll it up and run through with a toothpick to hold.
6. Place the roll-ups in a baking dish and top with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top. Bake for 25 minutes. Let stand five minutes and serve hot.
1 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin fillet Salt and pepper 3 tablespoons butter, divided 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 cups beef consomme, available on soupaisle 2 teaspoons prepared Dijon style mustard 1/4 cup sour cream, eyeball it 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil, 1 turn of the pan in a slow stream 1/2 small onion, sliced 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cornichons 1 pound extra wide egg noodles, cooked to package directions Chopped parsley leaves, garnish Thickly sliced pumpernickel bread, optional
1. Slice meat into 1/2-thick by 2 -nch long very thin strips and season with salt and pepper. Set in freezer.
2. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and cook with flour 1 minute. Whisk in consomme. Thicken 1 minute. Stir in mustard and sour cream, thicken 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and season sauce with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a second skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter, then add the meat and onion and cook over high heat until brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Then add the chopped cornichons and stir to combine.
4. Arrange meat on a bed of egg noodles and top with Stroganoff sauce and parsley. Serve with thickly sliced pumpernickel bread.
This recipe is for the traditional shortbread style, a crunchy cookie instead of sponge cake.
3 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup white sugar 4 teaspoons baking powder 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 1 cup butter 2/3 cup heavy cream 1 egg, beaten 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries 3 tablespoons white sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and cream of tartar. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives. Stir in cream and egg. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 2 minutes. Press into a half-inch thick sheet. Cut into squares. Place on baking sheets.
Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, or until golden. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons sugar over sliced berries.
Let shortcakes cool before splitting and filling with sugared berries.
1. In a heavy sauce pan saute the onion in olive oil until translucent. Add the spinach. Stir until all of the spinach is coated with oil and has cooked down somewhat.
2. Remove from heat, add pepper and parsley. Set aside to cool then drain any remaining liquid.
3. In a large bowl crumble the feta cheese into the eggs. Add the cooled spinach mixture. Stir well.
4. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 14 inch baking dish.
5. Unfold the phyllo dough on a flat surface (cover with a clean, damp towel to keep the dough from drying out). Place the top sheet in the baking dish and brush with butter. Add the next layer of phyllo and brush with butter. Continue adding phyllo in this fashion until you have8-10 sheets on the bottom of the dish.
6. Add the spinach filling, then add each remaining sheet of phyllo brushed with butter. DO NOT PRESS DOWN.
7. Bake covered for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Drizzle the plate with a little balsamic vinegar for a nice addition.