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Food of the Day: Eggplant Parmesan From Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli

Food of the Day: Eggplant Parmesan From Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli

A Brooklyn-named deli located in Lewiston, Maine

This deli creates their own spin on Brooklyn-style sandwiches and more.

Don’t let the name of this deli fool you. Strange, I know, but Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli is nowhere close to Brooklyn. Located in the heart of Lewiston, Maine, Heidi’s stirs up hype when it comes to its food. The restaurant is not positioned in some cute neighborhood with other diners and bakeries. No, it’s along the side of a busy road next to a "Sun Tan City." But it doesn’t stop anyone from making the trip there.

With a miscellaneous menu that ranges from breakfast sandwiches to smoothies, I ordered the eggplant Parmesan. As I began to un-wrap the aluminum foil, the heat from the sandwich lifted to my nose, and I could sense the incredible aroma of tomatoes and grainy bread.

With a splash of marina sauce spooned over the breaded eggplant, the texture is perfectly balanced between soft and crunchy. And then there’s the bread. What separates this eggplant Parm from others is that the sauce does not make the bread too moist. The toasted bread complements all the other ingredients perfectly, bringing together the whole sandwich by uplifting the taste of the marinara and eggplant.

Do you have a travel photo that you would like to share? A mouthwatering food or drink you know exactly where to get? Send over photos and tips to esaatela[at]thedailymeal.com.


What is eggplant parmesan? Traditionally eggplant parmesan is breaded eggplant that is fried them topped with sauce and cheese before baking. I made this lighter low-carb version by roasting the eggplant in the oven instead and skipping the breadcrumbs altogether. It’s delicious and perfect to make ahead and freeze or send to a friend in need!

This is the way my Mom always made Eggplant Parmesan, and I always preferred it this way over the deep fried breaded version. It does take some time to make, but it’s so worth it! The eggplant is layered with sauce and cheese, and almost becomes like a noodle-less eggplant lasagna, it’s so good! It melts right in your mouth with each bite. For best flavor, I always use a good Parmesan cheese or Romano cheese like Locatelli or Reggiano cheese.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Flashback Friday 5.28.10

Wendi, of Bon Appetit Hon, has been doing a regular "Flashback Friday" post and I am so stealing her idea. Every Friday (that is, if I remember) I'm going to post something from the archives, most likely a post I enjoyed reading but that didn't get much love from my readers. Maybe because I didn't have any back then. Heh.

This week, my thoughts on celebrity chefs, from waaaay back on August 17th, 2005, my third post ever on MinxEats.

As a foodie, I am pleased that chefs can now become celebrities. Why should actors with nice abs but negligible talent and whorish heiresses get all of the limelight?

Despite the trend in Hollywood, any old cook with a pretty face shouldn't become a Celebrity Chef. I believe a chef should be the equivalent of a culinary Picasso - well-versed in many techniques and styles, but perhaps perferring one or two over all others. An Artist. The celebrity should be worth oohing and ahhing over. He or she should be the creator of masterpieces that everyone strives to own - or to be able to replicate oneself.

Unfortunately, like in Hollywood, some Chefs are now famous for merely being famous. Take Emeril, for example. I'm sure he was a fine chef in his day, back when he still worked in a restaurant kitchen. Now, he comically fumbles his way around a set, preparing recipes created, prepped, and all-but-completed by Food Network staff. Half the things that come out of his mouth are either pronounced incorrectly or are just plain wrong. And the slop he dishes out is ludicrous. But he still has his adoring fans. Go figure.

I've eaten in three of his restaurants. One was very good, one was pretty good, and one, his flagship, sucked. Message to Mr. Lagasse: just because you're a big star now, you still need to remember that consistency is important. Your name is over the door, so don't blame your chefs and line cooks for the completely oversalted mess we ate. Have you heard of quality control?

Bobby Flay is another celebrity chef who is a tad overexposed. But hey - I think the man still takes cooking seriously. I've eaten at Mesa Grill, and it was one of the best restaurant meals I've had in my life. And watching him cook on Iron Chef America makes me drool. He turns out some seriously yummy-looking stuff in that frantic hour. I'm curious to try out his new restaurant venture, Bar Americain. Mario Batali is another chef who I'd let cook for me anytime. The pasta tasting menu at Babbo was magnificent.

