Pride and Passion

May 18, 2014 Off By SoulandSalsa
By Chef Adolphus Stuart
There is nothing more fulfilling to me as a culinarian than to see the smile on the face of a person who just took a bite of something I created. To see their eyes close and shoulders slump as they savor the flavors and textures in one bite of an amuse brioche, hors d’ oeuvre, something to excite your palate for the courses to follow. There is nothing new under the sun. There are endless ways to profile flavor. Don’t be afraid to think out side the box, brake a culinary rule or two, get creative. It took me a while for me to accept I don’t have to follow anyone’s rule once I learned the basics like water boils at 212 degrees in Dallas just as it does in Dubai.
INGREDIENTS Ingredients 1 French baguette 1 large eggplant, peeled, alternating with 1-inch strips of skin left on, cut into 1-inch dice Extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice Pinch crushed red pepper flakes 3 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice 2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup tomato paste 2 tablespoons sugar 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1/4 cup capers 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted 1/2 bunch mint, cut into chiffonade
Directions Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice baguette 1/4 inch slices place on baking sheet brush with olive oil. Salt and pepper lightly. Place in oven and toast till lightly brown about 5-6 minutes
In a large bowl, toss the eggplant generously with olive oil and salt, to taste. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast until the eggplant is soft and mushy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Reserve.
Coat a wide deep pot with olive oil. Toss in the onion and crushed red pepper and season with salt, to taste. Cook over medium-high heat until the onions are soft and aromatic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
foodphoto1Add the celery and garlic and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the peppers and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes. Add the zucchini, season with salt, to taste, and cook until the zucchini and all the veggies are soft and aromatic and starting to come together as a stew, about 5 to 6 minutes. Toss in the eggplant, 1/2 cup of water and the tomato paste. Cook until the water has evaporated. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a small bowl and add it to the mixture. Stir in the, capers, pine nuts and mint. Cook for another 5 to 6 minutes.
Let cool Serve immediately or even better tomorrow or the next day. Spread on toasted baguettes and top with goat cheese.