A Company Dinner for 2:  SALMON ATOP EGGPLANT & MARINARA SAUCE AND TOPPED WITH PUREED WALNUT – GARLIC SAUCE

–salmon (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–eggplant (4 slices one-half inch thick)

–marinara sauce (6 tablespoons)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

walnut sauce:

–15 whole walnuts, toasted

–garlic (minced, 1 tablespoon)

–olive oil (3 tablespoons)

1 – Spread the marinara sauce on the bottom of a covered baking dish.  Place the eggplant slices on top.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  Set aside.

2 – Place the walnuts in a food processor.  Add garlic and olive oil.  Puree until smooth.

3 – Place the salmon atop the eggplant and marinara sauce.  Season the salmon with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Spread the walnut sauce on top.  Microwave on high for 8 minutes.

4 – Serve the salmon hot, atop the eggplant and marinara sauce.

–eggplant/marinara sauce inspired by City Grocery restaurant, Oxford, Mississippi (John Currence, chef) with the current redfish entrée.

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LEMONY SHRIMP SALAD WITH DIJON – HORSERADISH – MAYONNAISE / BACON-FLAVORED AVOCADO DIP WITH PAPRIKA & LEMON / OVEN FRIED GARLIC – HERB EGGPLANT

–shrimp (half a package, thawed from frozen)

–lemon juice

–Dijon mustard

–horseradish sauce (bottled)

–mayonnaise

–avocado (1, medium)

–Bac’n pieces (soy bacon)

–paprika

–garlic – herb breadcrumbs

–olive oil

–salt and pepper

–eggplant (one-half, large, no peel)

1 – Place one-half package of thawed shrimp in 1 layer in a large, wide-mouthed, covered baking dish with 1 inch of water.  Microwave for 3 minutes on high.  When finished, drain the shrimp in a colander.  Place the shrimp in a small mixing bowl.  Add 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of horseradish sauce, and 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise.  Season with salt.  Stir well.  Keep in the refrigerator until time for dinner.

2 – Cut open an avocado and remove the pit.  Cut the avocado while still in the shell, and then turn out on a cutting board.  Mash the avocado with a fork.  Place in a small mixing bowl.  Season with Bac’n pieces, paprika, and lemon juice.  Stir well.  Keep in the refrigerator until time for dinner.

3 – Cut 3 large slices of eggplant, and the cut around the peel.  Discard the peel.  Slice the eggplant in pie-shaped pieces.  Place in a plastic bag with a very tiny amount of water and some olive oil.  Pour in one-third cup of garlic – herb breadcrumbs.  Shake well.  Place the eggplant in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Add more olive oil if desired.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.

4 – Serve the avocado dip as an appetizer.  Then serve the shrimp salad cold, with the eggplant as a side.

–avocado dip and shrimp salad from To the Taste of a King; eggplant original.

CRAB CAKES & MEDLEY OF BROCCOLI – EGGPLANT – GREEN ONION IN WHITE WINE – SOY SAUCE – GINGER – GARLIC – DIJON SAUCE

–crab cakes (ready – prepared or make your own; use search box on this blog for a “simple dinner” recipe for crab cakes)

–broccoli (one-half head)

–eggplant (2 slices of a large eggplant)

–green onion (2 stalks, chopped)

–white wine

–soy sauce

–ginger

–garlic powder

–Dijon mustard

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the crab cakes in a covered baking dish.  Add a little white wine and soy sauce.  Season with ginger, garlic powder, pepper, and olive oil.  Drop a dab of Dijon mustard on top of each crab cake.  Set aside.

2 – Cut off the stalk of the broccoli, and then cut the head into two pieces, reserving one-half for later.  Cut apart the florets and upper part of the stem.  Arrange in a circle in a covered baking dish.  Wash and the cut off 2 slices of eggplant.  Cut away from the skin, and then discard the skin.  Slice the eggplant into 1-inch pieces, and then lay the eggplant in the middle of the broccoli.  Wash and slice 2 stalks of green onion.  Sprinkle over the top of the broccoli and eggplant.  Add a small amount of white wine and soy sauce.  Season with ginger, garlic powder, pepper, and olive oil.  Drop dabs of Dijon mustard on top, to taste.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.

