Food Mentors

Tue, 14/07/2009
I come from a family that cooks. My mom had me at counter level as a preschooler, measuring, mixing and pouring. My dad used to make his famous spaghetti sauce when I was a child, allowing me dictate small things like "3 bay leaves or 4?" as he created his delicious sauce. But beyond my immediate family I have aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws that can all cook and bake like rock stars. This recipe idea came from my Uncle Frank, who is a chef through and through. Each year at our family reunion, he creates masterpieces for the grill and table and this year was no exception...grilled lamb and chicken kebabs, grilled Mediterranean vegetables and a horseradish hummus that was sublime. Don't even get me started on his wife, my Aunt Joanne's homemade baklava, but suffice it to say my mouth waters when I think of it today. But the biggest surprise from Uncle Frank and Aunt Joanne this year were baked eggplant chips that my boys gobbled up. A simple idea, they dredged thin slices of eggplant (I used one medium eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices) in an egg wash (I used 2 eggs whisked well) and then a panko/parmesan cheese mixture (I used 3 cups of panko, 1 cup of shredded parmesan): Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes, or until the crust begins to brown slightly: Eat plain or dipped in hummus or tzatziki. Thanks Uncle Frank and Aunt Joanne for a new way to serve the boys eggplant! SPC