Saturday, December 28, 2013

How To Eat Like Our Lives Depended On It

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Olive Oil: The New Wine?

Olive Oil: The New Wine?

Easiest Ever Miso Soup

This soup is the easiest I have ever made, the process more akin to composing a quick salad than to the slow cooking usually required to develop the strong flavors of a good soup. Light and perfect for a Maui lunch, this is our go-to grab, with a garden salad, when we are racing through a busy day. 

For two, simply put 2 cups of water on the stove to boil. And while that is percolating, blend 3 tbsps of red miso, 1 garlic clove,  1 tsp grated ginger, 1 tbsp of rice wine vinegar and 1 cup of cool water. Set the mixture aside as you begin to chop .5 lb of firm tofu in to small cubes. You will also need to thinly slice 4 scallions and 2 small radishes

Now, add the two cups of boiling water to your blender and mix gently with a spoon. Then, pour the broth directly in to your bowl. 

Finish the soup with a sprinkle of sesame oil. 


Friday, December 6, 2013

Sweet Potato Pie: The Holy Grail of Our Family's Holiday Celebrations

This is the holy grail of the holidays. In my family, a carafe of well- blended and flavorfully composed sweet potatoes is held in esteem most high. The glue that seals and sanctifies the close of the Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, only our mother is trusted with the sacred task of preparing the pies that we only enjoy at high holidays. 

But I am the matriarch now. In Maui, the tradition must be passed on through my humble hands. I have never been shown a recipe, just given sporadic instruction in broad strokes. Nevertheless, I have been warned to "represent" and to "get it right" for Jada. 

Here's what I've come up with. I expect this recipe to evolve. This is a quest to capture the ever-elusive essence of our family's tradition. Until I have another opportunity to hover behind my mother while she makes sweet potato pie, I'll bear the cross of trial and error.  Feel free to chime in here if you can lend a helping hand. 

You are on your own with the pie crust. That deserves another entry of its own. Do as you wish. I opted for a store brought graham cracker crust. Getting the filling right already had me rattled. 

So, once your crust it set and ready to go, preparation of the filling is as follows: 

Set your oven to 400 degrees if you are not blessed as a baker and have opted for the purchased pie crust. 4 medium sweet potatoes, about two pounds, should do the trick for one pie. Prick these all over and put them in the oven to bake for an hour. 

Once ready, take them out of the oven and cut them lengthwise to cool, but leave the oven on for the baking of the pies. 

My mother uses dry sugar for her filling. I opted to make a simple syrup to create a more uniform consistency and deeper flavor. So, I took a 1/2 cup of sugar and poured it in to a skillet over medium heat. When it began to melt, I added 1/3 cup of water and stirred until the mixture was well blended and took on the color of caramel. Get it off the heat once it reaches this state. 

The potatoes should be closer to cool at this point. Scoop out the pulp and puree in a food processor or blender or mixer until it is smooth. Add the simple syrup, 3 large eggs, 3 tsp cinnamon, a dash of salt, 2/3 cup of milk, 2 tbsps of dark rum and 1 tsp of vanilla. Blend again, until everything is well integrated. 

Pour your filling in to your crust. Bake it for about 45 minutes. Cool it for an hour. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Saturday Night Soccer

This is where we will be spending our Saturdays for the next few weeks, a soccer field nestled between the ocean and palm trees. Michele is playing defense on Lahaina's team. Jada and I are cheering on the sidelines, food and wine and snacks spread out beneath us on our picnic blanket.

I don't love soccer. I tolerate it. On a good day it is mildly entertaining. But this, the views and the cool breeze off of the ocean, connecting with new friends and neighbors, I could get used to this...

A Small Scale Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ideas For Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner For Two (or Two and a Half)?

Crispy Swiss Chard Cakes with Parmeggiano Reggiano/ Bietole Soffritte con Formaggio

So we are kinda obsessed with these. Every time we have a little bunch of swiss chard leftover, we make these. We even use kale, in a crunch. They are like simple, little veggie sliders- unadulterated greens bound by egg and topped with a sprinkle of cheese before pan searing. The perfect vehicle of veggies for kids, Jada loves them. An ideal contorno or side dish to pair with pasta, they are also just as good eaten alone. 

