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September 19, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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September 19, 2012
 

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012 15B Heather Hunsaker Chef foodonthetable.com Eggplant, valued for its taste and sponge-like tex- ture, is a late summer veg- etable with a deep-rooted history. The Chinese were the first to cultivate egg- plant, which originated as a wild plant in India, for con- sumption. The plant later spread to Europe and was originally grown purely for decorative purposes, due to its bitter, sour taste. Later, in the 18th century, new va- rieties of eggplant were de- veloped, causing this veg- etable to gain culinary ap- peal. Today, eggplant is a popular vegetable grown worldwide. Although avail- able year-round, eggplant peaks from July through October for flavor arid af- fordability. A member of the night- shade family, which in- cludes tomatoes, bell pep- pers and potatoes, eggplant grows on vines. While egg- plant in the classic oval shape and dark purple color is the most popular variety, it can be found in a variety of shapes and colors. Other varieties include white, black or green eggplant, found in spherical to long and narrow shapes. Eggplant is a low-fat, low- calorie food. It is rich in vit- amins and minerals and is a powerful source of flavonoids like chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid. Re- search has shown that these nutrients, along with a healthy well-balanced diet, may help fight cancer and protect brain cells. When choosing eggplant, look for those that are smooth, shiny, firm and heavy for their size. The stem should be deep green :Eggplant in Color and the skin should spring back when lightly squeezed. Avoid eggplant that contains soft spots, wrinkled skin or discol- oration. To store, fresh eggplant can be kept in a cool dry place for up to two days. For longer storage, place whole unwashed eggplant in the crisper drawer of the refrig- erator for five to seven days. To freeze, blanch or steam sliced eggplant. Dry thoroughly and place in freezer-safe packaging, then store in the freezer for six to nine months. Eggplant is a meaty veg- etable that sometimes tends to have a bitter flavor. Its sponge-like texture absorbs marinades well and it can be grilled, roasted, sauteed and even pickled. To pre- pare, wash and slice egg- plant right before cooking, as the exposed flesh will be- gin to brown when exposed to the air. While the skin is edible, eggPlant skin can sometimes be tough and may need to be peeled away. Eggplant Parmesan is a classic Italian dish that is light and full of flavor. Served up with some steamed veggies, a side sal- ad or crusty bread, this dish is the perfect meatless meal. Classic Eggplant Parmesan Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Serves: 4 Ingredients: 2 medium eggplants, washed and sliced 1/4~nch thick 1 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs 113 cup Parmesan cheese 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper 2 eggs, beaten 1 cup mozzarella Cheese 2 cups marinara sauce Directions: Preheat oven to 350 de- grees. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. In a bowl combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and seasonings. Dip sliced eggplant in beaten eggs, then in bread crumb mixture and coat thoroughly. Place prepared eggplant on pre- pared baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove eggplant from oven and top each piece with two tablespoons marinara sauce and one ta- blespoon mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and bake for an additional 8 - 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Chef Heather Hunsaker gradu- a ted from Le Cordon Bleu Col- lege of Culinary Arts. She cur- rently serves as a freelance writer and recipe developer for meal planning site foodon- thetable.com. Progra.m waives up to 90 percent of tuition for veterans" children ....... FollOwing up on some in- I formation I provided con- cerning Dependents Educa- tion Assistance; there is a program available in the state of California that can assist some veterans' chil- VET dren in attending college. It's MIKE McLEOD the College Tuition Fee Waiv- Division Director, Veterans Services er program. There are several plans un- plans or programs, there is der the program, but I'll talk no age limit for the child or about the one most frequent- the number of times the bene- ly used. It waives about 90 fit can be used under this percent of the tuition at any plan. college in the University of The application is easy California, California State enough. The applicant simply University and community provides proof of the relation- college system, ship to the veteran. Some sort Here's some eligibility cri- of tax form or a letter from teria: the student must be the the Ins or State Franchise child - natural, adopted or Tax Board is needed to verify step - of a veteran with a ser- income. vice-connected disability rat- Some of the other plans un- ing of 0 percent or greater; der the college fee waiver the child's annual income, in- program include: the chil- cluding adjusted gross in- dren and spouse, unmarried come and any support from widow or registered domestic the parents cannot exceed the partner of a 100 percent dis- poverty level announced each abled veteran under certain year -- currently $12, 907. circumstances; The plan doesn't waive dependents and the spouse of everything, but a huge part of any California National the tuition. Of course it Guard member who was doesn't cover books or park- killed on active duty or chil- ing or housing, dren of Medal of Honor recip- The plan can provide some ients. It is for undergraduate relief for the dependent chil- studies only and the student dren of a veteran who has a must meet the income and service-connected disability; age restrictions. hada service-connected dis- There is more information ability at the time of death or available and application at died of service-connected the office. Contact me at 283- causes. 6275 about the programs and Unlike some of the other plans. To send a legal: typesetting@plumasnews.com To send an advertisement: mail@plumasnews.com Sudoku PuZzle#2623:D Difficult Curtains F E_ LIL A R C L ( T E N I.T || T E XIA O R EIS M O LIT || 131:t ~1"1" R U GIn A N NI/~ ST1 P_ S_ o~= Sudoku Solution #2622-D 841 925673 273648519 659731428 51 7283964 3681 94257 492576381 786359142 92541 7836 1 34862795 ACROSS 1. Stallone macho man 6. Baseball's Dizzy or Daffy 10. Guitarist Atkins 14. WWll sea menace 15. Choir voice 16. Blood: Prefix 17. Crayon color, up in smoke? 19. Came to rest 20. Editor's "let it be" 21. 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