When I was a kid, I loved to cook. I would experiment, serving instant noodle soup embellished with carrots, beans and egg. And I would bake a lot (in Baguio, you don't really notice the heat from the oven--in fact, it's nice to hang around the kitchen when someone's baking).
Since I came down to Manila for high school, I sort of lost touch with that side of me that likes to cook. However, now that I'm married, and officially in charge of putting something edible--and hopefully enjoyable--on the table, I've been reviving my cooking skills (yes, dear Hubby, I can too cook ;p).
My favorite recipes so far are the ones that require minimal ingredients (five or less) and even more minimal preparation. That's why I love my toaster oven recipes. I have about three so far, and this is the simplest.
Enough with the intro. This is good for one meal for two people, and can be cooked in a smallish toaster oven.
- toaster oven/Turbo Broiler/Oven
- toaster-able pan (I use those ceramic ones that come in the woven basket, so out of the oven and straight onto the table)
- 1 large eggplant or two small ones
- butter or margarine (if you're cutting from a regular sized-block of butter, an inch-thick slice would do). Health buffs can use olive oil instead, I suppose, Haven't tried.
- 4 to 5 cloves of garlic (add more or less, depending on how garlicky you want it)
- grated cheese (I used edam, but any hard cheese would do, even Eden; quantity depends on how cheesy you want it, but I guess half a cup would be ok
- salt & pepper to taste
1. Slice the eggplant diagonally (dunno if they cook better this way, they just look nicer).
2. Arrange on the pan, preferably in a single layer (if your toaster and pan are really small, you can layer the eggplant rounds, but make sure you layer the cheese and butter as well)
3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Peel and crush the garlic.
5. Add garlic to softened butter or margarine (you can make this garlic-butter mix the day before; it's also good for garlic bread, and for putting on veggies) and mix very well.
6. Add grated cheese to butter-garlic mix.
7. Spread the butter mix on top of the eggplant rounds. Sprinkle extra cheese on top.
8. Put the pan in the toaster and bake for about 25 minutes. Cooking time depends on your toaster. So for the first time you cook this, you might want to keep on eye on it.
9. When the cheese topping is nicely browned, and the eggplants are soft and tender and kinda see-through, it's done.
10. Serve immediately. Goes well with rice.
The Hubby liked this one, so I consider it a success. Good alternative to tortang talong.