Eggplant Gratin and Mushroom Risotto – A Birthday Dinner Party

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It was one of my best friend’s birthday on Wednesday, so I threw a little dinner party for 6 last night. All the food was a hit! I always get a little nervous when I cook something I’ve never made before. It’s even more nerve racking when you’re cooking new dishes for guests! Thankfully, I’m the bomb.com and they all came out awesome… šŸ˜‰

The Menu:

Caprese Salad Skewers

Eggplant Gratin

Mushroom Risotto

Green Salad

“The Bread”

Mini Salted Caramel Cheesecakes

Oh and way too much wine!

The only bad thing was that I didn’t take very many pictures because I was so busy!

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Eggplant Gratin

Ingredients:

  • olive oil for frying
  • 3 eggplants, unpeeled, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 3/4 c. half and half
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 jar marinara sauce (I used bottled Simply Balanced from Target)
  • 6 individual gratin dishes

1. Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a big skillet. Fry the eggplant and season with salt and pepper. Drain on paper towels.

2. Once the eggplant is all done, mix the eggs, half and half, and most of the parmesan.

3. In each gratin dish, place one later of eggplant, about 1/4 c. or so of the marinara, another layer of eggplant, about 1/2 c. or so of the half and half mixture, and then about 1 Tbs. of parmesan on top.

4. Bake at 400Āŗ for about 30-45 minutes until brown and bubbly on top.

Serve with THE BREAD to sop up the extra sauce. MMMMMMMMMMM.

ā™„ā™„ā™„ā™„ā™„

Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. half and half
  • 1 c. arborio rice
  • 5 c. chicken stock (or veggie)
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1 c. grated parmesan cheese

1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the onions and garlic.

2. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are tender.

3. Add the milk and half and half and stir in the rice. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Add the stock to a separate pot and heat to a low simmer.

5. Bring the rice to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until most of the milk/cream has been absorbed. About 5-10 minutes.

6. Slowly add one cup of stock at a time to the rice. Do not add another cup until the previous one has been absorbed. You may not need all the stock, just enough to cook the rice through. It takes about 30-45 minutes for the rice to be completely cooked through.

7. Once the rice is cooked through, stir in the butter and parmesan. Taste for salt and pepper.

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Birthday girl!

Ā Don’t forget about the salted caramel cheesecakes!

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3 thoughts on “Eggplant Gratin and Mushroom Risotto – A Birthday Dinner Party

    • Thanks! A birthday is just an excuse to throw a party ;)! The chargers, placemats, napkins, and napkin rings are all from world market. I could live in there!

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