Happy happy happy, plus stuffed eggplant
On my way to work this morning I dropped Daisy off at Wagglemuffins because Stirling is in Vancouver, which necessitated me driving up Glanford Rd to work, and at the intersection of Glanford and Vanalman (which is pretty darn close to PE) I saw that what was formerly a not-so-good bakery (bunsmaster or some muffin company or something) has been closed, and open in its place is.... A NEW BRANCH OF LA COLLINA!!!!!!! My favourite bakery in Victoria, opened near my work!!!! What better treat could one ask for on a Monday morning!!! Yay no more extensive detours to get bread on my way home!!!!! YAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!
Whew, all that excitement is exhausting. Fortunately, last night's dinner was from a real recipe so I don't have to type it out (eggplant rollatini - grilled eggplant stuffed with ricotta filling, in a casserole topped with tomato sauce & parmesan). It was very good, but the 35 minutes given for prep time in the recipe is a total lie unless you have a huge great big grill on which you can put all your eggplant slices at once. I have a honking huge frying pan and I could only get four in at a time, so it took me about half of Enterprise to cook the eggplant. Other than that, though, it is pretty quick, and all of it is dead easy (as long as you ignore the part about making your own tomato sauce... I bought some nice basil tomato sauce at La Collina and 1 jar of it worked nicely).
To go with it I made a barley risotto, which is made exactly the same way as rice risotto:
1) finely dice 1/2 an onion and about 2 large cloves garlic
2) saute your onion in olive oil until translucent and just starting to colour (add a couple bay leaves in this step too)
3) add 1 cup of pearl barley (or arborio rice)
4) stir until the barley/rice starts to smell a bit toasty
5) pour in 1/2 to 2/3 (a big glug) of white wine and your garlic
6) stir til the wine is absorbed
7) add pre-heated stock (chicken is good, or seafood), a cup or two at a time, and keep stirring until it's at a good consistency, maybe a little chewy (test frequently and add salt early if your stock is unsalted)
8) turn off the heat, throw in a handful of parmesan, stir, and leave it to sit for at least 5 minutes.
Just so you know, barley is quite a bit more nutritious than arborio rice.