The inspiration for my first dish is eggplant Parmigiana, normally a casserole dish that is slowly cooked in the oven. Instead of using large eggplant, which can be a bit bitter and usually hides many seeds, I thought the quick stir-fry method would be perfect for the sweeter, virtually seedless, Japanese eggplants.
Mealtime is even more hectic than usual because, for the first time, I'm solely responsible for planning and prepping meals for the entire family. Whereas my wife and I teamed up on past cooking challenges, I was alone in the kitchen this time. Unfortunately, my skills are not even on par with an Iron Microwave Chef. Fortunately, the challenge was to create a healthy meal using "slow cooking" methods, which is ideal for my "minimalist" cooking style.
It seems that the more convenience and technology we have, the more frenzied the holidays get. So having meals and snacks under control is my way of taking charge. And based on all the families who participated in this month's main ingredient challenge, you all found some innovative ways to incorporate these nutritious offerings into your holiday table.
There is one upside to the cold blistery weather during the holiday season and that's all the gently simmering food you can braise, boil, simmer and roast. There is something wonderfully comforting about taking a few seasonal ingredients, putting them into a pot in a particular order and -- shazam -- you've got a stew going!
I prefer hot weather, so I'm always a bit sad when winter gets closer. I do, however, have one consolation prize: soup. It probably wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that soup is my favourite thing to eat. As a result, I've gotten pretty good at making it, and I can throw together a basic vegetable soup without much thought or trouble; so that's what we're doing this week!
At Savour Stratford this year, I was tasting different types of food from local chefs and producers and I noticed something. Each and every dish had its own unique flavour thanks to a homemade element. It was nice to know that I could pronounce all the ingredients going into my body and know where they came from.
My kids are the worst eaters. Really. Some people say this, and mean that their kids don't eat raw sushi, or whole wheat pasta, or offal. That's not what I mean. I mean that in my house, bacon is a food group. I mean that my kids don't eat pasta, period. I mean that they only accept pepperoni pizza from one delivery joint. It's serious.