Sunday, March 10, 2013

In These Days of Lenten Journey...

Lent in the Catholic faith means many things, prayer, reflection, sacrifice, and meatless Fridays!  With our crazy schedule, meatless Fridays lately have meant grilled cheese sandwiches, or frozen shrimp for dinner. :(  With Thing Three having team practice from 4:30-7:30, I am just not available to fix a decent dinner for the masses.  Hmmm...I guess I should start looking back to my crock pot again.  And, Sarge has been busy with duty calling him to do his job, so he has not been able to work like I expect him.  :)

Sarge tends to be my Lenten chef.  He makes a mean grilled Salmon, and his Ahi tuna is to die for (lol, that has to give me some Lent Joke points somewhere!!!)  He can do a decent shrimp scampi, but not nearly as good as Big Scary Guy's!  Although my face actually turned red from how spicy his was, it was very tasty.    Sarge decided a couple of weeks ago that he wanted to try his hand at an Eggplant Parmesan.  Sarge and I had it once before, a very long time ago, when we were stationed at the Presidio.  A girl who I used to talk to while waiting for the bus in the mornings invited us over for a dinner party.  That was our first and only experience with Eggplant Parmesan, but it was quite good.

Now growing up, Ms. Daisy used to make Veal Parmesan   I know, Veal, oh my goodness.  Well tough, it was breaded veal patties, and it was yummy, so get over it. :)  This became my "go to" meal with the kids when they were little.  Of course I changed it from Veal Parmesan to Chicken Parmesan, but the concept is still the same.

I think I ate Chicken Parmesan every night on our California trip when I was in second grade, much to my dad's dismay.  We would stop at Denny's for dinner, since it was reasonably priced, and my parents knew that we would eat from the menu.  I ordered the same thing all 7 days on the way out and 5 days on the way back.  Yeah, I am a closet Italian. :)

So the basic Chicken Parmesan is just breaded chicken patties with cheese and marinara sauce baked and served on top of spaghetti noodles.  I can have the whole recipe made within an hour with very little effort.  I did make it from scratch, once.  You know, where you pound out the chicken dredge it, fry it and then bake it with the cheese and sauce.  Like I said, I did it ONCE....so not worth the effort.

So Sarge decides that he wants to make it from scratch.  Yea!  When, well, that took a couple of weeks to get on the schedule.  He gave me the list of ingredients, and while I like to keep a well stocked pantry, and most of the ingredients are basic, several of them were fresh, so it meant a trip to the store.  Did you know that Buffalo Mozzarella is not always carried in stores?  Who would have thought that.  I did get fresh mozzarella, but not the traditional...oh well.

I do not have his recipe, so I cannot share the whole thing, but I can tell you it uses: Eggplant, Italian style bread crumbs, plumb tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, garlic, fresh mozzarella, Buffalo mozzarella, and Parmesan. No spaghetti noodles required!!!

He served it with garlic bread (since I had bought some), but decided that the salad on the side was probably not necessary since it had the Eggplant and Tomatoes in the dish.  End result was AMAZING!!!  Of course, Thing Three would not eat it, but that was pretty much to be expected after she heard there were Eggs in it! ;)  Thing One was still doing his rice thing, so he missed out, but Thing Two seemed to like it.  I think it will be a repeat, but maybe we will tell Thing Three that it is Vegetable Parmesan instead.  :)

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