I've tweaked Lidia's version of this Fruilian dish. Here it is: 

Boil 3 quarts of water in a large pot. Meanwhile, de-rib each 1 large bunch of chard leaves, about two pounds, rinse and drain. Cook the leaves for twenty minutes, dicing 1 onion while you wait. 

Drain and cool the chard, then slice it in to shreds. Lay the shreds on a paper towel and squeeze them out until they are completely dry. 

Time to cook: Pour 3 tbsps of olive oil in to a large skillet and sauté the onions with a sprinkle of salt, on medium heat, until they are just transparent. Stir in the chard. Add 1.5 tbsp of butter. Add more salt, to taste. Continue cooking until the vegetables become dry again, without burning them. This should not take more than five to six minutes. 

Now, pour the chard mixture in to a bowl and add a little more salt and pepper, to taste. Set it aside and wait until it is cool to the touch. You will be adding one beaten egg to the mixture and you do not want the egg to curdle so take special care to make sure that the vegetables are room temperature. 

While you wait, you can get going on the cheese, grating about 2 cups of parmeggiano reggiano

Add the egg to your chard if they are ready. Fold it in to the veggies with your fingers. Make patties in the size that suits you. Then, turn your skillet back on, medium-low. Here's where you need to be agile: While holding a patty in your hand, sprinkle it with a generous amount of grated cheese and then flip the cheesy side down in to the hot skillet. Three minutes should do the trick. Right before you are about to flip it, sprinkle cheese on the exposed side and flip. You are looking for golden brown goodness. Again, three minutes should do the trick but follow the cues of your food and your particular circumstances. 

Repeat, until complete, and enjoy immediately. 

The Thinker, Baby Beach, Lahaina

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Things We Carried

There is a famous story called "The Things They Carried", in which the author, Tim O'Brian, reveals stunning information about his characters by listing the small items they choose to bring with them on a long journey. 

I went on my own long journey last night- a five hour, pre-Thanksgiving celebration with my extended family before we head back to Maui. And I wondered: Does what we consume reveal anything of who we are? Can anything be gleaned from the small details of a meal or a menu? I think that the particulars of a holiday meal speak profoundly of who we are as a family. We shared: 

Herbed turkey breasts
Roasted ham 
Collard greens 
Candied yams 
Cranberry sauce
Rice and beans 
Baked macaroni and cheese
Mashed potatoes 
Sweet potato pie
Junior's cheesecake 
Chocolate mousse pie 
Pineapple mocktails 
Ginger ale

Seems straightforward enough. There are the staples, the classic American and mandatory items that every family has on their own Thanksgiving menus, but if we look a little closer we can see that we all have our own twists and spins, our own particulars unique to our traditions. Not every family opts for just the breasts of the Thanksgiving bird. Some don't bother with it at all. And there are always the multicultural aspects that most families have to consider, the dishes of those who've married in or particular to the place or time in which they find themselves.

What things will you carry this Thanksgiving? What will you serve? Share your lists here. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Risotto con Salsiccia e Piselli

Dinner tonight at Dave's. We cooked. He and Jess provided the comfort & the kitchen, good wine and lots of laughs, too. Good memories made, priceless in light of our imminent departure back to Maui...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Conversations with Vincent Van Gogh

Spent the day with this guy yesterday. We met at The Met. It was a private affair, no husband or kids, no friends. I took him in quietly, listened contentedly to what he had to say about life and work and art. He talked about transcendence, the freedom found in moving beyond limits. He said he liked Cyprus trees. And sunflowers. 

I like him. I like his ideas and his questions. I like his gall and audacity, his soft heart. I always seek him out in my travels, try to make time to be reminded that all of our efforts are worthy and noble if our purpose is pure. The efforts are the art we leave behind, our lives.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Time To Break Down The Jacks!

Time to break down the jacks! Carved and colored pumpkins littering our living room are now fodder and food. 

"We're gonna eat this ok?" I sweetly informed my nephew Ryan, as I plucked up one of his pumpkins. His name was written on its side. 

"No!", he reached out to grab it from me. 

