Eggplant Parmigiana

Eggplant Parmigiana, an Italian restaurant favorite that is easily made at home.  In fact, you can probably feed six people at home for what one serving would cost at a good restaurant.  It can be made ahead - even up to a day before - which makes for easy entertaining.  Add my Caesar Salad, some pasta and you have a great meal.  Buon appetito!

Ingredients: 3 medium eggplants, 1 1/2 cup flour, 1 tbs salt, 1/4 tps pepper, 3 eggs, well beaten, 1/2 cup finely grated parmigiana cheese, 1 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs, 3 tbs olive oil, 1 lb. fresh mozzarella, marinara sauce (see sauce video).
Sliced Eggplant
Dip in well beaten egg

Coat in Italian breadcrumbs and finely grated parmisano cheese
Fry breaded eggplant
Layer eggplant slices with cheese and marinara sauce

                                 WATCH THE VIDEO DEMONSTRATION

Linguini with Clam Sauce (Linguini alle Vongole)

There are a number of recipes where the less you do the better the dish.  Lobster rolls and crab cakes come to mind immediately.  What you want is the taste of the main ingredient without a lot of other flavors vying for attention.  Linguini with clam sauce is another such dish - not only does it benefit from not being fussed with, but by the time the pasta is cooked, dinner is three minutes from the table!


6 ounces linguini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 plump garlic clove, grated
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
¼ cup white wine
2 dozen littleneck clams
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

  1. Put the clams in a large container, cover with cold water and allow to sit for 20 to 30 minutes.  This will allow them to disgorge any sand.  Scrub the clams thoroughly and set aside.
  2. Put 4 quarts of water on to boil in a large pot. When the water comes to a boil, season lightly with salt, add the pasta and cook for two minutes less than the recommended time. Drain the pasta, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking water.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring, just until fragrant.  Add the pepper flakes and cook for a moment or two more.  Add the wine and clams and turn the heat to high.  Cover the skillet and cook until the clams open - about 5 minutes.  Use tongs to transfer opened clams to a bowl.  Discard any clams that do not open.
  4. Add the reserved pasta water to the skillet, bring to a boil and add pasta to pan.  Cook over high heat, turning with tongs until pasta is fully cooked.  Add the clams and any accumulated juices to the pan and toss with the parsley to combine.
  5. Transfer to warmed serving dishes.


annette brent
I am cooking this tonight. Thank you for a great video - well-made and demonstrated.

    “Fried” Zucchini (Courgette) Sticks

    Long a popular appetizer in Italian restaurants, this is a great way to use up some of that bumper crop of zucchini taking over your vegetable garden.  It’s not only a tasty appetizer, but a delicious side dish kids will love!  In addition, it is significantly lower in calories than the fried version.


    2 medium zucchini cut into sticks
    2 egg whites
    ¾ cup flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
    1 cup panko bread crumbs
    ½ cup grated Parmegiano cheese

    1. Preheat the oven to 425º convection or 450º conventional.
    2. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray.
    3. Place the egg whites in a rimmed dish and whisk until well blended
    4. Combine the flour, salt, pepper and cayenne in a plastic bag and shake to combine.
    5. Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmegiano on a sheet of waxed paper.
    6. Place half the zucchini sticks in the bag and shake to coat.  Remove and shake off excess flour.
    7. Dip sticks in egg whites and then roll in the breadcrumb mixture to coat.
    8. Place on the baking sheet, spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray and bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
    9. Serve with marinara sauce.

    NOTES:  Panko breadcrumbs are large, crunchy breadcrumbs available in most grocery stores.  If you can’t find them, use plain breadcrumbs.  A recipe for marinara sauce can be found here on my website and is also on You Tube. 

    Betty Remembers Julia Child

    August 15, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of Julia Child... one of America's most famous cookbook authors and the most celebrated television cooking pioneer. Julia is credited with introducing millions of American homemakers to the best of French cuisine. Here is Betty's video honoring Julia.

    COMMENT: auntnancy777 has made a comment on Betty Remembers Julia Child:
    Thanks for the sweet tribute to Julia on her 100th birthday. She was a truly amazing person. I learned to cook from my own dear mother as well as from watching all of Julia's cooking shows on PBS. She was a fantastic teacher. Loved the quotes at the end. Thank you Betty!!

    Zucchini (Courgette) Bread

    It seems anyone who has a vegetable garden is inundated with zucchini at this time of year.  There are rumors of people leaving their excess harvest on neighbors doorsteps in the middle of the night!  And no matter how diligently you gather your harvest there are always one or two zucchini who manage to hide under those lush leaves and grow into giants.  While they are no longer the best choice for the usual vegetable recipes, they do make a delicious quick bread.  Make a batch, freeze them and you have a teatime treat on hand.  Wrap one in cellophane, tie it with a pretty ribbon and you have a great hostess gift!


    2¼ cups all-purpose flour, divided
    ½ teaspoon baking powder
    ¾ teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    ¾ cup sugar
    ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
    1 cup vegetable oil
    3 eggs
    2 cups grated zucchini
    ¼ cup whole wheat flour
    1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

    1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Grease and flour two 8-inch loaf pans.
    2. Sift together 2 cups of the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Combine the sugar, brown sugar, oil, and eggs and mix on medium speed using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) until blended, about 2 minutes.  Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds.
    3. Toss the grate zucchini with the remaining all-purpose flour and the whole wheat flour.  Blend the zucchini and the walnuts into the batter.
    4. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.  Bake for about 1 hour or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pans for about five minutes then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
    Watch the video demonstration:

    Non-Traditional Fish ‘n Chips

    Betty in our home pub

    With the Olympics in full swing just now, all things British seem to be the rage - including the ubiquitous Fish ‘n Chips. The traditional recipe calls for dipping the fish in batter and deep frying it. Truly delicious but containing about a week’s worth of calories and fat in one serving! Great for a treat about once a year but, if you would like to enjoy this combination more frequently, try my non-traditional recipe.

    Non-Traditional Fish ‘n Chips for Two


    8 ounces fish filets (I used flounder)
    About 20 Ritz crackers, finely crushed
    1 egg
    Olive oil spray
    2 baking potatoes
    Olive oil
    Cole slaw for serving

    Preheat oven to 375° convection, or 400° conventional oven.
    Peel and cut potatoes into French fries. Place in a non-stick baking pan and sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss to coat and spread out in a single layer. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.

    Meanwhile, prepare the fish. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with olive oil spray. Beat the egg well to mix and spread crushed Ritz crackers on a piece of waxed paper. Dip the fish in the egg and then in the cracker crumbs to coat on both sides. Place on prepared baking sheet. When potatoes have started to brown, place fish in oven and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
    Serve with cole slaw, if desired.

    NOTE: If you are using a thicker fish such as cod or halibut, increase cooking time to about 10 minutes or until it appears done when flaked. WATCH THE VIDEO