Then there's the sad story of Rocco DiSpirito. Young, handsome, and talented, he thought he could rocket to superstardom via a reality show. The cruel reality was that it portrayed him to be a egotistical, lazy, lying, prick. Not only did his restaurant Rocco fail miserably, but he also got ousted from the highly-acclaimed Union Pacific (it was a mutual decision. riiighhht. ) which closed abruptly soon after. Despite receiving a James Beard award for his cookbook, Flavor, the man is a laughingstock. Tony Bourdain, another celebrity chef perhaps more famous for his writings than his cooking, made a particularly nasty jab at him on the debut episode of his new Travel Channel show, No Reservations (a must-see). Poor Rocco now has to peddle his Mama's meatballs on QVC to make a buck.

So where am I going with my rant here? Well, let me tell you. I have a design client who is a local chef. He once owned restaurants, and got some acclaim. He's now still in the business, still calling himself chef, but I'm not feeling any foodlove from the guy. Perhaps he's been doing church supper-style catering for so long, he forgot how to cook? His collection of recipes seem to have been lifted directly out of a 60s copy of Betty Crocker - crab imperial, salmon in "champagne sauce" - there's no life in them, no spark, nothing new. And the one dish I've tasted that he prepared, chicken pieces in a sauce with pineapple chunks, tasted of dishwashing liquid, and wouldn't have been out of place at the Old Country Buffet. The funny thing is, he still thinks he's got what it takes to be a celebrity chef. Ok, so the guy was handsome in his youth, and had done some modeling. But even the Hollywood vapid wouldn't be impressed by his repertoire.

Baltimore is becoming a town full of interesting restaurants, thanks to chefs like Cindy Wolf (although I must comment here that she reduces her stocks a bit too much. cow bones become glue eventually, and sticky lips are not pleasant) and restaurateurs like Steve DeCastro. Let's continue to aim high, shall we? But lets not let sheer celebrity get in the way of talent.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Okay, so it's been literally months since I posted anything on here. I swear I've been trying new recipes, but life has just gotten busy! I'm hoping to dig the recipes we've liked out of the mess of cookbooks, magazines, and papers that have taken over my shelf so I can share them with you. We'll see how that goes, right?

My kids and I made these again yesterday, though, and I managed to take a picture, so I'm taking the opportunity to squeeze a post in between Nerf guns and a climbing toddler.

From Alton Brown's Good Eats 3: The Later Years, page 52.

4 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
2 oz. unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 Tbs. water
Pretzel salt

Combine warm water, sugar, kosher salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until the mixture foams.

Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, 4 to 5 minutes.

Put the dough in a large, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Heat the oven to 450F. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in a 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan or a roasting pan (something wide and shallow is best).

Meanwhile, turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24" rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, and, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place on a half-shet pan. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

One by one, place the pretzels in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return them to the sheet pans, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture, and sprinkle with pretzels salt.

Bake until dark golden brown in color, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Notes:
- Add the flour about 1/2 cup at a time, and slow down once you reach the 3 1/2 or 4 cup mark. Add enough flour after that point so that the dough isn't sticking to the side of the bowl, up to 4 1/2 cups total.
- I use my 5 quart sauté pan to boil the pretzels.
- I add an extra twist when I'm shaping my pretzels because I think it holds them together better (Alton Brown's just cross over each other in an X shape in the middle).
- If I don't have pretzel salt, I use sea salt or kosher salt.


Food of the Day: Eggplant Parmesan From Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli - Recipes

Marbled rye bread, sliced
Chicken parmesan, thickly sliced (at least 1/2 breast per sandwich)
Marinara sauce
Fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded

Spread a generous amount of marinara sauce on one piece of bread. Layer chicken slices over marinara. Cover with mozzarella cheese. Toast chicken-covered piece of bread and empty piece (or broil in the oven if don't have a toaster oven) until bread is toasty and cheese is melted. Put sandwich together, slice (if desired), and dig in!

Note:
- We like to use this recipe for chicken parmesan, which we got from a friend of ours.

Chicken Parmesan

Adapted from Rachel Merkley.

4-6 chicken breasts, flattened to 1/2" thickness
1-1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (I use whole wheat)
1-1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese (finely grated crumb kind)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 eggs
1/2-3/4 cup flour
Marinara sauce
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Canola oil

Place flour in a shallow dish. Beat eggs in another shallow dish with a couple tablespoons of water. Combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, marjoram, basil, salt, and pepper in another bowl.

Add enough oil to a large, deep pan to be about 1/4-1/2" deep. Heat over medium to medium-high.

Dip flattened chicken breasts in flour, then eggs (allow to drip excess), and then coat in bread crumb mixture. Carefully place coated chicken in hot oil just long enough to brown the outside (a minute or two). Chicken will not be cooked through!

Place chicken in a large oven-safe casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Top generously with marinara sauce and a good amount of fresh mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 375F for about 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Note:
-These leftovers are great in chicken parmesan sandwiches!


