Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Present

This year, my husband and I spent Christmas with his family up in Vermont. We were joined by my two younger brothers. As you can imagine, there was lots of laughs, wine and food. Our Christmas Eve dinner featured foods from my husbands heritage: Italian Wedding soup made by my husband's mother and Lamejun (Armenian pizza), bought from Eastern Lamejun Bakers in Belmont, MA.
Photo from Eastern Lamejun's website.

Christmas day spotlighted a Brisket with Portobello Mushrooms and Dried Cranberries (recipe) made by husband's mother.Accompanying the brisket was roasted yams and mashed potatoes. In addition, I made an antipasto and an eggplant caponata.
The antipasto featured home-made roasted peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, mushrooms, herbed olives, pepperdews, cornichons, provolone and buffalo mozzarella.
The caponata was based on a recipe I developed for last Christmas' dinner.

Emily's recipe for eggplant caponata:

2 medium eggplants, diced in 1 inch cubes
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, small dice
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup celery
1 carton pomi chopped tomatoes
4 tablespoons capers, drained
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried chili flakes

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a gallon-sized ziplock bag, combined diced eggplant with half of olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Shake bag until eggplant is evenly coated. Spread eggplant in one layer on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake eggplant for 30 minutes or until tender, flipping halfway through.

Meanwhile, in the remaining olive oil, saute the onions, garlic and celery over medium heat until vegetables are translucent (~5 minutes). Add pomi tomatoes and grilled eggplant. Continue to cook for 10 minutes. Add capers, sugar, vinegar and chili flakes. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. For best flavor, refrigerate overnight before serving with crusty bread.

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