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Baked Eggplant Sandwiches – Get’em While They’re Room Temp!

I didn’t intend for this baked eggplant sandwich to turn
into yet another Super Bowl party food post, but two bites in and I realized
that’s what may have happened. The reason for this epiphany had nothing to do
with taste or texture, but with temperature. I’d forgotten just how truly
delicious these are served at room temp, which was always how the Italians I
learned this from served it.


Of course, like any normal person faced with a warm, cheese-filled
anything, I ate one as soon as possible, and it was great. Golden-brown and
crisp on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside. However, when I went back
for seconds an hour later, I got to experience these in all their cooled-off
glory.

While not as crispy, they were still crunchy around the
edges and featured an entirely different flavor profile. Hot salami isn’t the
greatest expression of the sausage maker’s art, and you really don’t appreciate
the eggplant’s subtle sweetness playing against the cheese when hot.


I’m not sure exactly why, but Italians seem to have a thing
for room temperature fried foods, especially vegetables. I’ve heard Mario
Batali talk about this before, but there seems to be a long tradition of
letting fried stuff cool down first before eating.



Happily, this practice works
perfectly for entertaining, since you can bake these off ahead of time, and put
them out on a tray anytime. Whether for your Super Bowl party, or not, I hope you give these addictive eggplant sandwiches a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for each eggplant sandwich:
2 thick slices eggplant (Note: some people salt the slices
to draw off liquid, which they say is bitter. I’ve done this for other eggplant
recipes, but not for these sandwiches. With the breading and filling, I
actually think the slight bitterness is an advantage.)
3 thin, small slices of salami
1/2 slice provolone cheese
1 generous tablespoon olive oil, divided
seasoned flour as needed (flour with enough fine salt,
pepper, and cayenne so that it tastes “seasoned” when you dip your finger in
it)
beaten eggs, as needed (2 eggs is enough for about 4
sandwiches)
plain breadcrumbs, as needed
1 tsp very finely grated Parmesan cheese

Dark Chocolate and Mint Chip Clouds

Easy light and airy cookies made with only 5 ingredients!

We’ve been making chocolate chip clouds for quite a long time in my house, my oldest daughter who is quite the baker, always makes, not because they are light (she’s too young to care about calories) but because they are so good. And, since her BFF has Celiac, these are the perfect gluten-free cookies to share.

They are light and airy and melt in your mouth. I think they even get better with time, and they last quite a while if stored in an airtight container.

When I saw these Dark Chocolate and Mint Morsels in Target, I knew I had to make these! They are the perfect addition to your Holiday Cookie Swaps.

If you like the combination of mint chocolate chip, then you’ll love these little clouds.

Helpful Tip: Always be sure your eggs are room temperature, and you use metal beaters and bowls for perfect meringues every time.


Dark Chocolate and Mint Chip Clouds

gordon-ramsay-recipe.com
Servings: 15 • Serving Size: 2 cookies • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 3 pts 
Calories: 130.5 • Fat: 5 g • Carb: 23 g Fiber: 0 g • Protein: 1 g • Sugar: 22 g
Sodium: 11 mg 

Ingredients:

  • 3 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dark chocolate and mint morsels (Nestle)


Directions:

Heat oven to 300°F. Cover cookie sheet with nonstick silicone pad or parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together in large bowl at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar a little at a time, then vanilla, beating well after each addition until you get stiff peaks, the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is glossy.

Fold in mint chocolate chips. Drop mixture by tablespoons onto cookie sheet.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes or just until dry. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely on wire rack. Store covered, at room temperature. Makes about 30 cookies.

Korean Fried Chicken Sauce – The Sauce of Things to Come

Who says you have to read H. G. Wells to reference him? Anyway, this lovely sweet and sour sauce is part one of a two-part series on Korean fried chicken. That video will be posted on Wednesday, and if you want to enjoy it at 100% awesomeness, you’ll want to whip up a batch of this stuff.


As I disclaimed in the video, this is just my take, and while I think it’s pretty classic, there are a couple of things I do differently. I like to add lots of green onion and garlic, as well as not cook this quite as long as most recipes call for. The result is a sauce with those ingredients a little more up-front in the flavor profile. The only drawback is you don’t get quite as deep a red color, but I can’t even pretend to be concerned with that.

By the way, you should try to find some Korean chili flakes and/or paste if you can. I’ve used them before, and the flavor is great, and obviously more authentic, but if you can’t, any hot chili flakes or paste will work. Now, all we need is some “KFC” to spoon this over. Stay tuned, and as always, enjoy!


Ingredients for about 6 servings:
1/2 cup ketchup
2 green onions, chopped fine
4 cloves of garlic, minced fine
2 tbsp honey
1 to 2 tsp red chili flakes, to taste
1 tbsp sambal chili sauce, or other ground chili sauce/paste, to taste
1 pinch of salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, juiced, or more to taste
1/4 cup water to adjust thickness, more as needed
*Note: everything in this is “to taste,” so adjust until you think it’s balanced between sweet, sour, and spicy.
— Combine ingredients and simmer on low for about 5 minutes. Cool and serve at room temperature.