So Good for the Soul in Houston (Mar. 8, 2014)
Cooking class host Georgia put it this way:
“Annie, I love this controlled, total chaos of cooking. It’s so good for the soul.” Yes, it is: the uniting of friends and family to put delicious flavors together – and then the sharing of the goodness. Good for the soul. Georgia and co-host Nancy pulled together a numerous cooking group in Houston- one of the most numerous on this tour. Georgia’s counters were piled with colorful vegetables and animated conversation among all our cooks accompanied the slicing and dicing, mixing and stirring as our tasty dinner came together.
See the good times below in the photos and you’ll note a couple comments on a favorite dish, melanzane marinate (marinated eggplant). Care to try out the recipe?
MELANZANE MARINATE (Eggplant/Tiny Tomato Sauteé)
– 6 firm, medium-sized eggplants
– olive oil (about a cup)
– sunflower seed oil (or another vegetable oil – about 2 c) 3 garlic cloves
– bunch of parsley or mint or basil (or combination of any) 3 garlic cloves
– white wine vinegar
– salt , pepper
Slice 6 medium, firm eggplants. Soak in salt water about 1/2 hour (put plate over eggplant slices and weight it so as to keep eggplants submerged) to remover bitterness. Water will be- come dark. Rinse eggplant a couple of times (to remove all salt). Dry on towel. When dry, put olive oil in large stainless steel frying pan. Oil should be about 1/4 “ deep. Heat oil and put in one slice of eggplant to see if oil is at frying tempera- ture. Do not let oil smoke. Add eggplant slices in one layer to hot pan. They should cover all the surface of the pan but should not overlap. Turn when golden brown.
Remove when golden brown on both sides and drain on paper towel. As you remove fried eggplant from pan, immediately add another to take its place, so as to avoid burning of oil. Put fried eggplants on large serving platter. Finely-chop generous bunch of pars-
ley or basil or mint (or combination of all three or any of the two or any one) with 3 garlic cloves. Add to about 1 c. of olive oil (with vinegar added to taste salt, if necessary) and pour over eggplant. Mix. Serve at room temperature. Can be made well-ahead. No need to refrigerate as vinegar preserves.
…and here are a few other comments:
“Thank you again, Anne! You are the best and as usual the party is a riot! What fun! Grazie” Nancy
“What a wonderful time getting to glimpse into cooking in a busy, small kitchen. The eggplant is melting in my mouth!” Hannah
“A great time and experience… can’t wait to connect in Umbria” Chip
“This was such a treat! Eggplant was totally inspiring!” Meg
“Annie, loved this evening… it’s all about la dolce vita!” Mitzi
“Love to cook – preferably dinner with friends – better if Italian!” Nissa
“So wonderful to watch you cook and to learn from you!” Elizabeth