Eggplant Spanish Style with New Mexico Hatch Chile
Tapas? Dip? Pasta Sauce?
This lovely little eggplant dish is very versatile. You may use it for tapas on crunchy toasted bread, as a dip for corn chips, or on pasta with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. No matter how you serve it, it is very good!
It is also an interesting topping for homemade pizzas. Using this as your tomato sauce and feta cheese as your cheese topping makes a wonderful Spanish Greek fusion pizza!
Do notice that I used an electric skillet. The electric skillet is easier to control for heat and will make this a one pan clean-up meal and we like that!
- 2 Eggplants, chopped
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 can twenty oz. crushed tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 T. Hatch Green Chiles, chopped
- 1/4 C. olive oil
- sugar to taste (about 1 T.)
- salt to taste
- Peel eggplants and chop up
- Fill electric skillet with eggplant and water to nearly cover, add several shakes of salt. Cook for 10 minutes, eggplant will change from pale green to dark green and become soft
- Drain eggplants in sink. Let cool. Press eggplant into a paste consistency
- In skillet add oil and heat. Then add the onions and red bell pepper. Cook until browning
- Add chopped garlic and cook for about two minutes
- Add crushed tomatoes and cook until gently boiling
- Add Hatch Green Chile
- Cook for about 4 minutes until everything is hot again.
- Taste and correct for salt to your taste. If it is a bit flat for you, add the sugar. Stir. Serve
The eggplant is an often neglected vegetable. The eggplant came from Asia but was readily adopted by European cooks in the 17th century. In Great Britain the eggplant is known as the aubergine.
The eggplant is a member of the nightshade group of plants. The eggplant is related to the tomato and both of them have small seeds that are usually eaten with the food. Two of the most familiar ways of eating the eggplant is moussaka the Greek food dish or eggplant parmesan the Italian dish.
The eggplant can be a bitter plant. Because of the tendency to be bitter, the eggplant is usually salted and place in a colander for a bit. This allows the extra water to drain out of the plant and with that water much of the bitterness. After this procedure you need to wash the eggplant and pat it dry. The recipe above takes another tack by cooking the eggplant in salted water and then draining it.
The eggplant is also a virtual sponge for oil. It will soak up a huge quantity of cooking oil. Because of this it is a difficult plant to fry. Many so-called fried eggplant dishes require breading and then baking in the oven to create the frying feel without all that oil.
In Asia the eggplant is often cut up and added to various dishes. It is heavily used in China. A favorite dish is an eggplant and tofu stir fry in oyster sauce. It may look unappetizing to Western eyes but it is a delectable dish. Most Chinese sit-down restaurants will have this dish on their vegetarian menus. However, the dish may also have meat broth in it.