Perfect as a side dish or standalone meal, this rice and eggplant one-pot dish is easy and delicious. This full-flavor rice can accompany a simple grilled fish or chicken. It is also a great accompaniment to a mix green salad for a meatless dinner. Do not use pre-cooked, pre-seasoned, or converted rice for this recipe. These types of rice will not absorb the flavors or produce the right texture. When selecting the eggplants at the market, feel them to be sure they are firm. If they feel soft, it means they are full of seeds, which is not desirable. The homemade tomato sauce is incredibly easy. It only simmers for 30 minutes, so you can check on it while you pan fry the eggplant.
Course: Side Dish
Prep: 1 hr
Inactive: 1 hr
Cooking: 30 mins
Total: 2 hr 30 mins
Yield: 6 servings
- Baking Sheets
- Shallow bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Paper Towels
- 2 1/2-quart baking dish
- 3-quart heavy saucepan or small Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid
- Large frying pan
For the Casserole
- 1 cup long-grain raw white rice, cooked (preferably not converted)
- 2 medium firm eggplants, peeled and cut into slices ¼ inch thick
- Coarse-grained Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- ½ cup all-purpose flour, for dredging eggplant slices
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying eggplant slices
- 2 cups simple homemade tomato sauce, recipe follows
- 1 (8-ounce) package mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Unsalted butter, for greasing baking dish
For the simple homemade tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and finely minced
- 1/2 cup good-quality dry white wine
- 1 (28-ounce) can good-quality crushed tomatoes in puree
- 1/2 cup hot good-quality chicken broth (preferably homemade)
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 4 drops hot sauce
- 6 fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley (small tender stem and leaves only)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled (preferably Dominican, Greek, or Mexican oregano)
- Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on several baking sheets. Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant slices generously with the kosher salt and allow it to sit for about 1 hour to sweat out the extra moisture and with it a good bit of the bitterness of the vegetable.
- To make the tomato sauce, in a 3-quart heavy saucepan or small Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.
- Add onion. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.
- Add the wine. Bring the mixture to a boil and scrape any brown bits up from the bottom of the pan into the onions with a wooden spoon.
- Add tomatoes, broth, sugar, hot sauce, basil, bay leaf, parsley, and oregano. Stir well to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Bring to a rapid simmer. Cover. Reduce heat to lowest setting possible. Simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, until sauce is quite thick and homogenous, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- While tomato sauce is simmering, transfer the eggplant slices to a colander in the sink, and rinse well under cold water.
- Transfer eggplant slices to a work surface and pat them dry with paper towels. Set aside.
- Line 2 baking sheets with paper towels and set aside.
- Place the flour in a shallow bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Place a oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Lightly butter the bottom and sides of 2 1/2-quarter baking dish. Set aside.
- Heat about 1/4-inch olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot, working one at a time, dredge the eggplant slices in the flour and shake off excess flour. Add as many eggplant slices as you can comfortably fit in a single layer in hot oil. Cook quickly, turning, until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes on each side.
- Using tongs, remove the fried slices from the pan and place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices. (Note: Take care to reheat the oil back up to temperature before adding another batch of eggplant slices to the pan.)
- When all eggplant slices are transferred to the prepared baking sheets, seasoned them lightly with salt and pepper.
- To assemble the dish, line bottom of prepared baking dish with half the cooked rice. Cover rice with half fried eggplant slices; the eggplant slices can overlap slightly. Evenly sprinkle half of the parmesan and mozzarella cheese over the eggplant. Pour half of the tomato sauce over all to cover. Repeat the layering one more time. Alternating layers of remaining rice, eggplant, parmesan cheese, and sauce, and finishing with remaining mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce.
- Put the dish in the oven and bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
- Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
- Leftovers keep well, covered, and refrigerated, for about 4 days. Reheat before serving.
This mouthwatering cheese stuffed chicken breast recipe completely delivers. It always turns out tender and juicy. It is delicious, low carb and very easy to make! This is a recipe you will come back to time and time again.