"Ok." I dropped the gourd in to his open hands and turned to my daughter Jada without missing a beat. "Can we eat yours?" 

"Sure!" she smiled.

That's my baby. And I didn't let her down. Asia and I made an amazing pumpkin soup with a fragrant base of onion, garlic, fennel and blanched tomatoes. We added kale and cannellini beans to give the soup a real depth of flavor and texture. A fragrant bouquet of sage and rosemary finished the soup and helped make it an incredible starter to what was ultimately a very kid friendly and palette pleasing meal.

If enough of you want the recipe, I'll put it up. It's a winner for the winter. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Spontaneous Stops at Blue Ribbon & Royal Crown

Lazy Sunday, a little off kilter with the extra hour and all. Late start and slow moving, we somehow missed breakfast and started the day with a take out lunch from the local Royal Crown. The best bread in New York, we used them exclusively at Va Beh' but the food at this bakery is fantastic too. Jada dove in to an eggplant parm sandwich that was literally bigger than her head. Asia blew through an arancini the size of a grapefruit. Mike went with his usual, the roasted chicken. I had a little bit of everything, picking from everyone's plates.

After naps, we headed to Brooklyn to drop off Asia. Dinner? A spontaneous stop at Blue Ribbon, for old times sake. They never let us down. The food is always great. Family friendly, the atmosphere is better than relaxed. They make us feel at home. And we had the best of the classic American fare that they offer, standards like the fried chicken and the tomato soup.

I'm relishing every New York minute, before we head back to Hawaii. I won't miss the weather or the crowds, but I will savor memories like the ones we made today.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Alma's Cooked Water Soup or Acquacotta di Alma

Been gone a few weeks. Thanks to all of you loyal readers out there. I promise more consistent postings now that we have settled in to a groove here in New York. I've survived Mike's two week trip to Italy and my exhausting stint as a single mom while he was handling business for our new restaurant in Maui. Time to write was literally impossible to find until now. Glad to be back at it. 

In the interim, I've been mastering the art of egg poaching and seeking out recipes that allow me to flex my new skills. This is a beautiful and simple soup that helps to counter the cold New York City nights that we are trying to bear while we spend what will probably be our last late autumn here with friends and family. 

Courtesy of Lidia Bastianich, via an enigmatic Tuscan woman named Alma, I followed the recipe almost to the letter. Here is my very slightly tweaked take on their cooked water soup: 

Stem 2 lbs. of Swiss chard. Then, chop the stems in to 1/2 inch pieces. Set aside and rip the leaves coursely in to approximately one inch pieces. 

Next, roughly chop 1 onion, 2 celery stalks, 8 basil leaves and 1/3 cup parsley

Then, blend or food process until well integrated and puréed. (This is called a pestata in Italian. You are basically creating a paste and an amazing base for the soup here.) 

Alma and Lydia tell us to use 1/3 cup of olive oil for the next step, but I only used half of their recommendation. Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the pestata. Stir frequently, adding a 1/2 tsp peperoncino, until it starts to get dry and sticky. Then add 1 tbsp of tomato paste, quickly stirring it on to the pestata, before adding 9 cups of water. This will be the beautiful base of your soup. 

Season the broth with salt and pepper, to taste, and raise the heat to high. Once boiling, dump all of the Swiss chard in to the pot. Cover it partially and let it roll at steady clip for about 30 mins. The greens should be soft but not wilted. Now, turn off the heat.

Lydia finishes this soup in one fell swoop but I prepared one bowl at a time, cautiously and in no hurry: Find a small sauté pan and ladle 1.5 cups of the broth in to it. Re-heat it until it is just simmering.  Then, and here is where it gets interesting, gently crack and release one egg in to the broth. Poach it at least two minutes, depending on your preference. 

While you wait for your egg, lay one slice of old bread at the bottom of a soup bowl. Then, lift the egg out of the soup with a spatula and lay it in to the bowl as well. 

Top with your cooked greens and ladle in the broth over the top. 

To finish this beautiful dish, sprinkle pecorino over the bowl and a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil. Repeat, depending on the number of your guests, and serve immediately. 


