- Roast eggplant after puncturing skin with fork and placing under broiler until flaccid;
- Scrap out inside of eggplants, keeping seeds;
- Chop eggplant so that it has more texture than a puree;
- Pour best-quality extra virgin olive oil on mashed eggplant;
- Add 1/4 cup minced onions; 1 tablespoon minced roasted garlic; 1 tablespoon capers; 1/4 cup minced green olives; 1 tablespoon Turkish chilli paste (about middle level of heat "shatter" found in Eastern grocery stores); 1/4 cup fire roasted tomatoes; 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts; Sicilian Spice Blend* (includes fennel, cumin, cinnamon, pepper); good size pinch of salt; 1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar**;
- Fold over all the ingredients and "chop" to blend fully;
- Add more olive oil and finely chopped parsley before serving.
** Use Balsamic Vinegar that has no caramel flavor; just grape must.
Ray's second cooking demonstration was Stuffed Fish with Chermoula. Using trout, he showed us two ways to stuff them. Chermoula is an aromatic Moroccan Pesto that Ray used to stuff the fish — I need to write him for the recipe.
One method eviscerates the fish from its gill flap — not cutting the belly — and washing the cavity well before stuffing.
For belly-stuffed fish, you can also either pin the cavity closed using thin skewers or long toothpicks.
Tonight's dinner is under an almost full moon and features Regional Italian Cuisine as prepared by Ray and Abe Risho. The soup and dessert were two of my favorites . . . ever . . . Bravo! ! !
After dinner our meal was topped off with Sicilian coffee and a Lucas and Lewellen "Silver King" Port wine that I brought along for a night (and dinner) like this . . .
Grilled Eggplant Salad • Cucumbers with Balsamic Glaze •
Roasted Petite Peppers with Garlic & Herbs • Marinated Fresh Mozzarella • Pane
Chilled Watermelon Soup with Mint, Saffron & Mascarpone Cream
Bitterroot Valley Beef Tenderloin Encrusted with Herbal/Spice Blend & Marsala Wine • Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Anchovies, Raisins & Walnuts •
Grilled Zucchini with Garlic-Anchovy Sauce
Hazelnut-Poppy Seed Cake with Roasted Anise, Mascarpone Cream & Fresh Melon
i Basalti Soave, Cantina di Gambellara (Italia)
Verso Rosso, Casa Contini (Salento, Italia)