Sunday August 28: Be sure to stop in at the outdoor stage in Carousel Park for Minnesota Cooks Day. Every hour from 9AM to 4PM there will be cooking demonstrations, discussions about local food, and skill demonstrations by the students of Le Cordon Bleu. Network with local farmers and take home a recipe or two.
Sunday August 28 & Monday August 29: Eat Healthy Local Food will be the theme of the State Fair parade both days at 2 pm. Stop along your state fair visit to see the vegetable puppets, and some kitchen and farm friends.
Wednesday August 31: The Minnesota Food Bloggers will have a table at the Healthy Food Booth with a sample of recent blog posts, a list of Minnesota food blogs and a chance to meet some of the great food writers in the area.
Daily 2:00-5:00pm: Meet the Winemaker demonstrations in the Ag/Hort building will be happening this year, offering visitors a chance to meet a local winemaker, try some local wines and support this growing industry in our state.
Be sure to also check the schedule in the Creative Activities and Ag/Hort buildings, there will be ongoing food demonstrations throughout the fair. Cooking with Honey, Minnesota Super Foods, Lasagna Gardening, and an apron history talk. I’m all about aprons.
I’m still all about eggplant this week also. If you haven’t had a chance to prepare one this week, try a classic eggplant parmesan. It’s a perfect summer-is-winding-down dish to have on an evening on the patio. Serve it with a big glass of Minnesota Marquette red wine. Just make sure you have mozzarella for topping. My co-jack substitute (hey, it was all we had in the fridge!) just doesn’t look the same!
Recipe Adapted from The St. Paul Farmers’ Market Cookbook
1/4 C. sunflower oil
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4″ slices
1 egg, beaten
1 C. bread crumbs (Homemade) mixed with 1 Tbsp. dried Italian Seasoning
1/4 C. parmesan cheese finely grated
2 C. pasta sauce
mozzarella cheese, grated
1. Preheat sunflower oil over medium-low heat in a skillet. One at a time, dip the eggplant slices in the egg followed by the bread crumb mixture. Tap on the side of the bowl to shake off any extra breading. Place in the skillet 3-4 slices at a time and gently fry until both sides are golden brown, about 4-5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400Â°F and spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Put 1/4 C. of the pasta sauce in the bottom of the baking dish and spread to evenly coat. As each eggplant slice finishes frying, place it in a single layer in the baking dish. When all slices are in the pan, cover with parmesan cheese and remaining pasta sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese.
3. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve warm.