Family owned and operated in Potomac, MD. Guy Brandt and his kitchen serve all of their meets prepared "in house."

Cooked In House

At the heart of every great deli are quality meats. All of our meats are cooked in house and cut to order!

Breakfast – Eggs Any Way

We open daily at 7 AM for breakfast or come for brunch. Outdoor seating weather permitting.

— Artisan Bagels from Bethesda Bagels

Specialty Sandwiches

Our specialty sandwiches and salads are home made in house. We use the finest ingredients and to your specifications!

LOCATIONS

MEALS-PER-Day

CHICKENS FOR SOUP

DAYS OPEN

Nova Smoked Salmon

Nova is our most popular (and tastiest) salmon and appears most often on platters or with cream cheese and a bagel. Nova is cold-smoked and has become the mainstay of lox-lovers. It smooth and creamy texture is different than its belly-lox cousin – the salt cured version.

Bethesda’s Best Bagels

Say that 3 times fast! Our bagels arrive fresh daily from Bethesda Bagels. We feature their award winning artisan bagels in our sandwiches, platters or simply just plain. Toasted, cream cheese…whatever your pleasure!

Brooklyn deli has some of the best sandwiches in the area. Highly recommend! Staff is friendly, has a local feel, and never disappoints!

The Deli certainly knows how to smoke their meats. Huge portions and the liver sandwich was outstanding. A busy place on a Sunday afternoon.

I’ve ordered large platters from Brooklyn Deli many times for big parties and Brooklyn has always delivered. One quick phone call and they always get the order right. Delivery on time - every time. Platters look great and have all the utensils and condiments needed.

Main Dining Indoor Seating

Come visit with friends and family in our main dining room, opening at 7 AM every day for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. It’s a deli atmosphere focusing on fun and food. Our 60″ TV is always on featuring our local teams.

Outdoor Patio Seating

Our outdoor patio seating doubles our serving space. Enjoy a bright sunny day with your friends (doggy friendly), family or colleagues. Open weather permitting.

Guy Brandt

Guy Brandt has been in the food business for 30 years after pursuing a career as a percussionist. In the food service industry he found a place to utilize his creativity and love of people.

Guy first got his start in fine dining with The Kings Fare Group (City Lights and The Brass Elephant) out of Baltimore, MD. He worked under French chef, Andre Garmard for 8 years. His interest peeked in the deli business while working with his cousin at Celebrity Deli in Rockville.

Guy took the leap in opening Brooklyn’s Deli and Catering in Rockville in 2004. This location was a huge success, but he was looking to expand his operation. In 2010, the Potomac Woods location provided an opportunity for growth.

For the past 8 years Guy has been fortunate to bring aboard Ibrahim Karama who worked as a chef at the Hilton and Charles Slaughter GM Of Fontina Grill in management. Guy loves talking to his customers and meeting new ones!

He will talk everything from food, to his Jewish heritage and his love of sports (all Capitals, Skins and Nats). More than likely he will be having you try his latest special or a slice of hand carved pastrami !


Easy Chicken Parmesan Recipe

There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of chicken parm recipes in the world, but this one is our favorite. It's easy, simple, and classic. When you're craving chicken Parmesan, this is exactly what you'd want.

Never made chicken parm? Find answers to all your questions below. You got this. 🙌

What kind of bread crumbs should I use?

The dredge is inevitable. First, you'll need to coat the chicken in flour, then in whisked eggs, then in bread crumbs. The type of bread crumbs is up to you. We use panko to make the chicken extra crispy, AND we season it with garlic powder and salt to make sure each crunchy bite has as much flavor as possible.

Do I need to fry the chicken?

In our opinion, for the ultimate chicken parm, yes, you need to fry. But that's not to say baked chicken parm isn't an insanely delicious alternative. Don't worry! Here, it's just a shallow fry, so the oil (and clean-up hassle) is kept to a minimum. You could also used unbreaded, grilled chicken it just may be a bit of a messier dish.

Can I use store-bought sauce?

Of course! Ours is super-quick (like 10 minutes!), but a 32-ounce jar of good marinara will always work in a pinch.

Fresh or shredded mozzarella?

Either one. We always have shredded mozzarella in our fridge, so that's what we used here. Fresh mozz works too! But you won't want to load up the chicken too much&mdashor else you risk a soggy panko coating with the additional moisture content in fresh cheeses.

What should I serve with it?

You can always go classic and serve this chicken parm along side pasta (either boxed or made from scratch). But with chicken parm (or anything cheesy and tomato-saucey), we love to serve something green, not just because its nice to have a bright, lighter side to compliment the crispy chicken but also because who doesn't want to eat the colors of the Italian flag. You can do a simple green salad or pump up the flavor with some garlicky, peppery broccoli rabe.

