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Crooklyn’s Corner 07: Comfort cooking with Victor Rodriguez, eggplant lasagna

Episode 07 discussion: the second episode in our mini-block of cooking with MMA media members features Bloody Elbow’s Victor Rodriguez making eggplant lasagna.

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Welcome to Crooklyn’s Corner, the podcast that’s basically a hodgepodge of topics focused on the combat sports and entertainment community. The show will feature special interviews, fantasy matchmaking/analysis and whatever else we can come up with to keep our listeners steeped in fresh and engaging content. The show is hosted by Stephie Haynes and airs when needed to fill gaps in our Bloody Elbow Presents podcast network.

Here is a summary of the topics discussed or questions asked. Time stamps won’t always be available as our conversations tend to be very fluid and bounce back & forth frequently. However, when fantasy matchmaking and analysis is the focal point of an episode, we will definitely timestamp when each fight breakdown begins. As always, I hope you enjoy listening to the show as much as I enjoyed recording it.

*Today’s episode is the second in the ‘Cooking with MMA Media’ segments. The plan is to do episodes with members of MMA media known for their prowess in the kitchen, and have them walk us through a recipe with plenty of questions from me along the way. There are quite a few chefs in our community, so I hope to highlight them and their extraordinary dishes.

Staff writer and co-host of The Level Change Podcast and the 6th Round Retro Show, Victor Rodriguez is my first second guest chef. He walks us through an eggplant parmesan recipe that’s sure to please even the pickiest palate. During the episode, we mentioned an article that gave a brief history of where lasagne is said to have originated. I have linked it here for future reading. Victor’s recipe is also included.


Eggplant Lasagna

-1 large eggplant, as pear-shaped as possible

-1lb ground beef or turkey

-1 medium can crushed tomatoes

-1 head of garlic

-1 onion

-1 pint of ricotta

- 1 egg

- 2 cups mozzarella (shred it yourself)

- Half a cup of parmesan

- Red pepper flakes

- Fine oregano (preferably the Mexican kind)

- Fresh basil leaves

- Hot sauce

- Dried thyme

- Dried rosemary

- Pinch of sugar

- Salt

- Olive oil

Use a mandolin or very sharp knife to slice the eggplant vertically into long sheets. Salt each slice individually and put in a large strainer. Fill a pot with water and place the pot of water on top of the eggplant to press out the bitterness and add a splash of olive oil along with the other half of the garlic and onion mixture.

In a bowl, pour out the ricotta, crack the egg and mix with a pinch of salt and half of the mozzarella. Add a pinch of thyme.

Rinse off the eggplant, pat dry and either fry in a shallow pan or drench in olive oil and roast in the oven until soft.

Pour a ladle full of sauce to coat the bottom of a baking pan to prevent burning and sticking. Then put down a layer of eggplant sheets/slices, then pour meat on top of that. Add cheese mixture as the layer above it, then top with the rest of the eggplant slices/sheets. Pour the rest of the sauce on top, and make a final layer with the other half of the mozzarella with an olive oil drizzle on it. Bake for 20 min at 400 degrees.

Pull out of oven and let rest for 15 min and enjoy.

@VicMRodriguez on Twitter

@VictorSinisterRodriguez on Instagram

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