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Boogeyman Bananas and Mini Pumpkin Clementines

I don't know about you, but this photo excites me. A cool, healthy alternative to the bags of candy my three year old expects to give and receive, I will definitely opt for these dressed up bananas and clementines this Halloween. Please pass along any other kid-friendly ideas. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

You're Doing It Wrong: Spaghetti

Check out this cool article on one of my favorite pastas:

We had it today, sans arugula, in fact, after an exhausting day of travel from Maui back to New York. 

Left up to me, we would have had bad pizza delivered for dinner tonight. Thank God Mike found the strength to whip up plates and plates for the whole family. Seems simple enough on the surface but this dish can go terribly wrong without the mastery that can only come with making it time and again. That is to say, I'm grateful for my husband's finesse with the fast comfort food. Try this recipe. You will be too.

Bittman's Chicken Teriyaki

Stumbled upon this recipe in the "How To Cook Everything" app. So glad I did. The best teriyaki I've ever made. Try it on the grill while the weather is still nice. Paired with braised daikon and brown rice, it will be better than eating out.


  • ⅓ cup soy sauce

  • ⅓ cup sake or slightly sweet white wine, like a German Kabinett or Spätlese (use water if necessary)

  • ⅓ cup mirin (or 3 tablespoons honey mixed with 3 tablespoons water)

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • About 1½ pounds boneless chicken thighs, legs, breasts, or tenders

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (optional)


  1. Combine the soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar in a bowl. If time allows, marinate the chicken in this mixture in a covered dish for 2 hours at room temperature or overnight, refrigerated, turning the meat occasionally. If you're cooking right away, don't bother combining the meat with the sauce.

  2. Heat a charcoal or gas grill or the broiler to moderate heat and put the rack about 4 inches from the heat source. Meanwhile, soak the skewers (you'll need at least 8) in warm water if you're using wood. Remove the meat from the marinade and thread it onto the skewers. Boil the sauce for a couple of minutes in a small saucepan, until it produces lively bubbles and begins to get thick.

  3. Grill or broil the skewers until browned all over and cooked through, basting frequently with the sauce and turning the chicken every 2 or 3 minutes, 10 to 15 minutes (to check for doneness, cut into a piece with a thin‐bladed knife; the center should be opaque or slightly pink). Give the meat one final baste and serve hot or at room temperature.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Eating Grilled Okinawan Sweet Potatoes Is Like Digging In To A Piece of Chocolate Cake

We picked up two tubers of Okinawan sweet potatoes at the Whole Foods in Kahului on a whim. We grilled them, opened them up, added a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt and got hit with a whammie. As rich and sweet as chocolate cake, we will definitely fold this veggie in to our repoitoire. You should, too. 

Awesome Ramen, Oritsu Ramen, Kahului

Stumbled upon this perfect ramen spot after a frustrating morning of new restaurant biz at Maui County offices. Salvation! 

Here's To Daily Hurdles Crossed, Small & Large

I strongly suggest a glass of solid champagne at the end of a particularly taxing day. Simple ways to celebrate small successes are underrated and almost always well-deserved. Salute!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Kale Chips

We each had a cup of these at the beach the other day. So easy, so simple and the perfect savory snack. 

If your fridge is overflowing with kale, just toss a ribbed and torn bunch with 2 tbsp of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Lay it all out on a baking sheet (or two) and roast at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. You're looking for the crisp of a light potato chip. And you'll never need to eat one again once you perfect this recipe. 

Post-Friday Frittata with Asparagus and Scallions

Perfect for a weekend brunch at home, this frittata recipe adapted from "Lidia's Italy" is sure to please. If you don't have asparagus on hand, substitute it out for any other veggies available or use more seasonal greens found at your local Saturday farmer's market. Don't sweat the fillings. This one is all about the technique, easy and versatile. 

If you opt for asparagus, start with half a pound of fresh, thin spears. Cut off the thick bottoms, one or two inches. Then, dice them in to quarter-inch pieces. 

Do the same with 2 oz. of bacon. I opted to cut the bacon in to lardons, thin slices comparable to the dice of the asparagus. We are aiming for consistency here, so that everything cooks at the same rate. 

Dice 1/4 lb. of scallions in to quarter-inch pieces as well. 

