Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wet & Wacky Wednesday's Meal...WOW!

Well, we are officially on the other side of "hump day" now....yahooooo!  I've been so excited all day today because I was looking forward to trying a new recipe for Kung Pao Chicken for dinner tonight.  I've made Kung Pao Chicken many times before but I found another recipe that looked really good and was anxious to try it.

It figures, all day long it has been bright and sunny here and in the mid-upper 60s...but very late this afternoon, the sky became dark grey, then black and ominous looking and opened up and it is just raining away out there now.  And you know...I just wasn't in the mood to make a stop at the store in the pouring rain to pick up the few ingredients I need to make this recipe...especially since I might have to go to more than one store to find "hot chili paste"...maybe tomorrow will be Kung Pao day, sniff, sniff.  :-( 

So, after a quick regroup, I decided to go into my "vault" (a/k/a my freezer) to see what other options I had at at home for dinner.  Guess what I found???  I found one of my favorites, Eggplant Parmesan.  Now, even though I like to make my own, I have actually found a frozen brand that is really good...almost as good as home made and most definitely better than most restaurant versions I have eaten out.  So, even though it wasn't my first choice for's a decent "second runner up"...and it definitely beats running around from store to store in the rain on a work night!

Just in case you like Eggplant Parmesan and don't want to cook it yourself and don't want to waste money trying different brands (most are lousy), I will share my favorite one with you, it is made by Michael Angelo's (I have tried many different brands and this is the only one I would ever consider buying again).  I'd also like to suggest a brand of whole wheat pasta (especially for those of you that might have tried whole wheat before and aren't too fond of it).  One of the best tasting brands I have found is made by Alma's and it is imported from Italy.  It is the closest in texture to regular pasta as I have been able to find.  So many brands of whole wheat pasta I find overly dense and strong much so that they overpower the flavor of your sauce and they can have a weird texture too, sort of pasty.  This brand is really good and I find it at Publix.  See pics of our dinner below....I like to serve the Eggplant Parmesan with a side of whole wheat linguine and salad.  Enjoy!

This is the family-size package I use (about $4.50) and serves 4-5 adults. The last Eggplant Parmesan I ate out was at Romano's Macaroni Grill nearby and it was awful...we are talking REALLY BAD.  This brand will feed 4 people generously for about $1.25 each and it is delicious...REALLY DELICIOUS.  The nasty stuff I had at Macaroni Grill was around $12.00 for one person and it was not good enough to serve my dog (seriously).
Here is my favorite whole wheat pasta.
Okay, many times have you purchased a frozen meal (of any kind) and the picture on the box or package looks so delicious and when you cook NEVER EVER EVER looks anything like what you were expecting, in fact if you knew what it really looked like, you would never have bought it...EVER.  Well, I am posting a couple pics below of the cooked product as it is served tonight...looks pretty darn good, doesn't it?  And it won't leave you feeling like you purchased a Mercedes and came home with a Hyundai now either <inside joke here>!!!  On a serious note....check out the finished product that I served tonight...not too shabby, huh? 
Looks pretty good doesn't it?
One more angle...believe me yet?
Okay, if this one doesn't make a believer out of you...I can't help you any more!  ;-)


Anonymous said...

It does look delish!!!! Haven't tried the Eggplant Parmesan but have tried that same brand of Lasagna and it is also good. However, I can't quite switch to whole wheat pasta. Something about the texture and flavor doesn't quite do it for me. I must say your plate does look beautiful though!!!!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks. By the way, Alma's makes both regular and whole wheat pasta and if you haven't tried their whole wheat, you might like really is the least "whole wheaty" for lack of a better real word! :-)