Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January Boat Club Potluck and Eggplant Bake

It's always fun seeing what people bring to our monthly Boat Club Potluck.   This is an evening where we not only eat good food, we get to socialize, play games (if you want to), and eat.    Sometimes it feels like the food is the focus of the evening, but really, it's getting together with friends, meeting new people, and just hanging out.
I know my focus is FOOD, just kidding, but I love to see what people bring, it's endlessly fascinating.   And what amazes me every time, that there is such an incredible variety of dishes, and it always works.  Some months we do have more dessert type dishes, some months more entree's, some months side dishes, but it always works out.    I've never gone home hungry, and I don't think anyone else has.   And I'm shameless, I admit it, I love to try everything, and then pump the cook on how they made it.    I've duplicated a few things at home or stuck the 'how to make this' into my cookbook file on my computer.    I have a huge file of recipes that I want to try sometime, or they just looked intriguing, or...   And then there's all the printed cookbooks I have that I scour on a regular basis for ideas.  

Without further ado, I made my Eggplant Bake yesterday.     I had in mind that it was a nice break from all the rich foods from Christmas, and I just plain like Eggplant anyway.   I was also running errands yesterday and got into a bad time crunch so I switched up the process a little.   I'd already planned on baking the eggplant slices rather than pan frying them, so that helped a lot, timewise.   I dipped the slices of eggplant in some beaten egg, then into some panko bread crumbs.   They went into the oven on a baking pan, in a single layer and were drizzled with some EVOO, and baked for 15 minutes at 475 deg.  (YIKES).   While they were baking, I hurried up and sliced some mushrooms and threw them into a frypan with some EVOO and a tablespoon of butter and sauteed them for just a couple of minutes.   By this time the eggplant slices were ready to go into a greased pan, and I layered them on the bottom of the pan, then put the mushrooms on top, sprinkled them with a 1/4 cup or so of parmesan cheese and then placed a layer of thinly sliced tomatoes on that.   I finished the whole thing off with a layer of sliced Provolone cheese and a strip of mushrooms for garnish.   Baked it off at 350 deg. for about 40 minutes.  By baking the eggplant first and just drizzling them with olive oil, I think I saved a few thousand calories.   Eggplant is like a little sponge, you get any kind of fat next to it and it goes "Slorp" and sucks it in.   So I think I circumvented the "Slorping" a little.  Hey, it's my fantasy and I'm sticking to it.
Eggplant Bake

And of course the main cast of characters, whoops, dishes that were shared:

An interesting Lobster and Chive cheese log.  Really yummy. 
Lobster Cheese

Crab Cakes (loved the dipping sauce, really tangy)
Crab Cakes

Egg Rolls, the dipping sauce here, spicy, it hit the spot.
Egg Rolls

Deviled Eggs (I didn't get a chance to get one, they disappeared, fast)
Deviled Eggs

Baked Ziti,

Fettucine Florentine Bake, really interesting, and nice and light
Fettucine Bake

Green Bean Salad with Feta Cheese and Cherry Tomatoes, I could have made a meal of this.
Bean Salad

Smoked Country Style Ribs, I had mine plain, but there was BBQ sauce to be had.
Green Onions, aren't they cute in the glass?
And of course we can't forget the desserts;
Chocolate Bourbon Cake
Banana Bread

Pumpkin Bread


And as always, too much food, giggle, but all of it wonderful.     I'll go ahead and post this now, and then get busy planning what I'm going to make for Tapa's night this month.   Nothing like planning ahead.    
Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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