Eggplant Chèvre Sandwiches

Source: The Parkdale Potluck Cookbook
Made: December 22, 2013
Yield: 4-6 servings
Time to make: 35 minutes.

A melt-in-the-mouth appetizer or snack in which bread is replaced by slices of eggplant.  I really, really like this.

Eggplant Chèvre Sandwiches

Eggplant Chèvre Sandwich

Eggplant Chèvre Sandwiches
1 large eggplant
2-3 medium ripe tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Goat (Chèvre) cheese

Cut eggplant into 1/3 inch slices. Sprinkle with salt and let sit between two sheets of paper towel for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the tomatoes and chop finely.
Add a clove of garlic, finely chopped to the tomatoes.
Add olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Slice enough cheese to cover ½ of the slices of eggplant.

Remove the eggplant from the paper towelling and pat dry.
Cook on barbecue or grill until light brown.
Brush with olive oil and continue cooking until golden.
Remove to a cookie sheet  and place it back on grill where it can keep warm.

Spoon tomato mixture onto half of the eggplant slices. Add a slice of goat cheese.
Top with another slice of eggplant. Serve as soon as cheese has softened.

 

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Coo’s Lunch

Source: The Parkdale Potluck Cookbook
Made: September 30, 2013
Yield: 2 servings
Time to make: 15 minutes

Since I prefer not to use the canned food the recipe calls for, I took a little more time to make this, but still under 30 minutes.  Rather than canned cream of mushroom soup, I made up a white sauce flavoured with fresh mushrooms, onion and nutmeg.  And instead of opening a can of mixed vegetables, I steamed some fresh vegetables I had on hand: carrots, green beans and celery. I also had some leftover mashed potatoes from a previous meal to use as a base.

The recipe is subtitled “Shepherd’s Pie” but it is not baked.  It is really a meat sauce to serve over potatoes, rice or noodles. Perfect for a quick meal on a busy day.

Coo’s Lunch

Coo’s Lunch (Shepherd’s Pie)
1 lb. ground beef
1 10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1 14 oz. can of mixed vegetables, drained
Boiled potatoes (may be mashed)
Butter or margarine

Empty the undiluted soup into a saucepan and warm through.
In a skillet or large pot, melt butter or margarine over medium heat.
Brown the ground beef in the butter until it is fully cooked.
Add the soup and vegetables and mix well.
Let simmer a few minutes to heat through.
Serve over warm boiled or mashed potatoes.

Note: The contributor of this recipe was Bonnie Briggs, one of my first acquaintances when I moved to Parkdale. She was a woman who had known poverty first-hand and a powerful and dedicated advocate for affordable housing.  It was with sorrow I learned of her passing a few weeks ago.  RIP Bonnie. (October 6, 2017)

Homemade Macaroons

Source: The Parkdale Potluck Cookbook
Date tried: March 3, 2014
Yield: 12-24 cookies
Time needed: 20 minutes

For a dessert challenged baker like myself, no-bake cookies are a no-brainer. And macaroons are one of my favorites.  These are very good, but heavy on the cocoa and oatmeal.  I would like to find a recipe that lets the coconut shine through.

The recipe calls for setting the cookies on wax paper, a commodity I seldom have in the house.  I was about to add that to the shopping list when it occurred to me I could probably use the banana leaves that have been sitting in my freezer. Sure enough, once thawed out and softened with coconut oil they worked just fine.

The recipe says 12 to 24 cookies depending on whether you use a tablespoon or teaspoon to spoon them out, but I got nearly 4 dozen using a tablespoon.

Homemade macaroons

Homemade macaroons

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Elisha’s Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Source: The Parkdale Potluck Cookbook
Date tried: August 9/16
Yield: 2 dozen
Time needed: 45 minutes

These are one of the staff-created variations on the basic muffin recipe used by Alternative Grounds, a popular fair-trade coffee roasters in Toronto. Sadly they no longer operate the restaurant where these muffins were served each morning, but the coffee is still available at various local outlets.

This is a very good muffin, moist and tasty. Good call, Elisha!

Elisha's Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Elisha’s Apple Cinnamon Muffins

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Spinach and Feta Phyllo Triangles

Source: The Parkdale Potluck Cookbook
Date tried: December 8, 2012
Yield: About 4 dozen
Time needed: approximately 45 minutes unless you have a helper.

This is a great little snack. I like the fact that the light phyllo pastry does not overwhelm the spinach-feta filling, but lets it shine through. They are wonderful morsels of good taste. For me, the only drawback is that I find the assembly process too finicky and time-consuming if I am working alone. But as long as someone else is making them, these get a thumbs up from me.

Spinach and Feta Phyllo Triangles

Spinach and Feta Phyllo Triangles

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Roasted Vegetable Couscous Salad with Harissa-style Dressing

Source: The Parkdale Potluck Cookbook
Date tried: May 21, 2016
Yield: variable, make as much as you need
Time needed: 30 minutes to roast vegetables; about 20 minutes to assemble after vegetables have cooled.

It is often worth while to give a recipe a second try. I didn’t care much for this the first time I tried it, but realized I had made it in a hurry. So I tried again taking more care. I even roasted the vegetables a day ahead so I could pay full attention to making the dressing and salad. And it was quite good!

Roasted Vegetable Couscous Salad with Harissa-style dressing

Roasted Vegetable Couscous Salad with Harissa-style dressing

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Ten Minute Greek (ish) Style Spinach and Rice

Source: The Parkdale Potluck Cookbook
Date tried: July 22, 2013
Yield: 2 servings
Time needed: 10 minutes

Prior preparation needed:
Cook rice

This is a very quick and simple one-pan meal for two.  Can be put together in a jiffy with pre-cooked rice. The recipe title says “spinach” but any favorite green will do.  The greens in the picture are arugula.

Ten-Minute Greek(ish)-Style Spinach and Rice

Ten-Minute Greek(ish)-Style Spinach and Rice

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