3 – Microwave the crab cakes for 2 minutes on high.

4 – Serve the crab cakes hot, with the vegetable medley as a side.  I also served butter peas with Bac’n pieces (recipe, see the search box on this blog).

–vegetable medley adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Eat Right, Eat Well—the Italian Way; sauce for crab cakes also adapted from Giobbi.

ROSEMARY CHICKEN WITH GARLIC – BANANA PEPPER – BAY LEAF IN WHITE WINE / BACON – FLAVORED NAVY BEANS WITH SPRING ONIONS / GARLIC – HERB SUMMER SQUASH WITH SPRING ONIONS / EGGPLANT DIP WITH BLACK OLIVES – SESAME SEEDS – GARLIC

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–rosemary (fresh if possible)

–garlic salt

–banana pepper

–bay leaf

–white wine (cooking wine is fine)

–Bac’n pieces

–navy beans (dried; soak overnight)

–spring onions (8 stalks, divided)

–garlic-herb breadcrumbs

–eggplant (large; cook ahead of time so can cool)

–black olives (one-half small can)

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–sesame seeds

–lemon juice

1 – Place two-thirds cup of navy beans in a slow cooker.  Add 2 cups of water.  Dice 4 stalks of spring onions, and add to the cooker.  Season with one-half teaspoon of salt, generous sprinkling of pepper, and a few drops of olive oil.  Cook for 6 hours on low.  When finished, place setting on warm until dinnertime.

2 – Wash and then pierce the eggplant all around with a fork.  Microwave for 5 minutes; turn over and microwave for 5 minutes more.  Let cool, either on the kitchen counter or in the refrigerator.  When cool, rake out the pulp, discarding the skin.  Cut two ways across the eggplant pulp.  Place in a mixing bowl.  Add one-half can of slice black olives, a generous sprinkling of sesame seeds, a few drops of lemon juice, and a few drops of olive oil.  Season with salt, parsley, and garlic salt.  Stir well.  Place in the refrigerator until time for dinner.

3 – Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with a little white wine.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic salt, 2 bay leaves, and olive oil.  Dice one-half banana pepper and place on top of the chicken.    Set aside.

4 – Slice 3 small squash and 4 stalks of spring onions.  Place in two layers in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Sprinkle with a small amount of garlic – herb breadcrumbs.  Microwave for 4 minutes on high.

5 – Microwave the chicken on high for 5 minutes.

6 – Serve the eggplant dip with crackers as a first course.  Then serve the chicken hot, with the squash and beans as sides.

–eggplant dip adapted from food.com web site; chicken adapted from Italian Family Cooking (author Edward Giobbi); squash and navy beans original.

PESTO COD ATOP TOMATO SLICES WITH GARLIC – HERB BREADCRUMBS / OVEN FRIED EGGPLANT WITH TOMATO & VIDALIA ONION

–cod (size of 3 decks of cards, one-half pound)

–pesto sauce (bottled)

–tomato (2, fresh, divided)

–garlic salt

–basil (fresh if possible)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–garlic – herb breadcrumbs (boxed)

–eggplant (3 thick slices)

–Vidalia onion (1, small)

1 – Cut off 3 thick slices from a large tomato.  Place in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, basil, garlic salt, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Place the cod atop the tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place 2 tablespoons of pesto sauce in a small bowl.  Stir in 2 tablespoons of water.  Spread the pesto atop the cod.  Sprinkle lightly with garlic – herb breadcrumbs.  Set aside.

