Ahhhhh, New Year's Eve. The friends, the parties, the music ... the cocktails. The tendency to overindulge is never stronger than it is on this night. So then what? New Year's Day comes and you feel a little drained, a little under the weather or a little under the pillow at noon. Well, it comes down to how to take care of yourself, before and after the big night. Now of course the best solution would be to choose not to champagne the night away; however, instead of harping on that, let us just concentrate on making you feel better.
Now, the myth is that getting up and eating a greasy, bacon-filled breakfast is the way to overcome overindulgence ... not true! That greasy meal will however help you should you eat it beforehand. The fatty food will help your body process toxins more slowly, thereby making the morning a little better. Now should you choose the salad at your New Year's dinner, you may need a little extra help. So I did some research.
There are many foods out there that help your body process toxins and give you the energy and vitamin boost you need after a night under the bright lights. The most easily prepared of them is eggs. Eggs contain a chemical that really helps — really. So eggs will star in Eggs in Purgatory, a fitting title for the mood of the morning. For those of you feeling a little tougher in the a.m., we will be working with a purple veggie with a passion for helping the needy: the eggplant. We will create an eggplant Parmesan panini so tasty you will forget how bad you feel!
Let’s cook and remind ourselves ... everything in moderation!
Eggplant Parmesan Panini
Large non-stick skillet
Two sheet trays
Several heavy cans, or a pan, cans and bananas (basically use whatever you find on the counter)
1 Sourdough round sliced, or your favorite crusty bread
1 eggplant peeled and sliced to ½ inches
2 tblsp spaghetti sauce, per sandwich
¼ c mozzarella cheese, per sandwich
1 tblsp blue cheese crumbles, per sandwich
3 leaves of fresh basil, per sandwich
1 oz spinach, per sandwich
3 strips of roasted red pepper, per sandwich
1 tblsp Mascarpone cheese, per sandwich, optional
balsamic glaze for dipping
butter for grilling the sandwich
olive oil for the grilling pan
A sprinkle of garlic powder and S&P for the eggplant
Putting It All Together
Take the peeled slices of eggplant and lay them out on a sheet tray lined with foil. Drizzle them with olive oil, garlic powder and S&P. Pop them into a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until they cook and brown on the edges. Slice the bread about an inch thick. It may seem like a little much, but once we press the sandwich you will be glad that the bread is able to hold its own.
On each slice of bread spread a little Mascarpone cheese, if you elect not to use it mayo will do the trick. Layer all of the ingredients on the sandwich. Use an order you would like; however, you may want to keep the eggplant, sauce and mozzarella together. Once the sandwich is together, lay it on the sheet tray that you cooked the eggplant on. Put the other sheet tray on top and add the heavy items from the cupboard. This will help to press the sandwich and make it easier to grill and eat. Let it sit under the press for about 20 minutes. Remove and butter both of the outsides of the bread. In the large skillet heat about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the sandwiches to the hot pan and grill until golden.
These paninis are not only delicious, they are healthy and packed full of the vitamins your body needs today. However, they are delicious anytime you want a hot sandwich packed full of flavor.
Eggs In Purgatory (Mood Food style)
Large skillet with a lid
Ingredient List (serves two)
2 c diced potatoes
⅓ c diced green bell pepper
⅓ c diced onion
Tip: Get all three of the above in one and buy Potatoes O’Brien, I did)
1 jalapeno, or other spicy pepper, diced very small
1 c of your favorite sausage, spicy Italian or Chorizo work great
¼ c shredded cheese, your fav
1 tblsp garlic, minced
S&P to taste
Olive oil, about 2 tblsp
Butter, big dollop
Putting It All Together
How’s this for easy: Throw all the ingredients in the skillet except for the eggs. Cook until the sausage is crumbly and brown and the potatoes are golden. Make a well in the center of pan, meaning, push the mixture to the sides to make some space in the center. Add about a tablespoon of butter to the well. Crack all four eggs into the well and cover the pan. Let the eggs cook to your desired doneness. Serve. This spicy treat is absolutely yummy and will quickly improve your day.