Now, pour 1-1/2 tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil in to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon. Let the fat render out for a few seconds. Then, toss in the asparagus. Stir and cover the pan until the asparagus softens, about three minutes. 

Add the scallion. Some salt. Stir. Cover and cook about four minutes more. 

While that's happening, grab 4 large eggs

Beat them in a bowl, adding salt and pepper. 

The vegetables in the skillet should be ready now. Lift the cover and raise the heat until any moisture is evaporated.

Lower the heat back to medium as you spread the vegetables out evenly in the pan. 

Now, pour the eggs over them. 

Let the eggs set and don't move them. 

Cover them, so that the top cooks as evenly as the bottom of the frittata.

The time it takes your eggs to cook depends on lots of variables particular to your circumstances. Ours took about three minutes. Yours may take more time, or less if you are using a shallower pan. You are looking for a cooked top, absent of any runny liquid. 

Once your eggs are ready, you can opt to flip them out of the pan on to a plate, turning the frittata right side up by flipping it on to another plate. Or, you can simply slide it out on to a plate with a spatula. 

Sprinkle with a little parsley. Cut and serve. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jada's Caprese

Toddlers are skeptical. "What's that?" Jada asked, wary of the wet slabs of mozzarella laying between her and her favorite vegetable. 

"Cheese!" Michele and I answered in unison, all smiles and hype. 

I cut off a sliver for her. "Try it. It's the same cheese we use to make your pizza." 

Jada popped the mozz in to her mouth and smacked loudly as she chewed. She swallowed, "Mmmm! I want more!" (I'd include the photo of her smiling from ear to ear at the dinner table but she opted to go topless tonight.)

It took only minutes for her to get the hang of poking a little piece of cheese, with a little wedge of tomato and a tiny sliver of basil on to the tip of her fork to swirl in her favorite condiment, olive oil. She's a natural.  

Here is the recipe for a classic caprese, a great way to use the abundance of tomatoes available this time of year: 

Slice 3 tomatoes in to thin wedges. Then slice 8 oz. of mozzarella cheese in to wedges, the same thickness. Sprinkle with a generous douse of good olive oil, some salt and a little pepper. Some people/ Americans go heavy on the addition of balsamic. Michele insists that Italians keep it clean. Tomatoes, cheese, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper. Basta. 


Saturday, September 7, 2013

From Moonshine to Milk, My Love For the Mini Mason

There was one wine glass left in the cabinet. All of the others had broken and 
dinner was impossible without a pair. So the plan was to pick up temporary replacements on a quick run to the grocery store. 

Single seven dollar cheapies were the only options on the shelf. I refused. 
But when I looked down a little lower, past the rocks glasses and shot glasses,   I spied a bunch of canning jars, all sizes, starting at only two bucks. 

Score. Wine glasses at trattorias and homes all over Italy are little more than the same. John Landis Mason's 1858 patent has been used to hold everything from moonshine to milk here in the US and speaks to simpler, slower times. 

"Why not?" I thought as I picked up two six ounce minis. "It's only for tonight."

Well, let me tell you how I have not been to a home goods store since. The idea of holding onto a skinny stem while I sip my wine holds no satisfaction now. My mini mason feel good in my hand, substantial. It's portable, not precious. It gives me the same satisfaction whether I am drinking Pino or Pepsi, ubiquitous and utilitarian. 

Maybe I'll find my way back to wine glasses. I can see a special occasion needing something more. Until then I'll  be sipping out of my jar, like many Americans before me, completely satisfied. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

You Reap What You Sow

Seems like a lifetime since we planted our first seeds. Three months later, we are beginning to harvest. Today, Jada picked our first tomatoes.

If you find yourself with an abundance, make this.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It Was All We Could Do To Grill Some Ribs

The long Labor Day weekend takes on a whole new meaning meeting the round the clock needs of a two year old and we didn't even travel or do any day trips. Just the usual weekend drives to Kihei and Kahului to run errands, dips at the local beaches and laps in the pool, nothing crazy. 

Maybe we're getting old. Maybe Jada is a typical whirlwind of needs and demands that would drain the most seasoned parent. Either way, after putting her to bed tonight,  Michele and I were like lumps on either side of the sofa, blinking blankly at the ten o'clock news. 