2 – Chop 1 tomato and 1 onion.  Place in a covered baking dish.  Season the tomato and onion with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Cut off 3 slices of eggplant.  Place in a plastic bag.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Pour a small amount of garlic – herb breadcrumbs in the bag.  Shake well.  Place the eggplant atop the tomato and onion.  Add a little more olive oil on top.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

3 – Microwave the cod on high for 7 minutes.

4 – Serve the cod hot, with the eggplant as a side.

–cod adapted from “fine cooking” web site; eggplant original.

COD DIABLO WITH DEJON – MAYO – PARSLEY – CAYENNE TOPPED BY GARLIC – HERB BREADCRUMBS / BABY SPINACH WITH RED ONION / EGGPLANT CAVIAR WITH RED WINE – GARLIC – PARSLEY – RED ONION

–cod (size of 3 decks of cards, one-half pound)

–Dejon mustard

–mayonnaise

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–cayenne pepper

–garlic – herb breadcrumbs (boxed)

–spinach (fresh, 1 package, baby)

–red onion (1, divided, medium)

–eggplant (1, fresh, medium)

–red wine (cooking wine is fine)

–garlic salt

–olive oil

–bagel chips

 

1 – Early in the day or the night before, pierce the skin of an eggplant all around.  Microwave on for 5 minutes; then turn the eggplant over, and microwave for 5 minutes.  Let cool (refrigerator is fine).  Rack out the pulp of the eggplant onto a cutting board.  Cut in 2 directions.  Place in a mixing bowl.  Dice very finely one-half red onion.  Mince parsley.   Add onion and parsley to the bowl.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and olive oil.   Add 3 tablespoons of red wine to the bowl.  Stir the eggplant caviar very well.  Chill in refrigerator until time for dinner.

 

2 – Place cod in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Spread Dejon mustard on the top (to taste).  Then spread mayonnaise on top (to taste).  Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top.  Season with chopped parsley, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.

 

3 – Slice one-half red onion and place in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Dump package of spinach on top of the onion.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

 

4 – Microwave the cod for 6 minutes.

 

5 – Serve the eggplant as an appetizer with bagel chips.  Then serve the cod hot, with the spinach and onion as a side.

 

–cod and spinach adapted from food.com web site; eggplant adapted from Real Simple.

A Cajun Dinner:  SPICY EGGPLANT DIP / CAJUN 15 – BEAN SOUP WITH FAUX BACON – TOMATO – ONION – GARLIC / SPICY CHICKEN WITH SHAKE ‘N BAKE EXTRA CRISPY SEASONING – CAYENNE

–Cajun 15 bean soup mix (one –half, packaged – must be soaked overnight)

–onion (1, divided, medium)

–diced tomatoes (one-half can)

–garlic powder

–Bacn’ pieces (soy bacon)

–smoked turkey slices (sandwich meat, 6 slices)

–lemon juice

–eggplant (1, medium, fresh – cooked ahead of time, to cool)

–red wine (cooking wine is fine)

–parsley (1 handful, fresh)

–mayonnaise (1 tablespoon, optional)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–Shake ‘n Bake extra crispy seasoning mix (one-half package)

–cayenne pepper

–Cajun seasoning (or try Creole, available in most supermarkets)

–crackers (for eggplant dip)

1 – After soaking all night, place one-half of the Cajun 15 bean package in a slow cooker.  Add one-half chopped onion, one-half can of diced tomatoes, a sprinkle of lemon juice, diced smoked turkey slices, salt, pepper, one-half of the Cajun spices (comes in the package with the beans), two drops of olive oil, a sprinkle of Bac’n pieces, and 3 cups of water.  Stir.  Cook on high in the slow cooker for 8 to 10 hours.  When finished, keep on warm setting.

2 – Wash the eggplant and pierce all around with a fork.  Microwave for 5 minutes on high; then turn over, and microwave for 5 minutes more.  Let cool (you can use the refrigerator).  Chop one-half onion into fine pieces and chop handful of fresh parsley, adding both to mixing bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons of red wine to the bowl.  Open and slice the eggplant two ways, discarding the skin; then place in the bowl.  Season with salt, pepper, Cajun spice, cayenne pepper, olive oil, and garlic powder.  Stir well.  Refrigerate until serving time.

