Saturday, October 20, 2012

Baking spree (part 1)

The week went by so fast! The hubby and I went grocery shopping last Tuesday and the following day I cooked Cheesy eggplant layers?!

Eggplant + breadcrumbs + Cheese = yummy in our tummy! :)
I started to soak the eggplants early before I forget to do so. I was looking at a recipe online and I remembered that I had one from a recipe book. The recipe online was easier and healthier because the one in the book was telling me to deep fry the eggplant before baking. The thought of oily eggplants made me cringe. Eeeew! So I went with the one online, which I was already using in the first place! Here's the online recipe. I added lean ground pork to the dish since I didn't want to shock my family, especially my kids with a full on vegetarian meal. So after reading the online recipe again and again, it seems that there are some parts of the procedure missing since it didn't mention how to use the breadcrumbs so I improvised! I followed the cooking time but when the timer was nearing zero, it looked like the eggplants were still hard and raw, while our tummies were already starting to rumble!!! A very dangerous combination. So I investigated further. I tried poking the eggplant and it wasn't quite done. So what my hubby did was to increase the oven temp up to 10 degrees and add 10 min of cooking time. After that, the recipe said it needed to stand for 5 minutes more but we couldn't wait anymore so we started to dig in! It was a success, almost! Our son didn't like it but our little girl finished lunch peacefully and my hubby and I, of course we ate it! It was just like eating lasagna!  It was a very filling meal!

Here's a recipe of what we did..

250 g lean ground pork
4 pc (450 g) medium eggplants, each piece sliced lengthwise into 4
1 pc (50 g) egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (55 g) bread crumbs
1 pouch (250 g) tomato sauce
1 cup (115g) grated cheese, depends on how much you like to put
1 pc medium bell pepper, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Pear or slice eggplants lengthwise, into four strips. Soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before baking.
  2. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F
  3. Make the sauce. Heat up a sauce pan for sauteeing. Put the flame on low and put in the lean ground pork. Stand by the pan and stir occasionally so the pork won't stick to the bottom ( if you're not using a non stick pan) and to evenly cook the pork. Do this for 15 minutes or until the pork has turned brown or to the color that you will preferably eat ground pork. When this happens, wait for a few minutes more so the pork fat (or what's left of it) will come out. You will use this oil to sautee the ingredients for the sauce.When the oil has come out. Put some salt and pepper. put the onions, garlic and bell pepper in. Sautee them until done. Done is when the onions are transparent.Add the tomato sauce and boil for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper according to your taste.
  4. Beat the egg in a container where you can also dip the eggplants. Put some salt and pepper to the egg. Drain the eggplants and dip them into the egg with salt and pepper.
  5. Arrange the eggplants at the bottom of an 8x8 in pan, if you want 2 layers. (Use a 9 x 13 in pan if you want only one layer. Mine was only one layer.) Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top of the eggplants. Pour the sauce in and finish with spreading the cheese on the sauc
  6. Bake in the oven for 35 - 40 minutes.
Enjoy! :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

Wow! It's been ages since I posted on this blog. Well anyway, I would like toshare another dish that was a hit to my family. I found it online and it's called, drumroll please......

I have been thinking of trying to cook this dish the normal way but just thinking about the steps and the rolling of the chicken and all of that makes me so tired already. ( I know I'm so lazy sometimes!) So, while finding an easier way to cook cordon bleu, I found this recipe! 

It was so easy!
  I just had to thinly slice the chicken. Lay the pieces on the pan, lay the ham on the chicken followed by the cheeseand then top all of it off with buttered bread crumbs.

                   Put it in the oven and voila!

          Yummy in our tummy! :)

I didn't make the exact cream sauce in the recipe. I only used the first five ingredients for the sauce and it still tasted great :)

And now for the recipe..

*Serves 6

For the Cordon Bleu:
3 large chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise (to form two thinner chicken breast cutlets)
12 slices deli ham
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 to 1/2 pound thinly sliced swiss cheese

For the Parmesan-Dijon Cream Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules (or 1 bouillon cube, crushed)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs and melted butter. Set aside.
Lay the cut chicken breasts in a single layer in the 9X13-inch dish. Layer each chicken breast with two slices of ham and top with 2 slices of swiss cheese, shingling across the chicken breast to make sure the entire chicken breast is covered with ham and cheese. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of the chicken.
Bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through completely, the cheese is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden.
While the chicken bakes, in a medium saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in the flour, whisking constantly, while cooking the flour/butter mixture for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking quickly. Stir in the chicken bouillon granules and salt. Whisk constantly over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken, about 3-5 minutes. Once the sauce has bubbled and thickened, remove from heat and stir in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Keep the sauce warm until the chicken is finished baking.
Serve each chicken cordon bleu portion with warm sauce.

Make Ahead Instructions: Assemble the chicken, ham and cheese according to the recipe. Store the prepared bread crumb/butter mixture in a resealable plastic bag or other container. Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and store it and the bread crumb mixture in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. When ready to bake, sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top and bake according to the recipe, adding anywhere from 5-15 extra minutes since it was refrigerated prior to baking. Make the sauce while the casserole bakes or make it ahead of time, let it cool, and store it covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, reheating over low heat and whisking to recombine before serving.

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe