One Beer Bread at a Time.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The window is open and it's January

I am sure this time next week it will be -6 vrs. the 60 degree F reading we are seeing today--so I opened a couple windows to get a bit of fresh air in the house.

I spent a bit of time today cooking and chopping and I"ll share what we are having for dinner:

1. Pork Roast w/this to accompany it...
I substituted the zuchinni and used fennel root and I used Yukon Gold Potatoes.

Ciambotta (Southern Italian Vegetable Stew)

Description
This vegetable-laden stew makes a delicious dinner with crusty bread. When reduced just a bit, it could also make a hearty pasta sauce.

Ingredients
1/2 lb. eggplant, unpeeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoons good, fruity extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2.5 tsp Garlic Garlic
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
a large handful of fresh basil, stems removed, chopped
1 lb. ripe plum tomatoes, passed through a manual food mill, or peeled and chopped finely in the food processor (or use a 14-oz. can Italian plum tomatoes, drained and processed)
3/4 lb. new potatoes, or any waxy potato, scrubbed and cut into 1x2-inch pieces
1/2 lb. zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 large or 2 small sweet red or yellow peppers, seeded and cut into 1x2-inch strips
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Instructions
1. Toss the eggplant cubes in a colander with 2 teaspoons salt. Let it sit in the sink until it starts to sweat out the bitter juices.Rinse them, drain, them and pat dry, squeezing a little.

2. In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, and celery. Stir-cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, adding a little water as necessary to prevent sticking and burning. Add the basil and stir-cook for a minutes, then add the tomatoes. When it comes to a simmer, add the eggplant, potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir, bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the zucchini and peppers and simmer 15 minutes more, or until all of the vegetables are tender.

3. Taste for salt and pepper, transfer to a warm serving bowl, and allow to stand 15 minutes before serving. Variations: Use Yukon Gold potatoes instead of the waxy potatoes. Instead of zucchini, you can use any summer squash, or try using cauliflower or fennel root. Instead of eggplant, you can use mushrooms.

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