What about leftovers?

First of all we'd be truly shocked if you had any, but if you do, we recommend storing it in the fridge in an airtight container for no longer than 5 days and in the freezer for 6 months. But when you go to reheat it, please for the love of god, leave the microwave out of it. Use the oven or toaster oven so you can revive some of that crunch out of the chicken.

If you've tried this recipe, we'd love to hear from you! Be sure to leave us a comment and rating down below in the comments section. Are you a die-hard chicken parm fan? Then you have to try this Chicken Parm Crunwrap.


A Fully Vegan Old-School Italian Deli Just Opened in NYC

Today, new vegan deli Galioto&rsquos opened in New York City, serving plant-based versions of Italian deli classics. Created by the team behind popular vegan restaurant Jajaja Plantas Mexicana, the deli will specialize in a variety of sandwiches, including Impossible meat-based The Meatball Parm, mozzarella-stuffed The Eggplant, and The Portobello featuring dairy-free feta cheese. Galioto&rsquos also offers a selection of pasta dishes and sides such as marinated artichokes, grilled eggplant, and giardiniera. For the morning crowd, a selection of vegan pastries made by Brooklyn-based French bakery L&rsquoimprimerie and coffee by local shop Nueva York are also available. In addition to a food menu, the deli sells a variety of Italian pantry items made by local NYC businesses.

Veganizing NYC Traditions
The idea for Galioto&rsquos&mdashlocated on Mulberry street in the historic Little Italy neighborhood&mdashwas born out of the COVID-19 pandemic and is meant to evoke the feeling of classic Italian delis of NYC&rsquos past. &ldquoThis whole concept came together because of the pandemic. It&rsquos based around grab and go and it&rsquos pretty on track for what we wanted it to be,&rdquo co-owner Nima Garos told Eater. &ldquoThis is what Mulberry Street looked like in the 1920s. It was all one big marketplace.&rdquo

Photo Credit: Galioto’s/Instagram

Love the plant-based lifestyle as much as we do ?
Get the BEST vegan recipes , travel, celebrity interviews , product picks , and so much more inside every issue of VegNews Magazine . Find out why VegNews is the world&rsquos #1 plant-based magazine by subscribing today !


Opening

Brooklyn Dumpling Shop

Stratis Morfogen has taken the dumplings with fillings like French onion soup, Philly cheesesteak and Reuben he’s been serving at his Brooklyn Chop House in Lower Manhattan and turned them into the raison d’être for what will be a chain of fully automated spots, starting with this one in the East Village. “There is no interaction between the customer and the staff,” Mr. Morfogen said. With his executive chef of many years, Skinny Mei, overseeing the recipes, the dumplings are fashioned by a machine on view that can produce 30,000 pieces an hour they’re dispensed into heated Automat-style lockers when ordered digitally on a restaurant monitor or on a smartphone. They are also sold frozen to take home. Spring rolls with Peking duck, corned beef or lobster breakfast dumplings with bacon, egg and cheese and crispy won tons are a few of the other options. Mr. Morfogen said he had commitments from scores of franchisees in New York and other states, the Caribbean, Switzerland and Germany. There is seating indoors and out. The dumplings are also shipped frozen. (Wednesday)

131 First Avenue (St. Marks Place), brooklyndumplingshop.com.

Jolene

Gabriel Stulman’s The Jones, which opened in August 2019, closed because of the pandemic. Now, he has turned the space into an American bistro. Littleneck clams with a sauce inspired by escargot butter, Parmesan panisse (chickpea flatbread), arancini, fennel and citrus salad, lamb tartare and chopped steak frites are the work of James McDuffee, a partner who was the first chef Mr. Stulman hired at Joseph Leonard in 2009. (Joseph Leonard is open, as are Jeffrey’s Grocery and Fairfax. Some of Mr. Stulman’s other places, like Fedora and Bar Sardine, are not.) The space, with rustic décor, has unrestricted seating for 34 indoors, and 53 on the sidewalk. (Thursday)

54 Great Jones Street (Bowery), 646-429-8383, jolene.nyc.

Juniper at the Vanderbilt

For several years, the reach of Civetta Hospitality Group, led by James Mallios with several partners, has extended beyond its Manhattan base (Amali) to the Rockaways (Bar Marseille) and the Hamptons (Calissa). And, with this new restaurant in a luxury hotel and residential complex, it is adding Westbury, in Nassau County. The chef, Christopher D’Ambrosio, who worked with David Bouley and was most recently at Fleming by Le Bilboquet, is getting ingredients for his American menu mostly from nearby farms and seas. Hay-roasted oysters, crisp Point Judith calamari, spring pea soup, Long Island Crescent duck breast with juniper honey, Cascun Farms chicken grilled or fried, and a grilled cabbage “steak” will be served in a dining room that’s at once luxurious, with leather banquettes, and countrified with greenery, including juniper trees. Also nodding to the name, juniper-forward gin will be featured in several cocktails. There is seating for 142 indoors and another 78 on an outdoor patio. (Thursday)