Course: Main Course
Prep: 15 mins
Cooking: 20 to 25 mins
Total: 40 mins
Yield: 4 servings
- Meat mallet
- Large cutting board
- Heavy-duty plastic wrap
- Small mixing bowl
- Silicon spatula
- Skewers or toothpicks, for securing chicken rolls closed
- 12-inch heavy skillet with a tight-fitting lid
- 4 large boneless chicken Breast
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature (Do not leave unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 green onions (green and white part), thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, smashed, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup good-quality chicken broth (preferably homemade)
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley (leaves only), for garnish
- In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, chopped green onions, garlic and lemon juice using a spatula until mixed. Set aside.
- In a shallow dish, add the flour and season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Set aside.
- Pat chicken breasts dry with paper towels.
- Spread a sheet of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Place 1 chicken breast in the center of the sheet and top with another sheet of plastic. Gently pound it with the flat side of a meat mallet to an even thickness, about 1/4-inch thick. Arrange chicken in a single layer in a shallow dish and repeat process with the remaining chicken breast.
- Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Put 1/4 of the cheese mixture onto the center of each chicken breast. Starting at the long side, roll chicken breast up, keeping the cheese mixture in the center. Secure with a skewer or toothpick and dredge in the seasoned flour, shaking to remove off any excess.
- Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat.
- Using tongs, lower the chicken breasts into the skillet seam side down and cook until lightly browned on both sides, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate reserving the cooking juices in the skillet.
- Add broth to the reserved cooking juices in the skillet. Using a wooden spoon, stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to get any flavorful browned bits left behind off the bottom of the pan. Return chicken and any juices that collected on the plate into the skillet. Adjust the heat so that the sauce gently simmers. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.
- When done, transfer the chicken to a cutting board and remove the toothpicks. Slice each breast into 3/4-inch rounds.
- To serve, arrange the sliced breasts on a serving plate and pour the sauce over the top. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately.
Toasting the almonds is the secret touch to a perfect nutty flavor. Toasting the almonds first forces the almonds to release their oils and take on a richer and nuttier flavor. The cookie dough itself is not very sweet because the cookie balls are coated twice in powdered sugar. The first coating happens two minutes after the cookies come out of the oven. The warm exterior of the cookie causes the powdered sugar to stick, and as they cool, the powdered sugar adhering to the surface becomes very sticky. It is this sticky surface that makes the second coating of powdered sugar cling to the cookie and form a dry and powdery sweet casing for the rich and nutty cookie.
Prep: 25 mins
Chilling: 1 hr
Cooking: 10 to 12 mins
Cooling: 12 mins
Total: 1 hr 49 mins
Yield: 48 cookies
- Simple food chopper or food processor
- Hand mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment
- Flour sifter
- Large baking sheets
- Parchment paper or silicon baking mats
- Plastic wrap
- Silicon spatula
- Cooling wire racks
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsifted powdered sugar
- 2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted, for rolling
Almond Tea Cakes Dough
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake almonds in a single layer in a large baking sheet 5 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.
- Place the toasted almonds in the bowl of a food processor, and process until finely ground or the texture of coarse cornmeal, 15 to 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. set aside.
- In the bowl of the electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Using a spatula, scrape down sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and almond extracts; beat to combine.
- Reduce the speed to low; gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix on low until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the toasted ground almonds.
- Use your hands to press the dough into a solid mass. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Making the Almond Tea Cakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats. Set aside.
- Remove dough from refrigerator.
- Scoop and shape dough into 1-inch balls, by rolling 2 teaspoons of the dough between the palm of your hands. (Note: The dough will be crumbly, so you will be rolling dough into spheres between the palms of your hands.)
- Place cookies 1 inch apart on lined baking sheets.
- Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. (Note: Do not allow these cookies to get brown. it is better to undercook them than to overcook them. Cookies look very pale when done.)
- When done, remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet until cooled enough to handle but still quite warm, about 2 minutes. (Note: The cookies will immediately fall apart if handled straight out of the oven, but firm up nicely when cooled.)
- When cookies are cooled enough to handle, place the sifted powdered sugar into a shallow dish and roll each warm cookie gently in the powdered sugar until completely coated. Transfer the sugar-cover cookies to wire racks to cool completely, about 10 minutes.
- Once completely cooled, roll cookies again in powdered sugar until completely coated. Store in an airtight container. (Note: Make sure cookies are cooled before storing them, otherwise they will get soggy.)