Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dinner at my sister's house

We were invited to my sisters for dinner tonight. I brought an appetizer which was the rice balls from Simple Italian Snacks. Made a fresh tomato sauce for dipping. The sauce was just fresh plum tomatoes that were seeded, a clove of garic and a 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Put the ingredients in a processor and chopped. It was a nice sauce. My sister made these eggplant meatballs, recipe is below and also spanikopta. I did not take a photo of the Eggplant Balls. But the recipe is from Claire's Corner Copia Cookbook. The restaurant, Claire's Corner Copia, is in New Haven and serves the best vegetarian food. My sister baked the eggplant balls instead of frying them. Here is the recipe-

Eggplant Balls

1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 eggplants, peeled and diced

2 tbsp water
2 cups bread crumbs

1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
4 oz shredded mozzarella, optional

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup flour or more for rolling the eggplants balls

Soybean or vegetable oil for frying (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently, until softened. Add the diced eggplant and stir to coat. Add the water, cover and cook about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the eggplant is very soft. Remove from the heat and turn into a bowl. Add the bread crumbs, parsley, basil, mozzarella if using, eggs, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir to mix well. Taste for seasoning. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes.

Form the mixture into balls, bite-sized for appetizers or larger for entrees. Carefully place the balls in a cookie sheet while you form the rest. Measure about 1/2 cup flour into a shallow bowl. Gently roll each ball in the flour to coat evenly.

To fry the balls, heat the soybean or vegetable oil in a large non stick skillet over medium heat. Arrange the balls in the hot oil, allowing a little space in between. Fry each side about 1 minute, until golden brown, turning carefully. Drain on a cookie sheet lined with a double thickness of paper towels while you fry the remaining balls. Heat additional oil if necessary.
If you prefer, you can bake the balls in a preheated 350 degree oven about 30 minutes, turing once after 15 minutes.

For dinner my brother-in-law made a dish which has a name I can not even attempt to spell. It sounds like giambotto. It is made with chicken and ribs and potatoes and sweet potatoes and red peppers and celery... It was delicious. He said it was my mom's recipe. I remember her making it and her saying that it used every pan in the kitchen but it was worth it. I have requested the recipe and will share when it arrives.
Well here it is... this is from my brother-in-law but it is just the way my mom would have given it to me -

Quantities are determined by number to be served or as your mom would figure the fourth infantry could show up unannounced.

Veggies are cut into larger than bite sized pieces - onion, carrot, celery, red pepper, potatoes seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano. Mix into a large bowl with olive oil. Place in pans and put into oven at 425. While that is going season meats - salt, pepper, oregano - chicken, ribs, sausage mix with olive oil. Sear on grill three/four minutes each before turning for an additonal three/four minutes more. When completed evenly distribute meats and vegetables in pans to continue baking until cooked at 325/350.

Recipe is not fixed as to ingredients other vegetables and meats could certainly be incorporated.
Individuals here cannot tolerate any mild heat, but I would certainly add some peperoncini flakes.
Thanks Ralph.

My sister-in-law made this awesome salad. It was the perfect ending to a filling meal. It had
jicama in it which I don't think I have had before. There is also rum in the dressing...

Mojito Salad
For the salad:
1/2 cup red onion, halved and thinly sliced crosswise and juice of 1 lime
1 Medium jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks or small cubes
1 Cucumber, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 Seedless watermelon, cut into cubes
1 lb strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise (substituted cantaloupe cubes of 1/2 cantaloupe)
1/3 Cup packed fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced

For Dressing
1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/3 cup of honey
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 1/2 limes)
1/ 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 teaspoons of Rum (optional)

To make the salad soak the onion in the juice of 1 lime for at least two hours
Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl
Whisk together Dressing ingredients and add to salad.

Dessert was a Vanilla Nut Italian Ice. Delicious.

It was an enjoyable meal where each part could have been a stand alone meal.


Laura said...

That salad looks delicious! I've been wanting to try jicama too. Thanks for sharing this one!

My Little Space said...

wow...can I join in too? ha ha...