900 Corporate Drive (Zeckendorf Boulevard), 516-820-1200, juniperlongisland.com.

Unregular Pizza

A square slice of pizza, Roman-style, topped with a ball of fresh burrata, is the signature dish at this tiny slice spot. Gabriele Lamonaca, who is from Rome, is managing, while Salvatore Gagliardo, a native of Sicily, is in the kitchen. Underpinning the burrata are preparations like amatriciana, and toppings like pepperoni with hot honey. There are also vegetable pizzas and even one with fried chicken. Dishes like eggplant rollatini and pistachio lasagna are also sold. The pizzeria was in the works when the pandemic struck. Mr. Lamonaca, 31, who came to the United States to study medicine but veered into food, said he spent the past year “stuck at home trying various pizzas.” He would barter them for food made by friends, neighbors and people who saw them on Instagram. And he’s continuing the bartering. People can sign up on his website offering something, not just food, in exchange for his pizzas. He selects one offer a day. “It’s evolved,” he said. “I’ve gotten homemade wine, even horseback riding lessons.”

135 Fourth Avenue (13th Street), 646-609-4699, unregularpizza.com.

Cacio e Pepe

Since 2004, this East Village spot has been known for you-know-what, but served tableside from a scraped out wheel of pecorino. Now it’s opened an Upper East Side branch. The owner-chefs, Salvatore Corea and Giusto Priola, live in the neighborhood and saw a need. The trattoria has an indoor-outdoor feel with French doors. For now, alcohol is bring-your-own.

1479 York Avenue (78th Street), 646-682-7676, cacioepepe.com.

Roberta’s Fine Dining

Expect comfort food from family recipes at this new Harlem restaurant from Mark A. Taylor, who owns a women’s clothing and accessories shop next door. Chicken and waffles, meatloaf, empanadas, fried whiting, ribs and collards are on the menu in an intimate space. He has named the restaurant, his first, for his mother.

231 West 145th Street (Frederick Douglass Boulevard), 646-609-2157.

La Barca Cantina

Among the floating restaurants that ring New York’s waterfront is this Mexican adventure, a three-story boat moored next to its New York Cruise Lines sibling, the North River Lobster Company. The menu offers snacks and finger food to accompany a menu of largely agave-based drinks. (Thursday)

Pier 81, 41st Street and 12th Avenue, labarcacantina.com.

Disco Tacos

Felipe Donnelly, Tamy Rofe and Mac Osborne, the owners of Colonia Verde in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, have reinvented their pandemic food truck as a restaurant. They’ve brought assorted tacos, small plates like Mexican corn and queso fundido, and more substantial fare including chilaquiles and skirt steak to a lively setting, Williamsburg, along with natural wines, tequila and mezcal drinks.

80 North Sixth Street (Wythe Avenue), Williamsburg, Brooklyn, disco-tacos.com.

Electric Burrito

A taste of French fry-stuffed burritos, served with orange sauce and homemade sodas, is at this counter-service spot. It’s from the owner and the manager of Mister Paradise nearby.

81 St. Marks Place (First Avenue), electricburritonyc.com.

Katz’s Deli

This famous purveyor of pastrami has joined the lineup at the Bronx Night Market for its first foray into the borough.

Fordham Plaza, East Fordham Road and Webster Avenue, Belmont, Bronx, thebronxnightmarket.com.


About us

Bringing a taste of Brooklyn to Barcelona!

Though our restaurant is new to Barcelona…we are not! My brother Mark and I were born and raised in Brooklyn, however, lived in Barcelona when we were very young and spent every summer here thereafter. Once our father opened Da Greco we would come regularly to visit him.

Mark was the head chef for 9 years at Da Greco until we decided to open our own place with the hopes of introducing Italian American cuisine to Barcelona. Our signature dishes include: riceballs, meatballs, spinach & artichoke dip, chicken parm hero (hoagie, sub, bocadillo), eggplant parm and the Greco’s steak sandwich..to name a few! We are so excited to be able use three generations of our family’s recipes to share the dishes we grew up eating at Sunday family dinners and holidays with everyone in Barcelona! We know you are going to love them!