How was your holiday? Are you ready to get back to the grind? 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Two Birds Without A Branch: Braised Chicken with Fresh Artichokes & Braised Chicken with Fried Eggplant

"Apparently the chief purpose for stating intentions in an introduction is to have something later for contradiction and denial. Herewith I give you two recipes, for no reason at all unless it could be because I said that such a thing would never happen." - M.F.K. Fisher

(Adapted from recipes from by Lidia Bastianich's "Italy".) 

Braised Chicken with Fresh Artichokes 

Preparing artichokes is a long and tedious process, but well worth it for the fresh flavor and texture of the true vegetable. You can opt to buy already cleaned and canned artichokes for brevity and ease, but if you really want to experience this recipe at its best, here is what you do: 

Fill a large bowl of water the juice of one lemon

Trim 1.5 pounds of artichokes until you reach the pale leaves at its center. 

Then, chop off the tip of the stem, about one-third of the way from the top. 

Now, at the bottom of the stem, shave off the rough skin until you reach the soft, pale meat of the core. 

The hard part is over now. Your kitchen should look something like this. 

The rest of the process is simple: Cut the choke in half. Scrape out the soft flesh inside and drop them in to the lemon water. (This prevents discoloration from oxidation.)

Now that you have freed your beautiful chokes from the binds of the thistle, you can start cooking in earnest: 

This recipe calls for one cut, whole chicken. Season it well with salt and pepper. Then, warm 2 tbsps of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Place the chicken in to the pan and brown, about three minutes on each side, then pull them out of the pan and set them aside. 

Drop five cloves of crushed garlic in to the chicken fat left in the pan. After a minute, drop in the drained artichoke. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and continue to deglaze the pan with them for three to four minutes. 

Then, pour in one cup of white or rose wine and raise the heat to high. We had this fantastic 2011 Chateau Saint-Pierre on hand. 

Stir everything until it is almost evaporated. 

Pour in 1/2 cup of crushed, San Marzano tomatoes and 1/2 cup of a premium tomato sauce.

Deglaze again, scraping up all of the lovely browned bits from the bottom of the pan, then cover the pot and let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes. 

Time to bring the chicken back in to the mix. Place it back in to the pan, covering it with the sauce. Let this simmer for an additional 30 minutes, the latter fifteen with the sauce uncovered so that it can reduce. Taste and adjust seasoning, then serve right away, sprinkled with a bit of chopped parsley

Chicken Cacciatora with Eggplant

Cacciatora means "hunter" in Italian and is a nod to the style of cooking more than the animal being cooked. A wild, organic chicken wouldn't be a bad idea for this recipe, though. It could only enhance the fantastic base of tomatoes, onions, herbs and wine that make this a classic Italian dish. Here's how to make this variation of braised chicken at home: 

Dice one medium eggplant in one inch chunks. Put them in to a strainer and toss them with one teaspoon of salt and let them drain for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, pat one, cut whole chicken dry and season with salt and pepper, to taste. 

When your eggplant is ready, pour one cup of vegetable oil in to a large skillet, over medium-high heat. As it warms, dust your eggplant with flour on all sides, readying them for a fry. Gingerly drop them in to the skillet, making sure that they are evenly spread out over one layer in the pan. Toss, until they are browned on all sides, then remove them from the pan and let them drain on paper towels. 

Now, drop the chicken in to the skillet. You are looking for a pale brown tinge of color here, on all sides. This should take about 5 minutes. When this is achieved, pluck these out of the pan and let them rest on paper towels as well. 

You will now use all of the goodness left behind in the pan for your sauce. Stir 1/2 cup of finely chopped bacon in to the pan.  Let the fat render out and then drop in six crushed garlic cloves and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes. 

Bring back the chicken. 

Let everything brown for a minute, then pour in one cup of white wine. Raise the heat to reduce the wine. Then, pour in a 16 oz can of crushed tomatoes. 

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring it all to a simmer for 15 minutes. Then, fold in the eggplant, being careful not to mush them in to the sauce. Cook another 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, if needed. Sprinkle chopped parsley over the chicken.