3 – Place the chicken in a plastic bag.  Season with salt, pepper, Cajun spice, cayenne, and olive oil.  Pour half a package of Shake ‘n Bake extra crispy seasoning mix into the plastic bag.  Shake well.  Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

4 – Serve the eggplant with crackers as an appetizer.  Then serve a cup of soup with the chicken.

–eggplant dip adapted from Real Simple; bean soup adapted from package instructions; chicken adapted from Shake ‘n Bake package instructions.

SPICY CREOLE TILAPIA / TUSCAN EGGPLANT APPETIZER

–tilapia (2 fillets, medium)

–cayenne pepper

–Creole seasoning (boxed)

–Worcestershire sauce

–chicken broth

–oregano

–onion bits

–parsley

–eggplant (1, medium)

–basil, oregano, garlic powder

–salt and pepper

–onion (chopped, one-half, medium)

–olive oil

–Parmesan cheese

–Italian seasoning breadcrumbs

–tomato (1, medium)

–crackers

 

1 – Prepare the eggplant ahead of time, so that it will cool.  Wash the skin of the eggplant, and puncture with a fork all around.  Microwave on a plate for 5 minutes on one side; then turn over for 5 minutes more.  Cool in microwave or the refrigerator.  When the eggplant is cool, cut off the stalk, and then cut open lengthwise.  Rake the inside onto a cutting board.  Cut two ways, and then place the eggplant flesh in a mixing bowl.  Finely chop the onion, and chop the tomato.  Place in the bowl.  Season with basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, olive oil.  Add one-fourth cup of breadcrumbs, and one-fourth cup of Parmesan cheese.  Stir well.  Keep in refrigerator until serving time.

2 – Place the tilapia in a covered baking dish.  Season with Creole seasoning, parsley, cayenne pepper, oregano, salt, pepper, onion bits, and olive oil.  Add chicken broth just to cover.  Sprinkle Worcestershire sauce over the whole.  Cook for 4 minutes in the microwave on high.

3 – Serve the eggplant appetizer with crackers while the tilapia is cooking.  Serve the appetizer cold and the tilapia hot.

–eggplant adapted from allrecipes.com; tilapia adapted from The Commander’s Palace New Orleans Cookbook.

SALMON WITH PAPRIKA & GARLIC / CHICKPEA SLAW / SEASONED TOMATO / EGGPLANT APPETIZER WITH PARSLEY & TOMATO SAUCE

–salmon (the size of 3 decks of cards)

–paprika

–garlic powder

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–chickpeas (one-half can)

–slaw (one-half package)

–cumin

–coleander

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–mayonnaise

–lemon juice

–tomato (one-half per portion)

–eggplant (1 medium)

–tomato sauce (one-fourth can)

–onion (one-half medium)

–red wine (cooking wine is fine)

–Triscuits (or other crackers)

 

1 – Wash eggplant with soap and water, and then use a fork to pierce the skin all over.  Cook in microwave on a plate on high for 5 minutes on one side; then turn over and cook for 5 minutes on the other side.  Let cool (in microwave or in refrigerator).

2 – Cut off stem of the eggplant, and then cut open the eggplant lengthwise.  Rake out the pulp of the eggplant onto a cutting board. Discard the skins.  Cut the pulp two ways across.  Place in a mixing bowl.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of red wine, tomato sauce, parsley, and olive oil.  Stir well.  Refrigerate until cool.

3 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish.  Add a little water.  Season with paprika, garlic powder, olive oil, and parsley.  Set aside.

4 – Add one-half package of shredded cabbage (slaw) to a mixing bowl.  Pour in one-half can of rinsed chickpeas.  Chop one-half onion.  Season the slaw with cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, olive oil, and mayonnaise (2 tablespoons).

