Monday, June 17, 2013

Berenjenas Braseadas

Happy Monday! We're back after a good weekend... and we hope you had a great one as well! Over the weekend, The Baron and I hosted a Spanish Tapas Cooking Party and it was definitely a deliciously fun time. All this week we'll be sharing the recipes we've made in the class, which is perfect for the summer season. One of the first tapas we prepared were these Berenjenas Braseadas. Eggplant is cooked until softened before stuffing with garlic and herb goat cheese, minced tomatoes and fresh basil then rolled... 

We had a great turn out for our first cooking party in the What's Cookin, Chicago kitchen! What I really enjoyed about teaching the class is that everyone was able to learn and make each of the dishes hands on. It was definitely a collaborative effort and it was great to have everyone in the kitchen at the same time, talking, laughing and just taking in the culinary experience. I can't wait for the upcoming cooking parties we have in store... and if you're in the Chicago area, we'd love to have you join us! I've added an 'Events' tab at the top of this website, which takes you to our event listings within our Facebook page. You'll need to be logged into a Facebook account to get tickets to our events so please have a look to see what's coming up!

For our Spanish Tapas Cooking Party, we had a few tapas on the menu with this being one of them. I really liked how easy this dish is put together despite how it may look like much more effort with the beautiful presentation. You can make this dish in advance since it's served cold or at room temperature and the burst of flavors with fresh tomatoes, basil and goat cheese make this a popular favorite!
Berenjenas Braseadas
recipe adapted from Emilio's

1 medium eggplant, about 1 pound
Olive oil for brushing
6 ounces garlic & herb goat cheese, softened
Salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
4 ripe plum tomatoes, finely minced

Tomato basil sauce:
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes

Cut eggplant lengthwise into slices each 1/4 inch thick or thinner; there should be at least 6 inner slices; discard the slices with lots of skin. Sprinkle with salt on both sides; let drain on paper towels. Pat eggplant dry and brush lightly with oil. Cook in large skillet until eggplant is golden on both sides and tender, about 10 minutes. Cool.
Spread goat cheese evenly over one side of eggplant slices. Fill with a teaspoon of chopped tomatoes, basil leaf and then roll up, securing with a toothpick. Repeat with all remaining eggplant slices.
Combine the crushed tomatoes and basil in a bowl. 
Place eggplant rolls on a serving platter and top with a tablespoon of crushed tomatoes and basil. Serve room temperature or cold.