I haven’t made this dish for years, mostly because Jeb thought eggplant looked alien and he wasn’t too keen on anything that looked alien. When he was growing up, he never had to eat anything alien looking and that was the way he liked it. I mean, you know, anything so purple just had to be deadly and evil, right?
Lately, he’s taken to liking my cooking and often asks me to even when I don’t feel like it. Meh. Guess I aught to have SOME value to him as a wife. But when I’m bored with what the boys are asking for AND I’m tired from work, I’ll tend to refuse and he’ll order out for pizza or make Hamburger Helper. *SHUDDER*
One time though (my opening and I pounced on it), he asked me why I didn’t want to cook that night and I told him I loved to cook but I was bored with the limitations of dealing with his and his son’s fussy tastes that tended to include very boring food. Much to my surprise, he said, fine, he’ll let me choose what to make and he’d eat it without complaint and so would his son.
I’ve been testing that out little by little and the results have mostly been very good and both are gaining more latitude about what they’ll eat and like.
Today when I was in the local Asian grocery store (which also carries Mexican food) and suddenly realized that everything I needed to make eggplant casserole was there. So guess what we had for dinner tonight? And Jeb liked it. Heck, even my little grandkiddies (Levi age 6 and Vanessa age 4) liked it… a LOT even… as well as the dragon fruit we had with it, another first.
So here’s what you need to make it:
Beef Tapa, cut up into little pieces
Bell peppers sliced into small pieces
Black Olives (minced)
Fresh herbs, minced: basil, marjoram, oregano, sage, spearmint, thyme…
Eggplant (I used two, each of them about a foot long), thinly sliced long-wise in the food processor and then cut into 3″ long pieces
Chunky Ragu (garlic, tomato, onion)
Prepare the vegetables, herbs, & tapas and then toss them together in a large bowl.
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Stir together in a large measuring cup 16 ozs of Crema Mexicano with 1 egg.
Pour half of the Raggu into a large baking dish. Pour the veggie meat mixture on top of that. Stir the cream mixture into this. Spread the remaining Raggu on top and place the casserole in the oven and bake for an hour and a half.
And the fresh eggplant smelled so amazingly fragrant while I was peeling it. It’s been so long since I peeled one I’d forgotten what they smelled like. It could be a perfume.
Anyway… my computer hard drive crashed last night so now I’m on my older computer, the laptop when the Geek Squad at Best Buy attempts to fix the new one. Hopefully, they can recover my files… pictures galore, manuscripts, collages, house plans, music. OMG there’s a lot of potential loss there! But at least I have some stuff safe on my blogs. I suppose I can rebuild if I have to and somehow make it all better than it was.
*KNOCKING ON WOOD*
But it was a lovely day today despite that worry. I gardened a little, watered everything (I love playing with the hose)(don’t take that the wrong way), cleaned my fish pond, and did a little shopping. Then Jeb surprised me by bringing over the kids and my parents for birthday cake, a fruit tort. It’s not my birthday until Wednesday, July 30th, but at least he put a nice “26” on the cake so it’s forgivable. 26 and holding. Yep. That’s what I’ll be. And it was kind of nice to have everyone over.
How is your weekend going so far?