5 – Cut a tomato in half.  Place in covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.  Cook for 2 minutes in the microwave on high.

6 – While serving eggplant appetizer with crackers, cook salmon for 4 and one-half minutes on high in the microwave.  When finished, test to be sure that center is done.  If not, continue cooking for 1 minute more.

7 – Serve the salmon and tomato hot, and the slaw cold.  Serve the eggplant appetizer cold.

–salmon and tomato adapted from Real Simple; slaw adapted from the web site “serious eats”; eggplant recipe original.

LEMON CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP / EGGPLANT DIP / GREEN PEAS WITH MUSHROOMS

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–lemon juice

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–penne pasta

–oregano and basil (fresh if possible)

–garlic powder

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–eggplant (medium)

–tomato (fresh, medium)

–onion

–feta cheese

–Parmesan cheese (shredded)

–red wine (cooking wine is fine)

–green peas (frozen)

–mushrooms (I use baby bellas)

 

1 – Using a slow cooker, add 4 cups of chicken broth to the chicken  and one-fourth cup of lemon juice.  Season with salt, pepper, oregano, basil, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Cook from 8 or 9 in the morning to 5 or 6, on low.  Thirty minutes before serving, take out the chicken and shred it with two forks.  Return to the cooker, adding at the same time, 1 cup of pasta.   Continue cooking for the 30 minutes.

2 – Cook the eggplant ahead of time to allow time enough for it to cool (you can cool it in the refrigerator).  Cook for 5 minutes on each side.

3 – To prepare the cooled eggplant, cut off the stem and discard.  Cut lengthwise and rake out the inside of the eggplant.  Discard the peeling.  Cut the fruit of the eggplant two ways with a knife.  Place eggplant in a mixing bowl.  Chop one-half of the tomato into fine pieces.  Chop one medium onion.  Add tomato, onion, one-fourth of a small container of feta cheese, one-fourth cup of Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons of red wine to the eggplant.  Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Stir well.  Place in the refrigerator to cool.  (This dip can be made ahead and leftovers are also possible.)

4 – Place half a package of green peas in a covered baking dish.  Chop 2 or 3 mushrooms and place on top.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook for 4 minutes while serving the eggplant dip.

5 – Serve the eggplant dip as an appetizer with crackers or pumpernickel bread.  Serve the chicken noodle soup and green peas hot.

–recipes original.

PAPRIKA TILAPIA / SESAME EGGPLANT DIP / SQUASH AND ONIONS WITH FAUX BACON

–tilapia (the size of 3 decks of cards)

–paprika

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–eggplant (medium)

–sesame seeds (bottled)

–feta cheese

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–squash (3 young, small, and tender)

–onion

–Bac’n bits (soy bacon)

 

1 – Cook the eggplant ahead of the meal, so that it has time to cool before preparation.  To prepare in microwave, cook 5 minutes on one side; then turn over and cook 5 minutes on the other side.  When cool, slice downward lengthwise.  Remove seeds and rake the eggplant onto a cutting board.  Cut 2 ways, repeatedly.  In a mixing bowl, add half a small carton of feta cheese, one-half cup of fresh parsley leaves, cut (or 2 tablespoons dried), a generous sprinkling of sesame seeds, salt, pepper, and olive oil to season.  Refrigerate.

2 – Place tilapia in covered baking dish.  Sprinkle with generous amount of paprika, then salt and pepper, and olive oil.  Add a tiny amount of water to the bottom of the dish.  Set aside.

3 – Peel and cut squash and onion.  Place in a covered baking dish.  Salt, pepper, and add Bac’n pieces to taste.  Season with olive oil.  Cook on high in microwave for 4 minutes.

4 – Serve the eggplant with crackers as an appetizer.  Meanwhile, cook the tilapia on high for 4 minutes.

5 – Serve tilapia hot and squash warm.

–eggplant adapted from Real Simple; tilapia adapted from Pierre Franey’s 60 Minute Gourmet; squash adapted from my mother’s recipe.