by The Critic
What's on the menu at your house? Here's what I've been cooking...
Shrimp & Herb Stuffed Mushrooms
Mixed Greens with Garden Vegetables
Grilled T-Bone Steak
The trick to this menu is timing. A good half hour before the steaks are to hit the grill it will be necessary to make sure the coals are properly prepared. I don't recommend the use of chemical fire starters. Men are generally good with grilling so rely on their expertise. The steaks are not to hit the grill much more than 10 to 15 minutes after all the other food is almost ready to serve.
The appetizer can be prepared as much as a day ahead of time and so can the Mixed Green Salad with Garden Vegetables. I garden so I often times grow my own cucumbers and tomatoes... I also like to add bite size slices of squash, zucchini, radishes, onion, mushrooms - but feel free to use whatever veggies you are growing or can get at your local super or farmers market.
The Eggplant Casserole is easy enough to prepare and can be made with and without the sausage. I'm married to a man who thinks a meal is not a meal without MEAT.
The Roasted Corn recipe I adapted because while I lke rolling fresh corn-on-the-cob in heavy duty foil and roasting the corn in the coals of the grill, I find corn-on-the-cob to be too messy and except for the most casual of occasions.
The timing for cooking this meal allows both cooks to sit down and enjoy the meal together and can be prepared to serve as many family and friends as necessary (and can afford... T-bone steaks are expensive so I don't usually serve T-bones at large family and friends gatherings ... okay so I'm a tightwad - I can't grow cows... not in this subdivisions). This menu can easily be prepared to serve two or more and can easily be on the table within 30 minutes from start to finish if you do a little early prep work (Rachael Ray's meals can't be done in 30 minutes without planning, prep, and practice - and she makes over 6 million dollars a year pretending we can all cook 30 minute meals - yea right - try it - I have and discovered she is a fraud).
quanity is planned to serve 2 hungry cajun adults; double or triple recipe as needed
1 large or 2 medium eggplants
1 to 1 1/2 lbs Green Onion Sausage
1/2 green or red bellpepper - diced
2 stalks of celery - diced
1 to 1 1/2 onion - diced
Herb seasoned bread crumbs (homemade or store bought)
Parmigiano-Reggiano or type of cheese you prefer
2 tablespoon of butter or margerine
2 tablespoons olive oil
Cut into same size chunks
Drop in boiling, lightly salted water
When tender; allow to drain for 10 minutes or so.
Precook green onion sausage in a skillet while boiling eggplant.
Saute bellpepper, celery, and onion in butter & olive oil till tender, then mix with cooked sausage and well-drain cooked eggplant. (HINT: dice and saute twice as much bellpepper, celery, and onion as will be needed for casserole - half will be used in casserole and half will be used in shrimp stuffed mushrooms.)
After all ingredients are well blended, place in a casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees; after 15 minutes top eggplant casserole with a mixture of herb seasoned bread crumbs and cheese of choice, and bake for another 5 or 10 minutes till cheese is melted and slightly browned.
The steaks should hit the grill about the same time you top the casserole with herb seasoned bread crumbs and cheese
to be continued...