Eggplant, Mushrooms and Cheeses Bake

Both mushrooms and eggplants have unique texture and mild flavor, that blends beautifully with cheeses. In the dish here, I decided to combine both in one bake, and the result was just what I was hoping for: tasty aromatic bake, with different soft textures of the mushrooms and eggplants, unique mild red wine flavor from the goat cheese and red wine, and crispy top, from the Panko breadcrumbs.
The bake can be served as a vegetarian entrée, as part of a brunch buffet, or as a side dish with chicken or meat. Try it and enjoy.

Notes:
* For more rustic texture and extra fiber, I didn’t peel the eggplant. If you feel this is too rustic for you, feel free to peel it.
* Drunken Goat cheese is a semi-firm Spanish cheese. It is cured in red wine, thus has a purple rind and a slight flavor of red wine. It is available in many stores, and online.
* For easier grating of the cheese, cut it roughly and place in a small food processor, fitted with the metal blade. Add 1 Tbs flour and process.

Makes: 16
Prep time: 25 minutes
Baking time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
1 Tbs light olive oil
2 Tbs butter
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 tsp salt + to taste
½ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix + to taste
8oz (225 grams) white mushrooms, legs removed, roughly cut
1 Large eggplant, cubed (about 4 cups) (see notes)
¼ cup flour
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
¼ cup rosé or red wine (I used rosé)
7 oz (200 grams) Drunken Goat cheese, grated (see notes)
1 lbs (455 grams) small curd cottage cheese, 4% fat
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
3-4 dried sage leaves, crumbled
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup Panko bread crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line a 12”x8” (20.5cm x 30cm) baking pan with baking paper.
2. Mix the oil, butter and garlic in a large frying pan. Sauté over medium-high heat for 30 seconds, and add the onion, salt and pepper. Mix and sauté, until the onion softens and starts to caramelize.
3. Add the mushrooms, mix and sauté until they start to brown. Add the eggplant, mix and cook for 6-7 minutes, mixing occasionally. Add the flour and mix well. Gradually, while mixing, add the milk and bring to an almost boil. Add the wine, mix and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Add the goat cheese and mix to melt.

4. Remove from the heat, let cool a bit and add the cottage cheese. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste, along with the nutmeg and sage. Add the eggs and mix well.

5. Sprinkle ½ cup of Panko breadcrumbs over the lined pan. Add the mixture over it and level with a spatula. Sprinkle the rest of the Panko breadcrumbs on top.

6. Bake for 1 hour, until the bake is set and the top is golden-brown. Let cool in the pan for five minutes before cutting.

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The following stew has few ingredients, yet lots of flavor; from the use of red wine as the cooking liquid, and from the aromatic “Herbs de Provence” mix seasoning. The dish is quick to assemble and prepare, and is perfect for easy entertaining. Continue reading

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Chicken thighs is  a part  of the chicken which I use often, and, as I’m not too fond of making the same dish over and over again, I try to find new ways to prepare it. Continue reading

Broccoli and Cauliflower Mini Bakes

Cauliflower and broccoli pair well together, and I often use them in the same dish, many times in the form of fries patties. In the recipe here, I’ve decided to bake the mixture rather than fry it, and the result was very pleasing. Continue reading

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While I usually combine filo dough with different vegetarian fillings, this time I opted for a meat one. My original plan was to use lamb, but when I saw bison meat at the store, I decided to make a switch. Continue reading

Fish and Crab Cakes

The following fish and crab cakes are quick and easy to make, and will delight even those who are not that much into fish, as mixing flounder fish with crabmeat, creates a unique texture and flavor. Continue reading

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Angel Hair Pasta with Lobster Tail and Lemony Sun Dried tomatoes and Capers Butter Sauce

Whenever I prepare lobster rolls (click HERE for the recipe), I cook one or two extra lobster tails, to use in different dishes.
This time, I decided to use the cooked lobster in a quick and light pasta dish. I opted for a lemony butter sauce, as the lemon beautifully complements the somewhat sweetish flavor of the lobster meat, and butter, as it simply makes everything better. Continue reading

Chicken Salad with Grapes, Tarragon, Mint and Walnuts

Chicken salad is a great dish for buffet-style relaxed entertaining. It can be prepared ahead of time, and tastes even better after chilling. It is easy to serve, and it pairs well with different dishes and salads. Continue reading

Beef Kebabs with Zhoug and Harissa Raw Onion Relish Ronit Penso

Beef Kebabs with Zhoug and Harissa Raw Onion Relish

Zhoug is an aromatic Yemenite hot pepper and cilantro paste, which is known all over the Middle East and the Mediterranean. It is mostly used as a condiment, but it is also added to soups and other dishes. In the dish here, I’ve decided to use it to flavor a raw onion relish, along with sweet Harrisa, a spiced North African hot peppers paste, which was served with broiled beef kebabs. Continue reading